Johnny Murtagh's Wilderness can defy 6lb penalty in Roscommon

Johnny Murtagh's Wilderness can defy 6lb penalty in Roscommon
Wilderness en route to victory at Gowran Park last Friday. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA

Wilderness was an impressive winner on Friday night at Gowran Park and can follow up under the mandatory 6lb penalty when he contests the second division of the roscommonracecourse.ie Handicap.

Johnny Murtagh’s five-year-old moved across from a wide draw at Gowran to take an early lead and was never headed thereafter. He found plenty in the straight and this slightly longer trip should be inconsequential. He is much better drawn this time and Ben Coen is likely to bounce out and try to make all once more.

New Vocation is running for the third time in less than a fortnight but ran well on both previous occasions and should reach the frame once more.

Overheer can get off the mark in the first division of the same handicap. Joe Murphy’s horse ran just three days ago, at Tipperary, and gave away much of his chance by missing the kick.

He was still considerably off the pace with three furlongs to go but made eye-catching late progress to finish fifth behind Rock On Seamie. The extra furlongs of today’s race is a positive and, provided he does not fluff the start this time, will be hard to beat.

In the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, Frank Arthur, who finished runner-up in a maiden three days ago, sets the standard on form and will take beating. He set out to make all the running but was just outpointed by Keats, the pair a long way clear of the remainder. The one-furlong-shorter trip is no concern and he can make all from his favourable draw.

His most interesting rival, and one of the most interesting runners on the card, is Moore Street Wise, a half-brother to Group 1 winner Skitter Scatter. He was unraced at two and it will be interesting to see what the market makes of his chance.

National hunt returns in Limerick and Never Do Nothing can take the It’s Good To Be Back At Limerick Racecourse Hurdle. John McConnell’s horse won on debut over hurdles but was out of his depth in Grade 1 company on his next to starts.

A recent spin on the flat, in sixth behind Mutadaffeq in a Curragh Handicap, should have put him spot-on for his return to jumping, and he can make his race-fitness count against Poseidon and Battle Of Wills.

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