Make it Manalapan

Patrick Prendergast’s Manalapan is fancied to have the legs on Aidan O’Brien’s El Salvador in the mile and five Her Majesty’s Plate at Down Royal tonight.

Both horses come into the contest in good shape and the tactical battle should prove fascinating.

The admirable El Salvador has battled strongly to win his last two races, at Bellewstown and Killarney last week, but does have 8lbs to find with the selection at the weights. Manalapan has always been a durable and consistent sort and arrives now on the back of a career best effort at Leopardstown eight days ago.

He attempted to make all-of-the-running, in a 14 furlongs Listed event, but proved no match in the closing stages for the smart Pale Mimosa and was beaten two lengths into second. This is an easier assignment.

Ger Lyons and Colin Keane have been good to us all season and their Belle Et Bete is worth a minor wager in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Auction Maiden.

She showed promise first time out at Fairyhouse, before finishing last of 11 behind I Am Beautiful in a Group 3 at the Curragh. Belle Et Bete actually wasn’t beaten all that far and this represents a far more realistic target.

Shell House, who did well to scramble to victory in a mile maiden at Naas, the second and third have won since, should relish stepping up two and a half furlongs in trip in the Magners’ Irish Cider Fillies Handicap.

Liss Ui Riain, beaten into second by New Kid In Town at Roscommon, can go one better in the Bumper at Wexford.


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