Leopardstown hosts this evening’s flat racing fare, while the national hunt action takes place in Tramore, where Trade Marked can carry top weight to victory in the Tramore Golf Club Handicap Hurdle.
Austin Leahy’s gelding has caught the eye on more than one occasion in his limited opportunities over hurdles, and has shown more than enough to suggest he is capable of defying a mark of 95. Fast conditions should bring out the best in the five-year-old, and the intermediate trip – two miles and five furlongs – could prove to be his optimum. If he can settle early, he should prove too smart for his rivals, headed by De Danu’s Bach and Cadawill.
Tajseer can get off the mark in the bumper. Representing Gordon Elliott, who is enjoying a terrific run, the five-year-old was well beaten on his hurdling debut, last time out at this track. However, he has plenty of experience in bumpers, and his form includes a fine third behind Boris De Blae at Downpatrick, and a fourth-placed finish behind Whizzey Rascal at the same track.
Back in a race confined to lady riders, he has the considerable assistance of Nina Carberry and that can make all the difference in what looks a winnable contest.
At Leopardstown the return of Irish Leger winner Order Of St George will command most attention and, such is his superiority on form, it’ll be a major shock should he fail to deliver, despite ground conditions likely being too fast for him.
He looked exceptional in routing the opposition at the Curragh on his final start of last season and, while not expected to be anywhere near that level this evening, this is an ideal opportunity to blow away the cobwebs whilst picking up a fourth consecutive victory.
He won’t be a backable price for most punters, but Midnight Crossing will be when she contests the William Fry Maiden, and Eddie Lynam’s filly can earn an overdue breakthrough success.
She wasn’t without her supporters when ninth of 13 behind Shogun on her debut, before a gamble was foiled by How High The Moon in another Curragh maiden. She was quite well beaten behind Turret Rocks on her final start of the season, in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster, but returned with a very good effort behind Long Island Sound, in April at Dundalk.
Back on the turf this afternoon, she is taking on colts once more, but can be expected to prove better for her return, and ought to prove up to this task.
Here’s a little extra sport. Watch the latest BallTalk for the best sports chat and analysis:
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved