Saturday 24 February 2018

Treasure Beach can throw his weight about for O'Brien

Damien McElroy

Overnight showers are unlikely to affect the going as this afternoon's second stage of the Harvest Festival in Listowel reverts to the customary formula of mixed fare, with Aidan O'Brien saddling his first runners of the week.

The Ballydoyle handler, who has a fine strike rate at the north Kerry venue, targets both of the juvenile events on today's card with son Joseph attempting to sustain his challenge for the apprentice title from three booked mounts.

The pick of this trio looks to be hat-trick seeker Treasure Beach, which shoulders top weight in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery as the handicapper raised the Galileo colt 9lb for his Galway defeat of Jim Bolger's Suntan a fortnight ago.

The latter's trainer relies on this occasion on another Ballybrit scorer, Hasty Katie, whose stamina for the mile here is proven, though Kevin Manning's mount might not succeed in a tricky affair as they face four other previous winners.

Joined in the field by stable companions Brittany and Pirateer, Treasure Beach nonetheless is nominated to emerge on top once more as he looked ill at ease before finishing well in Galway and may have more scope for improvement than this opposition.

The O'Brien family's Flavia Tatiana, which showed promise behind stable-mate Juliet Capulet on her recent debut at Leopardstown, can reach the frame in the opening maiden confined to the fairer sex.


However, she may not have the tactical pace to foil Joanna Morgan's Curragh runner-up Independent Girl, a daughter of Bachelor Duke which is ideally drawn one off the inside rail over this extended six furlongs.

The following Gerry Duffy Handicap over the same sprint trip seems more difficult to fathom and is probably best left to Michael Halford's admirably consistent Queenie Keen with smart apprentice Conor Hoban taking a valuable 7lb off the Refuse To Bend filly's back.

The action switches then to the National Hunt brigade and Charlie Swan has prospects of a double with Glenstal Abbey over fences and Cork bumper scorer Lonesome Dove, which makes her jumping debut in the valuable ITBA Fillies Novice Hurdle.

Even if Glenstal Abbey doesn't manage to give weight and a beating to Paul Gilligan's Galway second Lady Hillingdon in the McGuire Novice Chase, David Casey should be victorious for the Swan yard in the following ITBA promotion as Lonesome Dove can outpace Ardnavalley.

A close fourth to compatriot Dirar in the Ebor Handicap at York, locally owned Salute Him reverts to jumping in the Ladbrokes Ireland Handicap Hurdle and is napped to secure a measure of compensation for Tony Martin's stable with Ruby Walsh up.

Despite running off a career-high mark of 107 over obstacles, Martin's charge can put his finishing pace to good use against the likes of Denise Foster's Bellewstown victor Rockazar, Clancy Strand and the often-placed Carrleoni, which may require a greater stamina test.

Irish Independent

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