Trust Vasoni to sink the dead wood at Limerick
Ballingarry native Billy Lee is trusted to deliver the nap on Vasoni at what is a modest eight-race Flat spread at his local Limerick track tonight.
The Tim Doyle-trained mare is one of 14 contenders for division two of the six-furlong handicap, a distinctly moderate heat that features more than its fair share of dead wood. Willie Mullins' Legal Lyric is one that has the potential to step up, but Vasoni appeals as being a more reliable prospect on the likely slow ground.
A course winner here in April on soft going off a mark of 53, she also obliged in heavy conditions at Roscommon in the autumn, so she won't be inconvenienced should the forecast rain hit the Munster venue. Since her last triumph, the five-year-old struggled off an inflated rating but has gradually come back down the weights from a high of 61, resulting in a respectable fourth off 58 at Listowel two weeks ago. Vasoni gets in off 57 now, so she has a live chance under Lee in such poor company.
The most valuable purse on offer this evening is the €17,500 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies' and Mares' Handicap over a mile. While Mick Halford's hat-trick-seeking Slipper Orchid is probably the one to beat here, it might be worth taking a punt on Tracey Collins' Pat Smullen-ridden Majestic Queen.
A narrow winner on its all-weather debut in October, the Kheleyf three-year-old was a gallant second to the useful Harmonic Note when conceding weight on its only subsequent start at Dundalk the following month. Needless to say, this turf bow represents a different sort of test altogether for Majestic Queen's seasonal return, but she has the capacity to show a first-time rating of 83 to be extremely lenient.
Smullen might also take the seven-furlong fillies' maiden on Dermot Weld's Elegant Peace following a fair turn in fifth behind Muscle Beach over a furlong shorter last week, while The Organ Grinder should take plenty of stopping in the colts' equivalent.
Kevin Prendergast's juvenile kept on well to be third despite being beaten most of six lengths by Stubbs over five furlongs at Navan in May. He steps up to seven now, which might prove the key to him getting off the mark under Chris Hayes.