Belfast Telegraph

Down Royal: O'Brien brothers will look to Linger for big success


Family ties: Joseph O’Brien, left, and brother Donnacha can combine for glory at Down Royal
Family ties: Joseph O’Brien, left, and brother Donnacha can combine for glory at Down Royal

By Ron McKnight

The forecast of heavy rain overnight could alter the going drastically and adversely affect runners seeking a faster surface on the flat at Down Royal today.

The Ulster Cesarewitch features on the card but surprisingly is the last race.

Joseph O'Brien's Linger - a dual winner at the Galway Festival ­- gets the vote.

The trainer's brother Donnacha is aboard the selection.

The Jessica Harrington-trained duo Conron and Building Bridges, along with Upgraded, look the dangers.

The last named was behind Linger at Galway on his second effort at Ballybrit but had Conron in third when winning at the festival.

The enigmatic Hurricane Sky could figure if putting in his best effort while El Tren has place prospects.

O'Brien can also claim the opening fillies maiden with a pair engaged and his brother opting for Lady Penelope - placed in both starts to date.

Debutantes Musical Rue and Mutiny are the threats to O'Brien's runner.

The EBF maiden is the most valuable contest on the card.

Champion jockey Colin Keane is an eye-catching booking for Strong Johnson, trained by Kieran Cotter, who is also represented by Anthonysoprano, while the Johnny Murtagh-trained Cruella Dovil, with placed form including at the course, looks the likely favourite in the race.

The Dot Love-trained Natural Power holds The Truant on Galway form - the pair second and fifth in a decent event.

See The Eagle Fly, Ivy Avenue and Turbo Command are the notable newcomers with the last named the possible danger to the selection.

Cap D'antibes, despite carrying top weight, gets the vote in the nursery.

St George's Head, Elector, Mia Figilia and Golden Glow all have each way prospects.

TODAY'S TOP DOWN ROYAL TIPS: 1.40 Lady Penelope 2.15 Strong Johnson 2.50 Natural Power 3.25 Cap D'antibes 4.00 Wild Shot 4.35 Aasleagh Fawn 5.10 Mountain Fox 5.45 Linger

•The opener at Down Royal last night got favourite backers off on the right foot when the Noel Meade-trained Laura Bullion, partnered by Sean Flanagan, scored easily to deny the locally-trained runner-up Khanmurjan.

Jessica Harrington - also on the scoreboard at the Curragh - saw Echo Park make a winning debut over hurdles under Robbie Power in the mares hurdle.

Power said: "There's a lot of improvement to come."

The experienced Power quickly doubled up in the handicap hurdle on Bective Cave.

Belfast Telegraph


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