Tuesday 12 December 2017

Toraidhe can score for Bolger and Canavan

Manning: rides the fancied Toraidhe
Manning: rides the fancied Toraidhe
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Peter Canavan will be hoping that his Jim Bolger-trained Toraidhe can end a frustrating run of form in the featured seven-furlong handicap at Dundalk tonight.

The Tyrone footballing legend enjoyed a purple patch following Toraidhe's debut success at The Curragh in 2009, with Drive Time winning two from two soon after.

However, while that one has since gone on to excel over jumps for new owners with Howard Johnson in England, Toraidhe has failed to get its head in front again. Placed on five occasions, the son of High Chaparral was just run out of it on his reappearance in the Irish Lincolnshire, which he finished third in 12 months ago.

With the form franked by the sixth-placed Gimli's Rock being beaten just a short head last Sunday, Toraidhe and jockey Kevin Manning should be able to defy a 2lb hike in the weights, and a furlong drop in trip, to secure the €13,000 pot.

Tommy Stack, who has made a typically bright start to the campaign, looks the trainer with the most potent collective on the seven-race card. Blue Dahlia, Celerina and Sikara are his only three runners, and each has a solid chance.

The former duo are fancied in the two opening events. Blue Dahlia is one of six in the Crowne Plaza Race and Stay Package Race, with Knock Stars possibly the main danger now that she reverts to sprinting distance, having failed to figure behind Empowering at the weekend.

Course and distance winner The Reaper is another that won't be fazed by five furlongs, but Blue Dahlia gets the nod to overcome reservations about the distance, having won decisively at The Curragh a fortnight ago. Celerina will have no such trip concerns in the following handicap over the same stretch.

Twice a winner over the minimum last term, the Choisir filly's 4lb hike for her most recent triumph in August is negated by Shane Gray's 7lb claim.

In the last race of the night, King Of Aran, finally rewarded with a victory here last week following a slew of placed efforts, should be hard to beat once again.

Irish Independent

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