Bay Lad can finally get off the mark

THE BAY LAD, a nine-year-old who has never won a race, gets the nap to land the Martin Reilly Hyundai Maiden Hurdle at Sligo this evening.

Obviously, it would not make a whole lot of sense to be overly bullish regarding his prospects, but everything is relative and there is no doubt this represents a good opportunity.

The selection is a seasoned handicapper, who produced one of his better efforts on his latest appearance at Kilbeggan four days ago.

The Bay Lad finished five and a half lengths runner-up behind Garrai Ard and now faces an easier task.

Tom Taaffe’s Waterloo Chateau is the one to beat in the Anglo Irish Bank Bumper, having returned from a long absence to run really well at the Gaway Festival early last month.

He stayed on doggedly in the closing stages to claim second behind Dermot Weld’s well-regarded newcomer, Rite Of Passage, and is entitled to come on plenty for the outing.

The worry is that he may want nicer ground, as a son of Presenting, but is worth risking in a moderate contest.

Philip Fenton’s Caim Hill is easily the best horse in the Terry Casey Memorial Maiden Hurdle, but again the possibility of a soft surface is a worry.

He followed his defeat of subsequent Naas winner, Derinlaur, at Kilbeggan with an improved display at Galway when outbattling Carl Llewellyn’s English invader, Frascati Park, by three parts of a length.

This is a weak heat and Caim Hill has to be given the benefit of the doubt on the ground, until we know better!

Cool Tarifa, outclassed in a Group 3 behind Cuis Ghaire at Naas and in a Listed event won by Shimah at the Curragh, might show her appreciation of a major drop in class in the Tattersalls Ireland Fillies Auction Race.

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