Tuesday 20 February 2018

Taqaseem catches the eye

Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Dermot Weld. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Kevin Prendergast and Chris Hayes are trusted with tonight's nap vote when they combine for Taqaseem on a mundane Flat spread at Ballinrobe.

In first-time blinkers, the Pat Smullen-ridden Swamp Fox is likely to be popular in the long-distance maiden. However, Joe Murphy's charge is 0-10 on the level, and could be vulnerable to something less exposed.

Taqaseem appeals most. A Teofilo four-year-old that was a well-held second to Highland Reel as a juvenile, Hayes' mount didn't run at all last year.

This term, he has run respectably in both of its outings, latterly beaten a length-and-a-quarter off a mark of 72 at Fairyhouse. Taqaseem kept on well over 12 furlongs that day, leaving the impression that this extra furlong should suit. On just the fifth start of his career, then, he is fancied to deliver.

In the earlier nine-furlong maiden, Burma Star is likely to be the one that punters latch on to. Dermot Weld's three-year-old shares the top rating in this with Harry Rogers' Remarkable Lady, but both have had plenty of chances already.

A chance is taken on the Harry Kelly-trained Eadaoins Pet under Wayne Lordan.

Tailed off on its Gowran Park debut, this Tagula filly improved dramatically at Killarney last week, when she kept on doggedly to be a fine third behind the fancied duo, Mr Ormsby and Sean O'Casey. Again, on the evidence of that performance, Eadaoins Pet ought to be suited by this longer distance.

In the €20,000 feature over the same trip, Knockmaole Boy is on a hat-trick for Jim Culloty, while Ruler Of France is also looking to follow up last week's Killarney victory.

Preferred, though, is Murphy's Daredevil Day, which won off a mark as high as 82 at the Kerry venue two years ago.

A respectable fourth off 76 at Naas last time, Connor King's mount is in off the same rating now, and he should be competitive.

In the claimer, Ado McGuinness's decisive Dundalk scorer Specific Gravity looks the one to beat.

Irish Independent

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