Wednesday 16 January 2019

Halford targeting Invincible success

Mick Halford is hopeful that his decision to bypass the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday with Invincible Ash will pay dividends at Leopardstown this evening, as the Dublin track hosts the first of its popular Bulmers Live Summer meetings.

The six-year-old filly, who was campaigned in Dubai earlier this year where she ran with great credit on all of her Meydan starts, heads the field in this evening's Group Three Ballyogan Sakes.

Her latest run was 99 days ago when she was only just behind JJ The Jet Plane and Halford is hopeful of a good showing tonight.

"I'm happy with her and she's got a good draw so we're expecting a good run from her," said the Kildare trainer.

"She had a nice break and has come back to herself well, so we're looking forward to getting her going again. We thought that this being a Group Three for fillies and mares, it was a good race for her.

"We thought we'd keep her at home then go to the Curragh on Derby weekend for the Sapphire Stakes as well." Jim Bolger has enjoyed a good start to this season, as has his former champion two-year-old Teofilo in his first year with runners as a stallion.

In the first race, a daughter of his, Rigoletta, could well be worth keeping on the right side of on her debut.

Indeed, Bolger could well be expected to claim the first two races on the card with another juvenile, Zip Top, expected to also make a winning debut in the famous Sheikh Mohammad colours.

Sharon Shannon and Damien Dempsey provide the after-racing entertainment this evening at 9pm, but the final race is an intriguing one too where the somewhat aptly named Notable Graduate is selected to complete his hat-trick for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen.

The Listed Nijinsky Stakes is a decent looking affair but after two impressive wins at odds on, Notable Graduate is expected to continue the sequence here.

Ruby Walsh is a somewhat surprising jockey booking at the meeting as he rides the Tony Martin-trained Salute Him in the Follow Leopardstown on Facebook Handicap, although with the burden of 10st 5lbs on his back, he may have to give too much weight away to Monday's Naas winner Leceile.

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