Ondeafears can defy the handicapper

The Michael Halford-trained Ondeafears might defy the handicapper in the featured Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Handicap in Gowran Park this evening.

The five-year-old mare went up a whopping 12lbs for a convincing recent win at the Curragh but looks capable of continuing on her upward curve which might, in time, see her compete at stakes level.

Successful off a mark of 66 in a six-furlong handicap in Mallow last October, Ondeafears chased home Olfa on her seasonal debut at Leopardstown last month.

And she readily turned the tables on Dermot Weld’s filly in a 50-80, seven-furlong event at the Curragh 10 days ago, scoring impressively by three and a half lengths, the performance of a progressive mare.

Today, in a better-class event, Shane Foley’s mount must defy a 12lbs higher mark, clearly a far from straight-forward task.

But Ondeafears appreciates an ease in the ground, which she’ll encounter in Gowran, looks a definite improver and is a sporting nap choice in a tricky seven-runner contest.

Dangers include Dermot Weld’s three-year-old Swerve and the Tommy Stack-trained Cnocan Diva, bidding for a hat-trick and up 6lbs for her most recent short-head win at the Curragh.

Up 5lbs for future handicaps, the Seamus O’Donnell-trained Moscow Treat, clear of the remainder when narrowly beaten by Landsdowne at Mallow last Friday, should go close in the Gowran Park Golf Club Handicap. And Joanna Morgan’s To The Sky, a bit unlucky when failing to catch Knocklong over hurdles at Punchestown last week, might make amends in the Goresbridge Apprentice Handicap.

In the maiden action, Aidan O’Brien and Dermot Weld have dominated the opening two-year-old event (the season’s first race for juveniles over seven furlongs) and will be represented again, with preference for the Ballydoyle colt Master Speaker, a son of Danehill Dancer.

And, dropping in class after finishing fifth to Requisition at the Curragh, the Jim Bolger-trained Caonach might have the edge over That Boy David in the seven-furlong, three-year-old maiden.

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