Tuesday 16 January 2018

Tony Martin anticipating bold Curragh shows from Pyromaniac and Artist


Trainer Tony Martin believes both Pyromaniac and Artful Artist are capable of making their presence felt in the Tote Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh on Sunday.

Pyromaniac heads the betting for the prestigious end-of-season handicap having finished a close second to stable companion Quick Jack in a similarly competitive event at Leopardstown last month.

Martin had been considering a tilt at Saturday's Betfred Cesarewitch at Newmarket with his charge, but he instead remains on home soil to contest the Irish equivalent 24 hours later.

Artful Artist has finished runner-up on his last two starts and while he is much bigger odds than his stable companion, Martin feels there is little to choose between the pair.

"I'm hoping they'll both run well," said the Summerhill handler.

"Pyromaniac ran well the last day and has been in good form since.

"Artful Artist has run well the last twice in Killarney and Galway and was probably a shade unlucky the last day.

"I don't think there's much between them, they both deserve to be there and hopefully both have each-way chances."

Swamp Fox is on a hat-trick following a Flat triumph at the Galway Festival and a lucrative victory over hurdles at Listowel, but trainer Joe Murphy is downbeat, with his stable under a cloud.

Murphy said: "Lots of my horses have been coughing which is obviously a bit of a worry.

"This horse has scoped clean and seems in good form, but we're going there on a bit of a wing and a prayer.

"Other than that, the horse has done everything right. He's won four races as a four-year-old and has never run a bad race in his life.

"It's great to have a runner in the race and as long as the ground isn't firm, which it won't be, then it's no problem to him.

"But the truth is he hasn't had an ideal preparation, those are the facts."

The sole British challenger in the field is Slunovrat, trained by Sussex-based Frenchman David Menuisier.

The five-year-old bolted up over an extended two miles at York last month and remains unexposed over marathon trips.

Menuisier said: "He won well last time and we're keeping our fingers crossed for another big run.

"I'm hopeful he can improve, but we will see. I just hope everything goes well.

"He goes on any ground, to be fair. It was on the soft side at York and he handled it well, but I'm not too worried either way."

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