Tuesday 16 January 2018

Watching brief

Richie Forristal

AT Listowel last year, Back In Focus and White Star Line filled the first two spots in the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Beginners' Chase at Listowel.

On Thursday, White Star Line was ineligible for the race following his Kerry National heroics 24 hours earlier, but the first two home are again very smart animals.

While the capabilities of the winner Owega Star are well established by now, it will be especially interesting to see how the runner-up Clonbanan Lad progresses.

A point-to-point and dual bumper winner for Mikey O'Connor, he made a fine hurdle debut for Henry De Bromhead at Punchestown a year ago before regressing badly thereafter.

On Thursday, Clonbanan Lad looked as though the step up to most of three miles and the switch to fences suited. He might finally be ready to begin fulfilling his potential.

Irish Independent

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