SHAMROCK HOLDS PUNTERS AT BAY: Shamrock laid two paper favourites yesterday, both losers at Roscommon: Why But Why (2nd 5-2) and McSwynes Bay (unplaced 6-1)

Luck is not much of a lady. Take the case of Navan trainer Michael Mulvany, who had a winner at the Sligo meeting last year and laid three horses out for today: two of them got dumped into the reserves and the one other, Jembatt (6.20), has the worst draw since Barney Curley backed a loser.

Andrew Oliver, on the other hand, nips across the border from Co Tyrone and gets plum draws in Jemblatt’s race for both his runners: Jouster (in 4) and Bankroll (in the adjacent stall, 5).

Andy is well known for his ambitions to reach the top and is currently in decent form with a winner and five others in the frame from his last seven starters. I make that a huge 85% win-and-place strike-rate.

The low draw looks sure to win the race, with Like Magic, a winner at Fairyhouse and unlucky last time; Anderiego for the track’s leading trainer, ‘Mr Galway’ Dermot Weld; Maarek having already beaten several prominent horses in this field; and last year’s winner of the race, Gandolfini, who is just running into form.

I shall back the Oliver front-runner Jouster, dropped back in trip for this, as a bet-and-lay; he seems sure to beat the morning offers of 9.8, and his SP, during the race. The main bet is Gandolfini at 8.8; has clearly had this as his target.

The new 6.50 fillies’ handicap is hot, with 11 of the 13 runners having won one of their last three starts, and the Racing Post having four at joint top-rating.

Even at 1m 4f, the Sligo oval favours the low draw. High stalls for Spirit Of Cuba may halt her climb (up 23lb this season) and make it difficult for the three-year-old, Cape Of Good Grace.

Night Glimmer and Asiya have big chances but I fancy Tracey Collins’ Few Are Chosen, in foal to Dark Angel. Pregnancy often raises a mare’s game, and she’s unbeaten on this Sligo roundabout track: so 10.0 on the Daq had to be taken.

Top boy riders, Ben Curtis (Donatis Comet) and Gary Carroll (Melodie d’Amour) look like doing battle in the latest in the Derrinstown series (7.20), with the prolific bumper winner ‘Comet’ hard to oppose.

Teach Nua (8.20) comes from bumper and hurdles wins for maestro Weld, and tries to sneak in again with only half the penalty effective for his Galway win on the Flat.

But three-year-olds should be up to catching the old boy at this time of year and, while it’s hard to see Do The Bosanova, shaking off her 16lb hike, Swampfire, who goes well fresh, and has tried Group-3 company, has a fine opportunity here after a break.
NAP: Swampfire (8.20 Sligo)
NEXT BEST: Donatis Comet (7.20 Sligo)
OUTSIDERS: Legal Peace (5.15 Sligo), Gandolfini (6.20 Sligo), Few Are Chosen (6.50 Sligo)
DAQ DOUBLE: Donatis Comet (7.20 Sligo) and Swampfire (8.20 Sligo)