Tuesday 20 February 2018

Toushan can recall the days of Danoli for veteran Foley

Paul Townend on Bellshill after winning the Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Steeplechase at Limerick yesterday. Photo: Healy Racing
Paul Townend on Bellshill after winning the Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Steeplechase at Limerick yesterday. Photo: Healy Racing
Jockey Roger Loughran. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Tom Foley, who will forever be recalled for training Danoli, could take Limerick's feature with Toushan.

The veteran trainer has only a limited number of runners nowadays but this meeting appears to have been the aim for Toushan, which prepped over hurdles.

Toushan takes aim at this €50,000 contest after a pleasing prep over hurdles.

Page Turner, the winner two years ago, could roll back the years for John Joe Walsh, with Willie Mullins having no representative.

Limerick tends to get extremely testing at this time of year but the ground seemed to hold up yesterday, testament to the fact that we have not had much in the way of persistent rain over the last few months.

While the performance of Black Hercules was worth the admission fee alone, today's action is far more mundane, but there would be no more popular winner of the feature than one trained by Tom Foley.

Few would begrudge the rider of Pairofbrowneyes, Mikey Fogarty, a big-handicap winner this afternoon. The Co Wexford rider looked set to win a big pot at Leopardstown yesterday only for Powersbomb to fall at the last. Compensation may await.

12.00 'David Fitzgerald - Take It Easee' Maiden Hurdle 2m6f

Though costly to follow in bumpers, Some Neck has given the impression that he simply lacks a change of gear, and it is no shock to see him commence his hurdling chapter over a staying distance. Patrick Mullins knows the horse well at this stage, and he may have an edge over Classic Place, which was having a first run in nearly two years when second at Cork - under Patrick Mullins.

Verdict: Some Neck can win at last, though he is probably not one to be putting too much faith in. He should stay well and edge Classic Place.

12.30 Goggin Buckley Mares Maiden Hurdle 2m2f

At Clonmel, Coquine D'aunou ran into a useful rival in Crack Mome, and she has every chance here. Likely her main foe will prove to be that one's stablemate Chambord Du Lys, another French recruit for the champion trainer.

Verdict: Coquine D'aunou can beat Chambord Du Lys in another race of relevance to a cracking trainers' title battle.

1.00 BRC McMahon Reinforcements Handicap Hurdle 2m

Conna Cross' maiden form was of such promise that his mark, 96, looks exploitable. He shaped well on his ­hurdling debut. Rebel Ace returns from a lay-off but has form claims on the back of his Tramore offering in what rates a moderate handicap.

Verdict: Conna Cross looks well-treated and could prove the answer on his second handicap start.

1.35 Roches Feeds Handicap Hurdle 3m

Seskinane is a shot in the dark in a difficult race. He has course form on heavy and was a better horse than this grade when at his peak.

Though he has top weight, Gary Noonan takes off the 7lb, and not many of his rivals are especially convincing.

Call Vinnie can also go well for Robbie McNamara. Sea Scorpion could make the market, though he may not want the ground too demanding.

Verdict: Seskinane may prove the answer in a really difficult handicap, though he could hardly be a confident pick.

2.10 Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase 2m3f120yds

By far the most interesting race of the day and plenty in with chances. Flemenstorm is feared if he gets in as a reserve, while last year's winner, Pairofbrowneyes, has solid claims again.

Toushan, with Roger Loughran up, gets the vote. He relishes this ground, the trip is just about perfect and he is an excellent jumper. He has not done much in handicaps and he can get a nice tow into the race.

Jumping has been an issue of woe for Montys Meadow, which is nevertheless interesting on just his fifth chase start.

Grand National-winning trainer Jimmy Mangan would have had high hopes for the Oscar-bred after he beat Arbre De Vie at Thurles last year. However, he fell over fences since and unseated on his hurdling return.

Verdict: Toushan is a sporting choice to beat Pairofbrowneyes in an interesting reneal of the Tim Duggan. Note too Montys Meadow.

2.45 Earl of Harrington Memorial Maiden Hunters Steeplechase 2m6f120yds

A race that makes no punting appeal but Captain Bizarro, which was a fair horse under Rules, may have a little too much toe for prolific pointer, Dimple.

Captain Bizarro won a point in 2015. Not many of these rivals would be capable of finishing second in a maiden hurdle, as he did at Wexford earlier this year.

Verdict: Captain Bizarro can take this tricky contest for Harry Kelly at the expense of Dimple.

3.20 Clohessy's Bar Rated Novice Hurdle 2m

Not quite a handicap but similar to one. Tinos Tank could provide Derek O'Connor with some Christmas cheer. This horse stays well, which will help in demanding conditions.

Tinos Tank is trained by Pat Doyle, for whom O'Connor won a point-to-point aboard the hugely ­promising Death Duty.

He was procured from Britain, since when he won at ­Fairyhouse after ­finishing second at Listowel, both over two-and-a-half miles. Gordon Elliott, who had a quiet day yesterday, relies on Usurp, with promising conditional Cian Collins taking off seven.

Verdict: Tinos Tank is up to winning this, with Usurp an obvious danger in a tricky contest.

Irish Independent

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