Race conditions to help Diakali defy long lay-off

Diakali should register his first win since November 2013 in the Grade 3 Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary today.

Race conditions to help Diakali defy long lay-off

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has been off the track for over a year but the 153-rated French-bred gelding is favoured by today’s race conditions and, if close to his best, should land the spoils in a race in which his veteran stable-companion Thousand Stars (also rated 153) must concede 9lb to the selection.

The market should prove a good guide to Diakali’s well-being.

And, if the vibes are positive, he should deliver.

The earlier Excelebration Tipperary Stakes, a listed event for two-year-olds over the minimum trip, looks at the mercy of the David Wachman-trained Independence Day.

This Dansili colt shaped with plenty of promise on his debut when fourth to Air Force Blue in a hot Curragh maiden and, dropped to five furlongs, built on that effort when bolting-up in a Down Royal maiden, form boosted by runner-up Reckless Endeavour in Naas on Wednesday.

Willie Mullins will be expected to complete a treble with Long Dog, Bachasson and Fugi Mountain in Sligo tomorrow.

Winner of a Flat maiden on the track for Andy Oliver, Long Dog went close against Marinero in his only hurdle outing while Bachasson, winner of two French bumpers, will be expected to make a successful Irish debut in the opening maiden hurdle.

And Fugi Mountain, a beaten odds-on favourite at Leopardstown in January, sets a decent standard in the bumper.

The action returns to Dundalk tomorrow.

And Navan maiden winner Outspoken, beaten by sable-companion Archangel Raphael in Fairyhouse last week, looks best in the four-runner Gilmore’s Mercedes Benz Race.

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