Saturday 26 May 2018

Treacy to roll back years with Surprise

Treacy has prospects of a winner in Midnight Surprise. Photo: Getty/Stock image
Treacy has prospects of a winner in Midnight Surprise. Photo: Getty/Stock image

Johnny Ward

Veteran handler Sean Treacy can roll back the years with Midnight Surprise at Wexford today.

In over six seasons' action, the Borris, Co Carlow trainer has managed just three winners - another era from the days of Thyestes winner Be My Belle and it being common for the barn to hit double-figures in a year.

However, Treacy has prospects of a winner in Midnight Surprise, which has the aid of Rachael Blackmore's claim, in the mares' maiden hurdle.

She had shown next to nothing in maidens but revealed latent ability when fourth of 25 in a competitive Punchestown contest on her handicap bow. She may not have to progress from that to snare what is a poor race, with rival Delayed Eloquence again flattering to deceive here last time.

There are some pretty deep contests on the card for Wexford standards, including the staying hurdle.

The distance is an imponderable for Willie Mullins' Coquin Mans. On that basis, Be The Hero, off since pulling up four months ago, is narrowly preferred under Bryan Cooper.

Horses owned by JP McManus tend to be trained to improve after handicap combat: as such, that Kilclispeen could score at Downpatrick, despite proving friendless in the wagering, was encouraging enough to suggest he can follow up in tonight's penultimate event.

It's another Mullins versus Elliott battle in the novice chase but perhaps Bentelimar could prove the answer here in a classy event, four of the runners rated in the 130s. He has not run since late January but is more than good enough to take this at his best, with Shay Barry's recent Tramore winner also encouraging a wager.

Mullins' Herminio may be worth another chance in the opener, despite the clear concerns about the New Approach-bred getting home. He went too quick to win on his most recent start, but perhaps he needed that outing. Denham Sound is limited but a viable rival and the betting will be revealing here.

The two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle is divided in two, with Ellmarie Holden's Sir Jack Yeats, the top weight, rock-solid in the first; and Soul Season is similarly reliable as a bet in the second for local handler Tom James, who is in fine form.

Irish Independent

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