Sharalam justifies strong market support

In-form trainer Paul Deegan nominated the listed Alleged Stakes (at the Curragh on April 22) as the immediate target for Sharalam following his success in the Maiden in Dundalk last night.

Strongly supported all day and sent off 5/4 favourite, the Alamshar gelding knuckled down well for Kevin Manning to beat Sli Na Fiarana by a length to the delight of Deegan. “We’ve always thought a good bit of him and felt it was worth waiting when he had a few niggly problems. He’ll appreciate another couple of furlongs and might be a stakes horse — we’ll probably try him in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh next.”

Fran Berry, who recorded a double o his first day back after injury last week, was on the mark again when Akasaka (backed from 5/2 in the morning and sent off 10/11) registered his second win at Dundalk in the Claiming Race.

The King’s Best gelding, described by Berry as “a polytrack specialist” stretched clear to slam Baitsileir by four and a half lengths, giving trainer Eddie Lynam, in Dubai to saddle Sole Power in today’s Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, another Dundalk win.

“That’s two from two, just like last year,” declared Ger Flynn, representing trainer Jim Bolger, after the Rory Cleary-ridden Verbal Honesty won the opening two-year-old maiden, following-up the success of well-touted stable companion Dawn Approach at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Elusive City filly prevailed, under hands and heels riding by Rory Cleary, by a head from Angela’s Dream prompting the winning rider to comment: “She jumped well and did everything right. She’s still green and should improve from the experience.”

The Pat Smullen-ridden Exhortation, an uneasy favourite in the face of support for two rivals, was mugged close home and beaten a half-length by the David Marnane-trained Suehail in the Median Auction Maiden.

Suehail, produced late by Fergal Lynch, was reversing Leopardstown form from last September with the Weld runner and impressed Lynch, who said: “He’s definitely one to follow through the season.”

Highlight of the handicap action was the battling victory of the Leigh Roche-ridden Grey Danube in the six-furlong handicap, a first training success for Curragh-based Darren Bunyan, who learned his trade with John Oxx and Dermot Weld before a lengthy stint with Ken Condon.

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