Friday 19 January 2018

Tiger to roar home for Hogan

Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Tunnel Tiger, Denis Hogan's sole runner at the weekend's only domestic fixture in Wexford, is trusted to put punters in green ahead of next week's seven-day Ballybrit bonanza.

A four-year-old Dylan Thomas filly, Tunnel Tiger contests a 10-runner apprentices' handicap on what is the first Flat card at Wexford since they switched to racing left-handed.

Despite still being a maiden after 23 starts, she appeals as being handicapped to score under Connor King, who continues to enjoy a healthy lead in the apprentices' championship.

Prior to joining the shrewd Hogan from England, Tunnel Tiger was last year placed six times off marks of between 57 and 60.

Following her first four starts for the Co Tipperary-based handler, she had dropped to a rating of 48, off which she ran well to be third behind Bay Hill in a decent race at Killarney 12 days ago.

That was a performance that confirmed that this one-mile-three-furlong trip suits her well, and that she is competitively treated.

The handicapper has put her up a pound for this, but that still leaves her favourably in based on her previous level of form, so she is nap material on what is a low-quality card at the south-eastern venue.

Andy Oliver's Eloge, likewise his only runner, could be one of the selection's main dangers in a first-time visor. She got chinned by War Room at Dundalk a fortnight ago and is three pounds higher off 60 now, but that takes her much closer to what has previously looked the limit of her ability.

Proceedings get under way with what is a notably weak extended nine-furlong maiden.

The nine runners have run an aggregate 17 times and only one has managed to get placed on one occasion.

That was Georgia On My Mind, a David Wachman-trained £551,250 Galileo filly that finished second to Pour Deux over a mile at Naas.

If she runs to a similar standard or better now, she ought to be good enough to take this gift of an opportunity under Wayne Lordan.

In the 11-furlong maiden, John Murphy's Give Battle gets the nod to make a successful return from a short lay-off. A three-year-old gelding, Seamie Heffernan's mount has run a couple of sound races on his way to four defeats.

Most recently, he chased Kilimanjaro to within a couple of lengths at Dundalk in April.

The winner went on to land the Lingfield Derby trial before running respectably in the real thing at Epsom and then the Curragh, so Give Battle has obvious credentials here.

In the concluding one-mile-seven-furlong handicap, Rodger Sweeney's Raydari is fancied to go close for Conor Hoban. A versatile sort that won off a high of 72 in 2013, he is in off just 58 here for 9st 2lb.

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