Wayne Lordan has made the decision to side against Mexico City and rides twice raced IRISH CHIEF in the opening six-furlong maiden at the Curragh this Friday evening. The Aidan O’Brien trained son of War Front finished sixth on debut behind stable-mate Admiral Nelson, before running a creditable second behind another stable-companion, Merchants Quay two-weeks ago.
Despite getting upset in the stalls, Irish Chief was only beaten close home and should have enough experience to progress further and see of these rivals and secure his maiden. Mexico City finished fifth on debut at Naas under Lordan, but it’s discouraging that the jockey has sided against him today with Mick Hussey now in the saddle. Fight Zone is another son of War Front, making his debut for trainer Ger Lyons and he warrants respect on debut, while Jim Bolger’s Dame Dandy returns quickly after a second-place finish at Naas last Saturday.
The Jessica Harrington trained PERES ET FILS gets the vote to win this colts and geldings maiden hurdle with jockey Robbie Power in the saddle this Friday evening. The son of Stowaway is having his second start over hurdles having finished fifth at Clonmel on his recent run before the lockdown in early March and was previously behind Battleoverdoyen in a bumper at Punchestown.
He made some encouraging late headway at Clonmel to suggest the extra half-mile will be a positive here, while the second horse home, Farmix has boosted the form since by winning by 20-lengths at Clonmel.
Despite having several winners on the flat, the Harrington team recently sent out Polished Steel and Barrington Court to victories under national hunt rules, while jockey Robbie Power has managed two recent winners, Eagle Moon and Tune The Chello for these owners over the past week. Arthurian Fame is an interesting recruit to hurdling for Joseph O’Brien, while Santano Plessis is another contender for trainer Gordon Elliott.
Make A Challenge was sent-off favourite but finished a disappointing sixth in the Greenlands Stakes here nearly two weeks ago and now returns to listed company for trainer Denis Hogan and jockey Joe Doyle. He’s been a credit to connections over the past year and might bounce back here, but I’m siding against him today with old-rival BUFFER ZONE for trainer Ger Lyons.
The five-year-old got the better of Make A Challenge in a Premier Handicap here last September and was second behind Speak In Colours and just over three lengths ahead of the Hogan runner in the Greenlands. I see no reason why Make A Challenge should reverse the form with Buffer Zone and another recent victory for Speak In Colours in the Ballycorus Stakes at Fairyhouse last weekend only boosts the chances of Colin Keane’s mount.
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It’s hard to side against the Gordon Elliott / Jamie Codd combination in this closing bumper, which on paper won’t take much winning to end the Midlands National card at Kilbeggan this Friday. The five-year-old is having a first start for Elliott having won a point to point under Derek O’Connor at Stowlin in May 2019 for Ellmaire Holden and was subsequently sold for £66,000 at the Goffs August Sale later that year.
The lack of match fitness is not a concern when trained by Elliott, who has a clear line on Geraldo’s ability and chances here – the second at Stowlin, Don Diablo now trained by Elliott himself finished a good second in a bumper at Galway last October. Elsewhere, Goaheadwiththeplan looks exposed for Noel Meade but now wears the cheekpieces, while the betting market looks the best guide to the chances of Larry O, Bigly and Dinny’s Ginny.
- 16:15 CURRAGH – IRISH CHIEF
- 17:25 KILBEGGAN – PERES ET FILS
- 19:15 CURRAGH – BUFFER ZONE
- 19:55 KILBEGGAN – GERALDO
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