A BRIDGE TOO FAR: Shamrock was left standing on one leg after London Bridge (WON 9-4) stormed home 12 lengths at Downpatrick yesterday but the second horse in his fancied Noel Meade long-range double bid failed at Killarney last night.
LAST DAY OF THE KILLARNEY FESTIVAL: Today, the final day of the Killarney Festival, Ireland also has an evening meeting at Leopardstown and a big interest in Longchamp tonight.
They’re the final-day big four. David Marnane (three), Jessica Harrington, Willie Mullins and Henry De Bromhead – two each – have all trained doubles or better at Killarney this week.
2.55 Killarney: David Marnane (form figures at the festival on the first three days 1411) is first out of the stalls, defending his lead as top trainer of the meeting, with Some Slam.
Marnane employs a fifth different jockey at the festival, claiming off Some Slam, who is saddled with top weight of 10st., and has a high draw, though it was over this trip that the stable had its winner yesterday, from stall 7. In fact, it’s going for a hat-trick of mile-plus wins, having also scored over the distance on the opening day with Aragorn Icon.
The danger to Limerick runner-up Some Slam today must be Rock On Ciara, who beat Aragorn Icon over today’s CD at the May meeting here though, on collateral form, Irish Reel wouldn’t be far behind.
3.30 Killarney: The winner invariably comes from the bottom of the handicap (9st. 1lb. and lower) and the favourite, usually high in the weights, never wins; in fact, I could find only one that reached the frame.
It’s a stats black mark against Willie Mullins’ Dorset Square, who is hit by a 12lb rise for a Ballinrobe win last month, and it all points to Jessica Harrington’s Magical Memoir.
4.05 Killarney: This is a tricky one. Here’s Jessica Harrington again, with the sequence winner Greenbelt Star, who beat House Rules (Henry De Bromhead) at Punchestown but has run badly on the Flat since.
4.35 and 5.05 Killarney: In both these handicaps put together, there has been only one winner over the age of seven, which ‘loses’ 11 runners.
I’m immediately drawn to The Pott Reidy (4.35), first time in a handicap and from a yard with a winner and second at the festival on Tuesday.
6.45 and 7.20 Leopardstown: Aidan O’Brien is going for a hat-trick in the 6.45 race with just one runner (One? Is this a mistake in the entries, Aidan?): Maybe, the Chesham winner at Royal Ascot, has tremendous toe and should see them all off.
I hope to see my Queen Mary bet, Somasach, do better but interesting that Jim Bolger also wheels out a Dylan Thomas filly, Miss Dylan. One to watch.
Whatever happens in that two-year-old Group 3, Gentleman Jim should score easily with Sunset Beauty (7.20), who sneaks into this sub-70 race, since her previous rating applied to the conditions before she was raised to 80 by her Gowran Park success.
6.50 Longchamp (Grand Prix de Paris): If he’s only got one in the big two-year-old test at Leopardstown, Aidan has sent three from Ballydoyle for this Group-1 decider of Derby winners.
I’m not a reliable man for foreign races, but you know what, Treasure Beach, and Seville have both had two hard tests at Epsom and The Curragh, and I just wonder if an unexposed, unhurried and underrrated fresh horse, Marksmanship, can overtake them. Worth an old punt at big offers.
NAP: Sunset Beauty (7.20 Leopardstown)
NEXT BEST: Magical Memoir (3.30 Killarney)
OUTSIDERS: The Pott Reidy (4.35 Killarney), Marksmanship (6.50 Longchamp)
DAQ TRIO: Some Slam (2.55 Killarney), Magical Memoir (3.30 Killarney), Maybe (6.45 Leopardstown), Sunset Beauty (7.20 Leopardstown)