Monday 26 February 2018

Walsh can take 'Slowmotion' National

Mark Walsh at Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile
Mark Walsh at Leopardstown Racecourse, Co Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Slowmotion is aptly named today and can take the Guinness Kerry National on what will be desperate ground at Listowel for Joseph O'Brien.

Connections of Coneygree decided to stay away from the race due to the impending rain and, with the aid of reflection, it may not have been a crazy call, as the weather yesterday rendered the Flat ground barely raceable.

Slowmotion has fair claims under Mark Walsh in this €175,000 contest, since she finished third in the Galway Plate. That was quite a performance from a five-year-old filly, and there should be more to come, though conditions as demanding as today's may be disconcerting.

Road To Riches would certainly prefer it faster underfoot, though he is on a really competitive weight if he can build on a respectable effort in the Plate. Arbre De Vie is another to consider, while Bentelimar can shape like a winner for much of a race that may tax his stamina.

Having jumped over the winter, Riven Light should get through it in the Listed Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes, which is run over nine furlongs. It was expected yesterday that only the seven-furlong-start stalls would be out of action, though this may change after the rain.

Again, this should be immaterial to Willie Mullins' charge and his main danger, Zawraq, will do very well to win this given he has run twice in the guts of three years.

De La Vega is on a tempting mark for Michael O'Callaghan in the opening Exchange Inn Ballybunion & Kevin Broderick's Bar Listowel Handicap and, visored for the first time, will certainly appreciate Sean Davis taking off 7lb.

Likewise, Denis Linehan's claim will help the cause of Maximus Daia in the Listowel Arms Handicap. It is notable that this one's best run was on heavy ground when winning at Cork in April for John Murtagh.

The Seamus Mulvaney Handicap is sponsored by one of the veterans of the betting ring and he may be wary of laying Sean Byrne's Lean And Keen, which is a course winner and also a heavy-terrain one.

Fabulous Saga stays well and could have Young Turk to fear most as he likely bids to provide Willie Mullins with a double in the Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle, while the fact that Mount Hanover graduates from the pointing field is probably a positive ahead of his Rules debut for the in-form Henry de Bromhead in the M.S.D Animal Health Maiden Hurdle.

By the time of the Listowel Vintners Association Flat Race, run over two-and-a-half miles, more than the merriest of locals will be punch-drunk, and Suinda can bring up a Mullins treble.

Irish Independent

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