Step up to seven furlongs should suit Oratorio

KEEP faith with under-fire Jamie Spencer at the Curragh this afternoon.

The Ballydoyle number one is fancied to land the two big races on the programme aboard Oratorio and Indesatchel.

Oratorio gets the nod to take a fascinating five-runner Galileo EBF Futuriry Stakes, a Group Two in which a case can be made for all the possibilities.

The selection, however, boasts the best form and as long as the hard race he had at headquarters 13 days ago hasn’t left its mark then he is very much the most likely winner.

The Danehill colt stayed on dourly at the end of that six furlongs when beaten three parts of a length into second spot by Damson in the Group One Phoenix Stakes. All the evidence is that this stiff seven will suit.

Mark Johnston challenges with Sandown six lengths winner, Melrose Avenue. Any horse from this quarter has to be respected, but the fact Melrose Avenue’s three immediate victims have all got well beaten in the meantime is hardly encouraging.

The tough Elusive Double, Democratic Deficit, who shocked Russian Blue at the Curragh, and the potentially useful Carnegie Hall all help to give us the most informative juvenile contest run in Ireland this season!

Indesatchel, a creditable third to Oratorio and Russian Blue, with subsequent winner, Kay Two, behind in fifth, in the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh last month, can land the valuabale Tattersalls Ireland Sales Stakes Race.

The progressive Michael O’Brien trained Newlands North has to get the nap in the FDM Fencing Handicap.

He went up 5lbs for finishing a neck second to Soliza (gave 10lbs) over this course and distance last time. The shrewd O’Brien, however, has booked in-form Rory Cleary to nullify that.

A combination of a long break and a mile seemed to find out Wathab, when third to Red Feather at the Curragh, and he gets the vote to win the Emerald Bloodstock Belgrave Stakes.

At Cork tomorrow, Noel Meade’s Duneden rates nap material in the Mitchelstown Maiden Hurdle.

This dual bumper winner made a satisfactory debut over flights at Galway, finishing third to Zeroberto and Studmaster.

That contest was over two miles - Duneden was outpaced in the closing stages - and should be more at home stepping up to two and a half.

If the handicapper is right then Talking Cents is the proverbial certainty in the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Novice Chase.

At the weights, he has 14lbs in hand of Always, who in turn is closely tied in with Swordplay. Talking Cents went up 21lbs for landing a conditions event at Galway, though, and there has to be the suspicion of an over-reaction on the part of the handicapper.

Swordplay beat Always a hard-earned length and a half at Galway and the latter reopposes on 7lbs better terms.

But Swordplay has since produced a fine performance to cope with the smart Warrens Castle at Tramore and gets the vote to complete a hat-trick.

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