Tuesday 12 December 2017

The Real Article to get back on track for O'Grady

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Following a respectable effort to eventually finish fourth in the Galway Hurdle after becoming mired in controversy in the run up to the race, The Real Article is fancied to get his promising career back on track at Wexford this evening.

The Edward O'Grady-trained six-year-old raced keenly and wide before finishing fourth at Ballybrit, with the lack of a strong pace doing little for his chances on the day. Nonetheless, it was another solid effort.

Tonight he reverts to the Flat in an amateur riders' race over two miles. Having disappointed on his only previous start on the level at Clonmel in April, it's not easy to gauge his potential, but that was unlikely to be a true reflection of his ability.

Last week's Tramore scorer Benefit Of Porter will be a serious threat in this four-runner contest, as will Universal Truth. Dermot Weld's three-time bumper winner didn't shine on his reappearance outing back in May, but he would probably win this without too much fuss if he came back to his best.

Still, given the way the weights are framed, The Real Article might have his measure under the decent amateur James 'Corky' Carroll. Before the riders' various claims are taken into account, the Definite Article gelding receives four pounds from Universal Truth, and a further two from Benefit Of Porter.

The nap selection is Kilbarry Classic in the mares' bumper. Despite featuring just seven runners, with four previous track winners on duty this looks a cracking event.

Local handlers Paul Nolan and Colin Bowe are well represented with Marble Article and Pharney Lady, but Kilbarry Classic really took the eye when obliging at Roscommon in July. Owned by the well-known Waterford sports injury surgeon Tadhg O'Sullivan, John Kiely's four-year-old could just be a cut above her rivals.

In the earlier Pinnacle Handicap, Extra Steps is taken to defy three other recent winners to add to her triumph at Dundalk on Sunday. Deservedly getting her head in front for a first time then, Paul Cashman's filly has been a model of consistency this term; notwithstanding an unfavourable draw, should be bang there again.

On the day's busy jumps programme at Kilbeggan, Burma Rock can atone for the narrowest of misses at Tramore last week. The likes of In A Nutshell and Esporao could be difficult to beat in the two-mile maiden hurdle, but Willie Austin's charge remains unexposed with just four starts over flights.

Elsewhere, Winston Churchill is also taken to build on an encouraging Tramore effort in the beginners' chase. Placed on his two previous outings over flights, Henry de Bromhead's five-year-old Presenting gelding turned in a fair performance to be fourth to Traffic Article last Thursday, and the step up to three miles should suit now.

Irish Independent

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