Thursday 23 November 2017

Oran Maestro can upset the odds to see off Bully

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

The crowds should be out in force this evening with virtually every leading tracker in action at a number of venues. Pride of place will go to Limerick, where the semi-finals of the €80,000 Kirby Memorial Puppy Stake will be run, and Shelbourne, where some of our superstars will be commencing their challenges for the College Causeway/ Killahan Phanter Easter Cup.

The two dogs vying for favouritism in the Kirby Memorial are Roxholme Bully and Ashford Castle and they have been kept apart in the draw. However, Owen McKenna's Roxholme will have to face third favourite Leamaneigh Turbo and his litter brother Oran Maestro in a red-hot first heat, where the line-up is completed by Slippery Robert, Plus Five and Royal Diva.

This is a very difficult one to call with Leamaneigh Turbo the likely leader from the four box. However, I felt Oran Maestro showed signs of a return to top form last week and he is the value selection.

It is difficult to oppose Fraser Black's ASHFORD CASTLE in the second heat, now that he is again drawn close to the rail. The big-finishing Melodys Gamble and Droopys Banner cannot be ruled out of consideration either.

The major attraction in the Easter Cup is the reappearance of PARADISE MADISON in the second heat. From last week's trial we know that he is in good form but it is the lack of a previous race that forces some doubts.

The other favourite in the betting lists is BALLYMAC VIC in Heat 3 and he must ensure he hits the bend in front of Camas, Money Talks and North Bound. Other fancied runners in the heats are KEREIGHT KING, HOT PURSUIT and REFUGE OF SINNER. On the supporting card NOTHING SIMPLE should win the A2 575 final, while LOCNAMON BRIDIE appeals in an Open 525.

NICKEN RIPPER can win the final of the Kudos Supersprint at Curraheen, while PRICELESS PILOT is a value nap in the Gain Cesarewitch heats at Mullingar.

Saturday Yankee

Locnamon Bridie 8.30 Shel Pk

Kereight King 9.0 Shel Pk

Hot Pursuit 10.0 Shel Pk

Priceless Pilot 9.40 Mullingar

Weather problems

Dundalk, Waterford and Drumbo Park last night were called off. Dundalk tonight is also off.

Irish Independent

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