Irish Eyes: Weld wagers
Our Irish Eyes column previews today's action at Gowran and Limerick with two of Dermot Weld's well fancied.
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The €50,000 Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes is the feature race on a decent Sunday card at Gowran Park and the in-form Dermot Weld is the trainer to follow in the race, as he seeks a fourth win in just seven years.
Regular readers of Irish Eyes might recall that Weld’s Caponata was a winning nap for this column on the same day last year and this time around, I’m Yours gets the next best vote in the big one.
As the only three-year-old in the field, I’m Yours is in receipt of a stone from every one of her challengers, with the exception of Euphrasia who has to give Weld’s filly 17lb on account of her Group 3 win last season.
I’m Yours was a decent juvenile, winning her second start and whilst she disappointed some when only managing fourth as 2/1 favourite in the Listed Salsabil Stakes two weeks ago, the handicapper obviously wasn’t one of them, as he raised her two pounds for that run!
She was entitled to get a bit tired that day, the way the race panned out and a reproduction of that effort here, given her generous weight allowance should see her go close and consequently she gets the next best vote.
Weld's team have been hitting the high notes as far back as Cheltenham and his fine run continued with two winners from three runners at Limerick yesterday.
Whether or not the Master of Rosewell House is a big Tanita Tikaram fan or not, remains to be seen, but his ‘Good Tradition’ in the concluding maiden appeals as the nap of the day to fill the number one spot!
Good Tradition had one run in a backend maiden at Navan last year, where he finished fifth, and that race has thrown up conflicting form lines.
The second and fourth have since won but the third was overturned at odds-on next time out and the winner (Ebasani) disappointed when finishing sixth in the Ballysax two weeks ago, albeit he was stepping up in class significantly.
This maiden is not a weak race by any standards and in order to win he will have to defeat inmates from the O’Brien, Bolger, Oxx and Ger Lyons yards, amongst others and there seems to be a certain amount of confidence behind some of their runners, particularly the latter two.
However, Good Tradition has been working very well and is expected to leave his debut performance behind here today.
One weakness that some might justifiably point to is whether or not a son of the speedy Pivotal will see out the nine-and-a-half furlong trip today.
However, Good Tradition is a half-brother to the former Weld-trained Relaxed Gesture who was second in a Derby Trial behind Yeats before going on to win a 12-furlong Grade One in Canada.
Furthermore, another half-brother, who is also by a speed influence in Cadeaux Generaux, won over 12 furlongs (and even 2 miles over hurdles) whilst a full brother to Good Tradition, Hit The Jackpot, won just last Thursday at Beverley over 10 furlongs by nine lengths.
Therefore, stamina should not be an issue – the only issue is whether or not he has improved from his debut and the word from the Weld camp strongly suggests that he has.
Limerick hold a competitive afternoon of National Hunt racing with over €71,000 up for grabs.
The Charles Byrnes-trained Lord Adare was a close contender for nap of the day after he followed up his bumper win here with a good second, again at Limerick, on his hurdling debut last month.
He would have got the nap vote too, were it not for his exhibition of wayward tendencies and his jink last time out cost him the race. All things considered though, he really should make amends today but he is likely to trade plenty short.
We turn to the 3m handicap hurdle for the each-way selection which falls on West Of The Edge.
James Dunlea’s charge may seem an odd selection in that he has yet to win a race in twelve starts and he finished well beaten as favourite on his latest appearance. However, he was reported ‘stiff’ post-race at Cork and he has been given a month to get over that experience.
Prior to that he posted a career-best when chasing home Tooreen over this trip at Clonmel. Tooreen was evidently very well handicapped that day on a mark of 93, having since dotted up off a revised mark of twelve pounds higher.
The horse behind West Of The Edge, Allez Vic, also won later that month so the Clonmel race has a real good look about it, particularly in the context of this event. West Of The Edge should go well here at a decent price.
Nap: Good Tradition, 5.05 Gowran Park
Next Best: I’m Yours, 3.35 Gowran Park
Each-Way: West Of The Edge, 3.50 Limerick.