Despite the counter attraction of the Waterford versus Tipperary All-Ireland Hurling final, all eyes will be firmly focused on Tramore this weekend for the concluding stages of the Graun Hill venue’s four-day festival.
On Saturday, there’s an all flat card with proceedings getting under way at 5. 20 pm and Drunken Sailor stands out in the R McDonald & Sons Handicap for three-year-olds’.
The Paul Flynn-trained Drunken Sailor has developed into a most consistent sort this season winning two races and the Tendulkar-sired gelding posted a most commendable effort on his most recent start when finishing second to Miranda’s Girl in a seven furlong handicap at last month’s Galway festival. Ultimately beaten some four lengths on that occasion, Drunken Sailor should revert to triumphant ways here by excelling from Jettymarc.
Art Modern looks the part in the WLR FM Handicap over a mile and a half. Art Modern, trained by the in-form ‘Shark’ Hanlon, posted a most commendable effort on his most recent start in a 10-furlong claiming race at Sligo in late June when beaten just a neck into second place by Muskatsturm.
The Shaun Harley-trained Muskatsturm has since developed into a most admirable sort and it’s worth recalling that he was in receipt of all of seven lbs from Art Modern at the Cleveragh venue. Taking all of this into consideration, it will come as a major surprise if Art Modern doesn’t return to the coveted number one slot here at the expense of Spanish Parade.
Mountain Snow, whilst burdened with top-weight, will prove hard to beat in the Madra Dog Foods Handicap. On his most recent foray, Mountain Snow was beaten some two and a half lengths into second spot by My Valley in a two mile handicap at the Galway festival, having previous sluiced home over a furlong further at Killarney in July. Mountain Snow is clearly a formidable long-distance flat handicapper and the gelded son of Barathea should have most to fear from Mythical Prince here.
Carlesimo is enjoying a resurgence in fortunes this summer and Noel Meade’s admirable 10-year-old should attain his third straight success, following two recent victories at Wexford, by proving marginally superior to Dalwich in the opening Tote Price Promise Claiming Race whilst Moonlight Sapphire is likely to excel from Rayina in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden.
Annie’s Dream has developed into a quite consistent mare for handler Lawrence Walshe and the six-year-old can avenge her narrow defeat at Wexford last Friday by showing a clean pair of heels to Strolling Home in the Newbridge Silverware Handicap and ‘Shark’ Hanlon’s recent Galway festival winner Truckers Delight should prove capable of dismissing Shanghai Star in the Watch Irish Racing On Betfair (QR) Maiden.
On Sunday, the Tramore card is an all national hunt one (2.35 pm start) and Rosaker is put forward as the best bet of the entire afternoon in the Killone Estates Chase.
The Noel Meade-trained Rosaker was formerly a near top-class staying hurdler and the 11-year-old made a belated winning debut over fences when collecting a three mile one furlong beginners chase at Kilbeggan in late June. That display earned Rosaker a steeplechase rating of 116 and he’s taken to show a clean pair of heels to Charlies First here.
Fortune Seeker will surely go close in the Tramore Amusement Park (Mares) Handicap Hurdle. The Brian Moran-trained Fortune Seeker has won her two most recent starts at Killarney and Ballinrobe. Indeed, she was particularly impressive when winning a two and a half mile handicap hurdle at Ballinrobe by seven lengths in late July. That performance earned Fortune Seeker an eight lb raise to a new mark of 105 and she’s likely to complete a quick hat-trick here by getting the better of Conker Nails.
Elaine’s Twinkle is definitely the one for the ‘getting-out stakes’ in the Tramore Supporters Club (Mares) Flat Race.
On her most recent start, the Philip Fenton-trained Elaine’s Twinkle was only beaten a length by Drama Queen in a two and a half mile mares’ bumper at Limerick in late July. The drop down in trip to two miles is unlikely to inconvenience Elaine’s Twinkle, who will be representing a new owner in Barry Connell, and she’s recommended to dispense with Twelfth Of Never.
The Boxer Coffey, whilst not a true betting medium, should get his turn by proving marginally superior to Cruising Katie in the Tote Jackpot Races 3 to 6 Maiden Hurdle whilst Kevin O’Brien’s Fingers can put his previous experience of this course to good use by defeating Glenquin Castle in the Aer Arann (QR) Maiden Hurdle.
Christy Roche’s Care And Share is the clear form choice in the Noel Cummins Bookmaker Handicap Chase, an event that may also concern the out of form Maree Prince and Clear Riposte could make a triumphant return to the fray by excelling from the ultra-consistent Ah Ya Boy Ya in the Waterford & Tramore Directors Beginners Chase.
There’s also racing at Leopardstown on Sunday and the Group 2 Ballygallon Stud Debutante Stakes from last Sunday’s abandoned Curragh card has been transferred to this meeting. It’s safe to say that Cuis Ghaire is the clear class act in this seven furlong contest.
The Jim Bolger-trained Cuis Ghaire provided her canny handler with the first of his two Royal Ascot victories this year when bravely triumphing in the Group 2 Albany Stakes over six furlongs. Admittedly the ‘wheels came off the bike’ as such on Cuis Ghaire’s most recent start when she was comprehensively beaten into second place by Aidan O’Brien’s colt Rip Van Winkle in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes at this same venue in late July. Back against her own sex here, Cuis Ghaire should regain the winning thread by proving marginally superior to Oui Say Oui.
The unexposed Zulu Chief looks the part in the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes. Zulu Chief has had just two starts to date for Aidan O’Brien and he never even remotely came out of second gear when sluicing home by 20 lengths on his most recent outing in a 10-furlong Naas maiden in early July.
Of course, this event will reflect a mammoth step up in class for Zulu Chief, a half-brother to O’Brien’s former outstanding Group 1 winner Hawk Wing, and he’s likely to see off Lancashire Oaks runner-up Ezima here.
John Oxx’s filly Age Of Chivalry will surely herald her arrival as a top-flight sprinter by collecting the Group 3 Patrick P O’Leary Memorial Phoenix Sprint Stakes.
On her most recent outing, Age Of Chivalry went down fighting when finishing an excellent fourth to last year’s Royal Ascot winner Elletelle in a six furlong fillies’ listed race at The Curragh on July 27th. The likelihood is that Age Of Chivalry will have most to fear from Benbaun.
Dermot Weld’s Cnocan Gold should put her experience to a positive use by disposing of Marquesa in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders’ Fund (Fillies) Maiden whilst Capt Chaos should make his mark at Group 3 level for trainer Eddie Lynam by seeing off Soldier Of Fortune’s half-sister Ard Fheis in the Desmond Stakes over a mile.