Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

The odds take a tumble as McCoy sets out his stall

Class act: Tony McCoy rides favourite Alderwood in Galway feature
Class act: Tony McCoy rides favourite Alderwood in Galway feature

Campion owner JP McManus won last year's tote.com Galway Plate with Carlingford Lough and is again mob-handed in the €200,000 feature. But Art Of Logistics can defy stamina fears to triumph under Mark Enright.

In 2013, Tony McCoy's chosen mount needed the 11th hour withdrawal of McManus' Like Your Style to finally be granted the chance to justify strong favouritism, which the partnership duly did in thrilling fashion.

There is likely to be no such drama this time, as Ulster great McCoy has opted for the dual Cheltenham Festival victor Alderwood, whose trainer Tom Mullins saddled Bob Lingo to win the Plate for McManus in 2012.

With McManus' Kid Cassidy – now in the care of Christy Roche – lining out under Jody McGarvey, Alderwood is spared the burden of top-weight.

Alderwood was a 16/1 shot prior to being confirmed yesterday as the one of McManus' seven runners that McCoy would ride.

Once the final declarations emerged, he was slashed to as low as 6/1 clear market leader. Suffice to say that he is fancied.

Others that the relentless 19-time champion jockey has eschewed include Charlie Longsdon's Vulcanite and Jonjo O'Neill's It's A Gimme and Rum And Butter, an in-form trio that are part of five-strong raiding party that is by far the most potent cross-channel delegation to grace the prestigious 145-year-old handicap of late.

Enda Bolger's Quantitativeeasing and John Kiely's Wise Old Owl both have another stab at the race after finishing second for McManus in the past, while Cheltenham heroes Jim Culloty, Davy Russell and Spring Heeled form a live threat.

Art Of Logistics and the Irish Grand National runner-up Golden Wonder will strive to give Dessie Hughes a first win, with another Irish National second Away We Go one of three on duty for Willie Mullins.

Jonathan Burke, a rising star whose father Liam sent out Sir Frederick to plunder a famous Plate win in 2007, rides Mullins' Balnaslow in a 22-runner quality edition of the race.

Alderwood is a good ground specialist that might still improve for this step up in trip.

But Art Of Logistics is a progressive individual that will relish the ground.

The fear with him is the trip, as his two efforts over similar distances to date have been inconclusive. But he can win this one.

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