Gra Geal Mo Chroi can break bookies’ hearts

GRA Geal Mo Chroi has a leading chance in the Mayo Advertiser Handicap at Ballinrobe tonight.

The five-year-old handles soft ground really well and, with plenty of rain forecast, that is likely to be a big plus.

She arrives here on the back of a very unlucky run at Killarney six days ago. The selection appeared to be full of running all the way up the straight, but repeatedly found herself with nowhere to go.

By the time she saw daylight it was all to late and, though flying home, could only finish fourth behind If Per Chance. Gra Geal Mo Chroi is worth a minor wager to gain compensation.

Austin Leahy trains the nap choice and could also have the answer to the Blue Thunder Fast Foods Claiming Race with Aseasyas. She was beaten just over three lengths when fourth to Maal at Sligo and the pair meet on exactly the same terms.

But, just like Gra Geal Mo Chroi, the daughter of Medecis is at her best when the surface is on the soft side.

The moderate Yes Missus gets the nod in the Niall Gilmartin Memorial Maiden. Her second to Saoi at Gowran Park seems the best form on offer in a poor race.

Lus Na Hoiche, who battled on in fine sttle to score at killarney, is fancied to defy a mandatory 5lbs penalty in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.

L’Amour Toujours, fourth to Hildor at Killarney, might be good enough to win the Paddy Smyth Memorial Maiden.

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Storm on Galway Hurdle trail again

By Pat Keane

LAST year’s winner of the Galway Hurdle, Bahrain Storm, is on the trail of that major prize again.

Pat Flynn’s versatile seven-year-old bounded away with the featured Grade 3 Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary yesterday and the Galway Hurdle was immediately nominated as his next goal.

Confidently handled by in-form Shay Barry, Bahrain Storm travelled like a dream through the contest.

Cuan Na Grai edged on coming away from the third last, but once Barry asked the winner to go about his business, heading to the final flight, the issue was never in doubt.

Said Flynn: “This was a stepping stone to the Festival. I knew he was in savage order, but think we’ve left a little for Galway. I may claim 7lbs off his weight there.”

The layers got a screamer when 25-1 shot Benefit Gale won the Ballykisteen Hotel And Golf Hurdle by 18 lengths.

Pat Kennedy allowed him stride on going out for the final time and Benefit Gale responded by surging further and further clear.

The son of Beneficial, formerly in the care of Liam Burke, was having a first outing for Jeffrey Mulhern.

He has just five horses in his care and is based at Ballinakill, Co Laois. “I bought the horse about two and half months ago and we have been absolutely delighted with him.”

Mulhern, who is in his fifth year training, enjoyed his first success a couple of weeks ago when Frankford scored at Bellewstown.

Glenstal Abbey, absent since pulling up at Clonmel in February, made a winning start over fences in the Family Day Beginners Chase.

And he was backed to do so as well, finding 9-4 from a little 4-1. The six-year-old jumped well and was taken to the front by David Casey coming away from two out to beat Wise Old Owl.

Trainer, Charlie Swan, said: “First time over fences you are always worried that they’ll do it. Galway will probably come a bit soon for him.”

Impersonator, partnered by Emmet Mulins for his uncle, Tony, edged ahead after two out to beat Shopfrontspecialist in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle.

Said Tony Mullins: “He’s dead honest, but suffers from a soft palate and, when it flips, can do nothing about it.

“He refuses to wear a tongue-tie, so is a bit like myself, it’s either my way or no way!”

Edward O’Grady’s The Real Article won his third race in as many runs when toying with the opposition in the Bumper.

He made all of the running, cruising clear in the straight for James Carroll to win hard held by 11 lengths.

Commented O’Grady: “He’s very exciting. I don’t know whether to go for a maiden hurdle at Galway or keep him for the Cheltenham Bumper.”

The Galway Plate Trial Handicap Chase produced a clear-cut winner in the Paul Flynn-trained Pallasmore.

Dashingly handled by Michael Darcy, the grey powered ahead with a circuit to cover to easily beat Having A Cut. “If getting in, he will head to Galway for the Plate”, confirmed Flynn.

Barry Geraghty worked wonders to land Pom Flyer a winner of the Packie Downey Memorial Chase, giving the Francis Flood yard a welcome turn.

Pm Flyer was in front when blundering three out, was none too clever at the next, but the best was yet to come.

He was clear rising to the last, but got it all wrong and it was nothing short of a miracle Geraghty was able to keep the partnership intact.

After that it was plain sailing, as the winner strode up to the line comfortably in front of Hairy Molly.


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