Tonkinese can make a successful step up in trip, to almost 10 furlongs, in the West Gate Median Auction Race this evening in Clonmel.
Michael Halford’s horse has his quirks, as he showed when needing to be hooded for loading last time at Dundalk, but there was little wrong with his effort there as he went down fighting in a tight finish with A Shin Impala.
That was over a mile on the all-weather, but the son of Authorized should have no trouble reverting to the turf, particularly as this ground will likely be quite quick here.
He finished a fine third behind Air Force Blue on debut last year, and cruised to victory at Leopardstown next time, on good-to-firm ground.
It hasn’t been easy for him since, but his seasonal debut gave hope that a return to winning ways wouldn’t be far away.
He can make fitness count against likely market rival Simannka. The latter, who sports a visor for the first time, took four goes to get off the mark last season, but must be respected for the in-form Dermot Weld stable.
Connections’ patience with Trans City can reap reward in the BBQ Race Evening Friday June 10 Handicap. The James Nash-trained eight-year-old was off the track for more than 15 months until returning at Dundalk in March. While he made little impact there, he stepped forward from that run when runner-up behind Alcock And Brown at the same venue last month.
Back on the turf, on which the only two victories of his career to date have come, he can be expected to showed a little further improvement. With Pat Smullen in the plate, as he was last time, he can take this modest event at the expense of Honor Oak.
Smullen has quite a few good opportunities this evening, and his mount in the Tipperary Perpetual Cup Handicap, The Brock Inn, also makes plenty of appeal. The dual-purpose horse was well beaten on his most recent outing on the flat, on testing ground, but that effort was flanked by two very good runs over hurdles.
On his only previous run on the flat, he was a winner over two miles on fast ground at Tramore, and the former bumper winner certainly has some scope for improvement in this sphere.
On ideal conditions, he looks sure to put up a bold show, and is preferred to Face Value, who won this race on heavy ground in 2015.
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