Tuesday 21 November 2017

Weld and Smullen to strike with Munaashid

If Munaashid strips fit under Pat Smullen (p), he is the horse they all have to beat. Photo: Sportsfile
If Munaashid strips fit under Pat Smullen (p), he is the horse they all have to beat. Photo: Sportsfile
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Dermot Weld's runners have been on fire recently and Munaashid can extend their insatiable form at Roscommon tonight.

The Rosewell House firm's sole representative on the mixed card, Munaashid makes its seasonal return in the 10-furlong maiden.

Last year, the Lonhro colt finished within a couple of lengths of the Breeders' Cup winner Hit It A Bomb and the Derby third Idaho in two decent Curragh maidens.

He looked a little one-paced over a mile the second day, so this step up in trip ought to be ideal, and he is drawn favourably in stall two. If Munaashid strips fit under Pat Smullen, he is the horse they all have to beat.

Fethard, Co Tipperary-based Joe Murphy is another handler whose horses have been enjoying a rare old time of things.

He has a few live contenders on duty at the western venue, with Consonance appealing as the one to keep on side. Successful off marks of 67 and 54 in the past, Consonance gets into the seven-furlong handicap off 45.

He showed enough on his Listowel return to suggest that he can exploit that rating with the benefit of a run under Declan McDonogh now.

A two-year-olds' maiden gets proceedings under way. Andy Oliver's Billy Big will be popular after finishing fourth at the Curragh, but this might be a good opportunity for Paul Deegan's Fast In The Sun.

McDonogh is also pencilled in for this Fast Company colt, which didn't enjoy the clearest of runs on its debut at Listowel.

Fast In The Sun still ran encouragingly to be sixth, and he now has to improve past the fifth Hailstone, which is drawn far more favourably. However, Deegan's charge has the scope to build on that decent start.

Another of the 2006 champion jockey's mounts that is worth a look is Sharjah in the first division of the 10-furlong handicap.

Andy Slattery's front-runner mightn't have relished the extended trip at Leopardstown last week, but a plum draw on the inside will help his cause.

Over jumps, Gordon Elliott, who plundered a first and last race double at Downpatrick yesterday with Lake Malawi (2/1 fav) and Blue Empyrean (6/4 fav), has a strong hand in the novices's chase.

Of the four runners, he will saddle Gigginstown's Tiger Roll and Chatham House Roll.

Barry Geraghty is booked to steer Tiger Roll, and the former Cheltenham Festival winner is trusted to confirm the promise of its recent Ballinrobe victory.

Of the eight winning trainers at Cork yesterday, all bar one has at least one entry at Royal Ascot this week.

The individual without an engagement there is Albert Moriarty, the Killorglin, Co Kerry handler who enjoyed his first winner when the 16/1 shot Prince Jock dotted up in the seven-furlong handicap under his seven-pound-claiming son, Keith.

The Listed sprint went for export as the Pat Smullen-ridden Spirit Quartz (5/4) denied the favourite Ardhoomey, while the Munster Oaks was won by Pretty Perfect (3/1) in the hands of Colm O'Donoghue. Aidan O'Brien's Galileo filly was thrashed by Jet Setting at the Curragh last time, but she excelled under a fine front-running steer here for the locally-born rider.

Having crushed Shamreen, the Irish Oaks could now be on the cards for Pretty Perfect.

Shamreen's Derby-winning connections Weld and Smullen enjoyed better luck in the Cork Derby, with favourite Alveena relishing the softened ground to score in style at odds of 5/2.

"I love this race track - I think it is one of the top tracks of Europe, never mind Ireland," Weld enthused after the Aga Khan filly's triumph, highlighting the recent course victories of Classic winners Harzand and Jet Setting to illustrate his point.

Irish Independent

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