Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

O'Briens set for Down Royal success

Go Joe: Joseph O’Brien, winning last night’s Leopardstown feature on Gleneagles, has a cracking book of rides at Down Royal
Go Joe: Joseph O’Brien, winning last night’s Leopardstown feature on Gleneagles, has a cracking book of rides at Down Royal

Father and son duo of Irish champion trainer Aidan O'Brien and champion jockey Joseph can combine for success with Shell House at Down Royal this evening.

Shell House has an ideal opportunity to follow up success at Naas last time in tonight's Magners Irish Cider Handicap for fillies.

Snow Scene, from Ger Lyons in-form stable and runner-up at the venue on Derby day, looks the danger while Dundalk-based Harry Rogers is another trainer in top form and has claims with Byron Beauty.

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien – the pair won last night's Leopardstown feature, the Group Three Japanese Racing Authority Tyros Stakes, with Gleneagles – can double up in the feature Her Majesty's Plate which is the last race but has a disappointing turnout of just three runners.

El Salvador can complete a hat-trick for the Ballydoyle team with the champion jockey taking over from his sister Sarah who has been aboard the horse for his last two victories.

The father and son duo won the race in 2012 with Chicago while El Salvador finished second to Pique Sous at Royal Ascot over two and a half miles in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Manalapan was an excellent runner-up to Pale Mimosa at Leopardstown and rated superior to the selection while Sir Ector, trained by Armagh-based James Lambe, is the 2013 Ulster Derby winner at the course.

Magheralin trainer Lee Smyth will be hoping to add to his tally of recent success with Kano's Ghirl in the opening Magners Light sprint having had reopposing pair Suburban Sky in fourth and Shinyhappyjohn fifth when scoring at Navan last time.

Manny Owens gets the vote in the two year old maiden with Enter The Priory and Alfie's Word the notable newcomers.

Intisaab finished third on his Naas debut a month ago, is sure to improve and looks the likely favourite in the Magners maiden.

However Texas Rock is preferred.

Local handler Lee Smyth is represented in the Now Is A Good Time Handicap by joint top weights Cheers Buddy and Norville, the pair winners on their penultimate starts at Dundalk and Down Royal respectively and the latter again partnered by Pat Smullen.

But the locally-owned Boughtforasong gets the nod.

County Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver has Spring Focus and Crown Of Aragon engaged in the Apple Orchard Handicap.

Spring Focus has Kevin Manning aboard with the pair having recorded success at Leopardstown earlier this month and taken to score again.

TONIGHT'S TIPS: 5.55 Kano's Ghirl 6.25 Manny Owens 6.55 Texas Rock 7.25 Boughtforasong 7.55 Shell House 8.25 Spring Focus 9.00 El Salvador

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