Gowran Park hosts this afternoon’s horse racing action, and Vitalized can get punters off to a perfect start by taking the claimer for Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning.
On her most recent start, which was over this course and distance, she ran a fine race to finish third behind Aurelia Cotta and Maudlin Magdalen.
Drawn 10 of 10 then, she was a little keen for much of the race, and was just denied second place on the line. The form received a couple of significant boosts as the winner went on defy a penalty with a runaway success just 24 hour later, while the runner-up went on to win at Killarney, under a shrewd ride, next time.
Out of a Galileo mare, she appeared to appreciate the step up to this trip last time and, if able to settle a little better in the early stages, will take a world of beating. The danger may come from the somewhat unexposed Spirtual Man. He showed promise in early runs, but was a little disappointing last time. This represents a drop in class, the ground should suit, and he must be respected.
Race four is the Gowran Park Golf Club Nursery, and Fair Game can get off the mark at the fourth time of asking. Trained by Edward O’Grady, who has been amongst the winners recently, the filly travelled well at Sligo last time, and moved to the front looking set for a comfortable victory. However, the ground was very testing that day, and she didn’t get home over today’s trip.
Clon Rocket was the winner that day, with one of today’s rivals, Set To Fire, getting up late to snatch second place from the selection. The form received something of a boost when winner ran a fine race on his nursery debut at Tipperary next time, despite not getting much of a run at a crucial stage.
On better ground this afternoon the trip shouldn’t be a concern for Fair Game and she can be expected to turn the tables on runner-up Set To Fire.
Among the dangers is Tony Mullins’ Lass Vega, who ran very well on the stands’ side in the Curragh maiden won by subsequent Group 3 winner Smash Williams.
Artistic Integrity can take the first division of the Kilkenny Apprentice Handicap. The selection took a step in the right direction when a close third behind War Room at Dundalk on his penultimate start, and again when filling the same spot behind Cash Or Casualty on his most recent outing, at Bellewstown.
The latter run was on unsuitably soft ground, and the return to a quicker surface should prompt further improvement on recent form. The booking of Ross Coakley is another positive, and he is preferred to long-standing maiden Tubeanie, who has shown enough in four outings for Denis Cullen to suggest there is a race in her.
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