• Leopardstown - Thursday

    British raider to lord it at Leopardstown

    The Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes has attracted a strong field of 11 runners and the British-raider Lord Of The Lodge might just land the spoils for Karl Burke and jockey Gavin Ryan. 

    Burke has two Leopardstown winners to his name, Lesson In Humility won the Ballyogan Stakes in 2009 and Laurens landed the Group 1 Coolmore Matron Stakes in 2018, one of four Irish winners for the North Yorkshire trainer that year. 

    And on the back of his handicap success on the big all-weather championship day at Lingfield at the beginning of April, the consistent four-year-old can be fancied to be another. Monaasib matches his handicap rating but might prefer slower ground while Pearls Galore, another 108-rated contender, lacks a recent run.  

    The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (6.50) has only attracted six runners and Jessica Harrington might have the winner in the shape of Malaysian. She’s slightly more exposed than handicap first-timers Maoilin, Flagged and Sweet Molly Malone, but is proven on quick ground and will surely be suited by the step up in trip for this. She’s certainly better than she showed here last week when reportedly hanging right throughout. 

    Racing begins with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (4.15) and Ger Lyons’ Moony Beams might just be the one under Colin Keane after a fine debut effort here last month when he appeared to be very well-backed. He just lost out to the more experienced Celtic Times that day and is as entitled to improve as much as Pimlico and Don Julio. 

    Willie McCreery’s Bipartisanship readily gets the nod in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies & Mares Maiden (4.50). She had subsequent Naas winner Montego Bay just behind her when third to strong favourite Acanella on her debut over a mile here in mid-April and ran just as well when sixth in a fair contest behind another well-fancied Ger Lyons runner, Ebeneezer Perry, here last month. The selection drops back in distance for this. 

    A chance is taken that the Dermot Murphy-trained Sasvana can reach the frame at least on her seasonal reappearance in the RACE Academy Apprentice Handicap. Nikita Kane knows the four-year-old well and perhaps the partnership can build on a promising run at Dundalk in December where they were fourth behind Farnese. Both the second and third horses from that race were winners at the next time of asking. 

    Joseph O'Brien can land two of the other handicaps on the card. In the Leopardstown Golf Centre Handicap (6.20), his Sheer Chance makes a quick reappearance and is 7lbs ahead of the handicapper after taking the runner-up spot behind her own stable companion Mariesque in a maiden race at Gowran Park on Monday while Giustino is 14lbs “well-in” after his runaway success at Listowel on Saturday and is hard to oppose in the Leopardstown Handicap (7.20). 

    The concluding Sandymount Handicap (7.50) should be more competitive and towards the foot of the weights, Noel Meade’s Lunar Power might be fancied as he goes up in trip under Chris Hayes. He was certainly unlucky not to finish closer over 12 furlongs here a month ago and compensation might well await in this lesser race over three furlongs further. 

    Selections: 4.15 Moony Beams; 4.50 Bipartisanship; 5.20 Sasvana (E/W); 5.50 Lord Of The Lodge (NAP); 6.20 Sheer Chance; 6.50 Malaysian; 7.20 Giustino; 7.50 Lunar Power. 

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