Tough As Nails to repel overseas raiders
An 18-strong field of two-year-olds takes centre stage in the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes at Fairyhouse tomorrow.
A race with a €73,500 winner's pot that has for the most part been dominated by English-based horses in recent years, the seven-furlong contest includes eight British raiders this time round. Richard Hannon, who saddled the smart Dick Turpin to collect in 2009, is doubly represented, with his Wolverhampton winner Three Am Tour probably the most interesting.
Nonetheless, the home defence is led by Michael Mulvany's Tough As Nails, and it will be disappointing if a horse of his standing doesn't make a bold bid to keep the prize at home. Placed in the best of company, Tough As Nails' latest effort to finish a respectable fifth in last week's National Stakes was his worst ever performance.
Needless to say, a slightly below-par display such as that only a week ago is a concern, but Gary Carroll's mount won't face nearly the same calibre of opposition tomorrow.
Another juvenile, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Cabin, warrants the nap selection in the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden. Jim Bolger's Livia Galilei showed promise when third on her debut at Tipperary last month, but many Ballydoyle youngsters have benefited hugely from their debuts this term, and Cabin did little wrong when second to stablemate Was at The Curragh first time up.
If she can build on that, she will be very difficult to pass under Colm O'Donoghue. Later on, O'Brien is fancied to double up when he teams up with his son Joseph for Fairylike in the 10-furlong conditions race.
The day's opener can go the way of Krivan, whose handler Mick Halford might also secure a brace by taking the last with Sonapour. Halford certainly appears to have found Krivan, twice placed in decent company, a relatively poor race to get off the mark in, while the Wexford scorer Sonapour makes his handicap bow in the finale.
Off a mark of 79, he might just be good enough to do the business under Shane Foley.