Monday 19 February 2018

Taking Stock ready to strike for patient Kiely

Damien McElroy

Naas stage an additional meeting this afternoon to compensate owners and trainers for a couple of recent postponements due to snowfalls at the Kildare venue.

Course manager Tom Ryan was delighted to welcome around 4,500 spectators to the course three days ago, however a couple of surprise results saw the Jackpot pool of over €9,700 elude all investors.

This rollover is a bonus for those returning to the track today, though finding the correct combination in the four Jackpot races looks a daunting task again even with obvious favourites in the last three legs.

Champion owner JP McManus, whose versatile Dancing Tornado sprang a 12/1 surprise in the Jackpot opener on Sunday, could double up on behalf of investors now with Taking Stock and In Great Form.

Taking Stock has been given plenty of time by shrewd Dungarvan trainer John Kiely to recover from his unfortunate tumble on the run-in when pursuing Gallant Light at Gowran Park in late November.

Granted, the gelding was only destined for second money then, but the overall balance of his form entitles Mark Walsh's mount to the nap selection to open his account over timber in the Caragh Maiden Hurdle.

Long-absent Gagewell Flyer, which switches his attention to jumping, and Fairyhouse runner-up Bootlegger may fill the places here behind Kiely's charge, whose owner has another fancied Flemensfirth gelding in the Monread Flat Race.

In Great Form appeared a certain future scorer when staying on well for Tony McCoy to lead in the pack behind Ionisphere in a recent maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse and that theory will be put to the test here.

While it's not always relevant when applied to a bumper, that effort entitles Francis Flood's unexposed runner to the height of respect with JP Magnier travelling from London to take the mount.

In between, locally-based owner Liam Breslin's All The Cousins is bound to be included in the majority of Jackpot combinations after chasing home Sharekan in a similar contest to the Sallins Handicap Hurdle.

Unable to cope with that victor's pace in the closing stages at Fairyhouse, the 10-year-old should be more at home over this afternoon's longer trip as both The Burrow Vic and Rating Queen attempt to defy penalties.

The latest in the McManus-sponsored Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle series is a very tricky Jackpot opener and a chance is taken that Andy Lynch's Ben Wade might improve on his Fairyhouse fifth to Macidoni.

Irish Independent

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