This is a very weak maiden at Tramore and it won’t take much winning so a chance is taken with ARDERA CROSS (50/1) who was well backed on last start at Listowel where he finished 4th of the seven runners. The Eoin Doyle trained five year old was backed from 33/1 – 14/1 the last day and would have been much closer only for a couple of bad mistakes at crucial stages of the race. Hopefully the good ground will also be much more to his liking as it was like a bog at Listowel that day. He is still very lightly raced with just the three runs under his belt and looks a ridiculous price; well worth an each way at those odds. The booking of Donagh Meyler is also a big plus, probably the best five pound claimer in Ireland at the moment.
1 ARDERA CROSS – Ran way too freely at Listowel when last seen on heavy ground, running in snatches. Made a mistake at the third hurdle which cost him a few lengths and made another blunder at the second last. Still very lightly raced and was well supported last time out, so he looks too big a price to ignore today.
2 DOUBLE U DOT EDE’S – Still remains a maiden after ten runs and has shown no real hint of ability in Ireland to date. The former Lawney Hill trained horse has some decent enough place form in the UK and was second in a seller at Leicester in 2014 but still looks impossible to fancy here.
3 FIGURATIVE – Gigginstown House Stud have had a great week already and this looks the chief danger to the selection. Gordon Elliott landed a treble at Tipperary midweek and this horse hasn’t been seen since finishing a disappointing 10th at Thurles in January. Prior to that he had two fine seconds at Limerick which looks the standout form. The only concern is he has been off 8 months so might need the run.
4 FLASHING BATON – Was only beat three lengths at Downpatrick when third of the six runners last time out over the extended 2m 2f. If he can build on that promise he has a solid each way chance here. That was a major step forward and the cheekpieces remain on. Downpatrick is a very undulating sharp track just like Tramore so the track will suit.
5 HENRY HOWARD – The Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins combination will tempt many to back this horse but the simple fact is he is one of the stables’ lesser types. It’s not often Willie can’t get a win out of a horse and this eight year old has now gone ten runs without getting his head in front. Has some solid form and looks sure to be thereabouts but looks too short to get involved.
6 SLEMISH – Very satisfactory debut at Sligo in May when 4th to the 66/1 winner Luckey Seven, travelling extremely well throughout (traded 1.34 in running). Conditions were a little testing that day and with that run under his belt, he must stand every chance here with progress expected on second start.
7 VICTORUM – Beat nearly 40 lengths in a Clonmel bumper when last seen and needs to find huge improvement to take a hand. Blinkers go on for the very first time and they can liven up a horse but apart from that, there aren’t too many positives to speak of.
8 NULIFE – Ran on into third place in a Clonmel bumper in the hands of Nina Carberry for Denis Hogan last month. The Hogan’s have had a remarkable few months so any market move would be really interesting. Still low mileage and looks a likely improver in a very weak maiden.
9 TOBAR GEAL – Showed promise on debut at Cork when 9th of the 20 runners but has not progressed since. He was well beat at Roscommon soon after and was last of the ten runners at Downpatrick last month. A week later he finished down the field at Gowran Park and is hard to fancy.
10 ABBEY MAGIC – Nicely bred by Beneficial and showed plenty of zest on debut when third behind the Willie Mullins super mare Airlie Beach at Kilbeggan in July. That form has worked out extremely well. Ran a decent race when 4th here at Tramore last time out and looks sure to win a race of this nature in time.
11 TEMPLE SUPREME – This horse is having her first run for David O’Brien today after leaving Shane Donohue. A change of scenery can always spark a horse into life but it will have to for this lady. Hasn’t been seen since October 2015 when down the field and best watched here.
12 WHERES HANNAH – Formerly with Sandra Hughes and now having her first run for the O’Leary stable. Her run at Downpatrick last time out wasn’t all that bad, sixth of the twelve runners. She didn’t seem to handle the undulations too well so that will be a concern around Tramore too.
13 WHITBER’S CHOICE – Elizabeth Doyle trained six year old mare and looks sure to play a part in the finish. Disappointing run when a well beat 4th in a Clonmel bumper last time out, going off the 15/8 joint favourite. However, she was just behind Henry Howard when 3rd at Tramore on her second start and was also 2nd at Bellewstown in August. Likely contender.
14 DISSERTATION – Yet to finish in the top two from her fourteen starts to date but this is just her fourth start for Denis Hogan. Looks the type that will do better in handicap company in due time but she still has age on her side as she is a four year old. Best watched.
15 SENSE OF TIME – Well bred filly by Dylan Thomas but was tailed off at Listowel when last seen and there’s no reason anything better can be expected today. Still lightly raced and in good hands but impossible to fancy.