Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

McDonogh holds all the aces at Down Royal

Declan McDonogh, who is in tremendous form these days, should follow up a treble at Roscommon on Monday by landing a double at Down Royal tonight.

McDonogh was riding for his boss Kevin Prendergast when bagging that treble, which produced odds of 428-1.

There will be nothing like those odds this time when McDonogh partners Prendergast’s No Give Away in the TM Lewin ‘It’s The Business’ Claiming Race and Blue Cannon for the same yard in the Lunns The Jewellers Diamond Nursery Handicap.

Andy Oliver, who is based at Caledon, has Another Footstep — having only his second outing — in the claimer and will have Aussie Keegan Latham in the saddle.

Oliver also has Just On Fire in the nursery but will be hard pushed to cope with Blue Cannon.

The big race of the evening, Her Majesty’s Plate, looks like landing in the lap of Jim Bolger’s Myrine, an easy 10-lengths winner at Wexford last time out from Easy Mate, having the result sown up a long way out.

Strabane trainer Mervyn Torrens has hopes of his Quartetto who ran in the Cheltenham Bumper last March and while Latham takes the mount, the trainer is not renowned for winners on the Flat.

Prendergast has a chance in the big event with Knight Eagle, especially as this one was also a winner last time out, but will be hard pressed to account for Myrine.

Powerful Presence, from Dermot Weld’s powerful stable, was never a factor in his last outing but makes the trip north for the Cruise Handicap.

Jockey Fran Berry and trainer John Oxx will be keen to see how Natalisa handles the stalls in the opening House of Fraser Maiden race.

Natalisa got upset in the stalls when favourite at Naas over the minimum trip, and after being headed two out, faded away tamely to finish 12th of 13.

Pat Smullen can ride My Blue Heaven to victory for Peter Casey in the final race, the Victoria Square Irresistible Handicap.

After tonight, attention will turn to the Down Royal Festival on November 5 and 6.

TONIGHT’S DOWN ROYAL SELECTIONS: 4.10 Natalisa, 4.40 No Give Away, 5.10 Blue Cannon, 5.40 Powerful Presence, 6.10 Myrine, 6.40 Man of Aran, 7.10 My Blue Heaven.

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