PHANTASY Rock will be strongly fancied to complete a hat-trick for Willie Mullins and Eddie Linehan in the Slievenamon Handicap in Clonmel this evening.
The four-year-old Rock Of Gibraltar filly, owned by Ballylinch Stud, has recorded recent wins at Killarney and Wexford and, although just 1lb. ‘well-in’ today, looks progressive enough to triumph again.
Phantasy Rock’s Killarney win, at the expense of Master Of Light, was achieved over an extended mile while a step-up to almost a mile and a half at Wexford, presented no problems for her.
The key to Phantasy Rock is how well she travels through her races and the style of her defeat of Green To Gold in Wexford suggested that she’ll be helped by dropping back to ten furlongs tonight.
So, under a mandatory 6lb. penalty, Phantasy Rock is expected to continue on her winning ways, with The Black Abbot, Speechmaker and course and distance winner Elusive Ridge the chief dangers.
Ruby Walsh’s journey to Clonmel, for just one ride, should prove worthwhile when he partners Captain Sully for Austin Leahy in the Blue & Gold Maiden Hurdle. Although half a length off Bluebell Rock when fourth to Fleeting Moment at Tramore last time, Captain Sully had earlier finished second to Georgie (placed off a mark of 104 in a competitive Galway handicap at the weekend) at Roscommon.
The opening, four-runner All Ireland Hurling Weekend Maiden affords the David Wachman trained Echoes Of History an ideal opportunity to belatedly open his account.
A beaten favourite when a disappointing fifth to Lastofthemohicans at Dundalk last time, the 82-rated Forestry colt had earlier filled the runner-up berth on three occasions, including a solid second to Be My Storm at Leopardstown.
Today’s opposition looks weak and Echoes Of History is difficult to oppose, despite the unconvincing current form of David Wachman’s string.
Similarly, Anderson Mcauley is unlikely to ever reach the heights of his illustrious stable-companions but should be good enough to land the ‘Best Of Luck To Tipp’ Flat Race.
Placed three times from four starts, the Blueprint gelding came off second best against Kingsandqueens at Kilbeggan last time and is proving expensive to follow. But this evening’s finale looks a good opportunity for Patrick Mullins’ mount.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved