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Sunday 22 April 2018

Mullins can land flat reward with Airlie Beach

Willie Mullins saddles Airlie Beach at Killarney today. Photo: Caroline Norris
Willie Mullins saddles Airlie Beach at Killarney today. Photo: Caroline Norris

Grade One winning mare Airlie Beach will make her debut on the flat for trainer Willie Mullins at Killarney this evening and looks a tough nut to crack in the Corcorans Furniture & Carpets Maiden.

Last December's Royal Bond Novice Hurdle winner enjoyed victory in the first seven of her 10 career starts to date but is now into her final months of racing as she is in foal to Mount Nelson and is set to be sold in foal by her current owners, Supreme Horse Racing Club.

In contesting the 1m 6f maiden this evening, Airlie Beach will be taking on her stable companion She's So Flawless and Dermot Weld's Alaykha. But if she turns up in anything like the form she showed over hurdles, Airlie Beach should prove too good and will appeal to many punters as long as she remains odds against.

Indeed, the Supreme Horse Racing Club would have every reason to be confident going to Killarney today as in the concluding bumper their colours will be carried by odds-on shot Galaxy Burg, the mount of Katie Walsh.

At Killarney on Monday evening, Walsh got the better of Mullins on the Peter Fahey-trained Laoch Liam but combined with the champion trainer in a similar ladies' contest at Roscommon last week and it's a partnership that can reap more rewards in a modest contest.

Of those with form, there is little to get excited about. Marble Moon would be the ob vious danger but Galaxy Burg was a €42,000 purchase a couple of years ago and should be able to make a winning start.

Wood Breizh is a horse that has proved somewhat disappointing in recent months and although looking to have a decent chance in the 2m6f handicap hurdle, the filly, Ask Susan, is preferred at a better price.

Ask Susan was a winner of a mares' race at Down Royal last month and subsequently posed no threat to the winner in her first handicap at Bellewstown.

But that experience would have done her the world of good. She looks like a runner that will be overpriced and has enough form in the book to suggest she can make a mark on this field.

Mullins sends a strong team to Killarney for their penultimate day of this July Meeting and Lagostovegas will be popular in the MC Group Handicap, with Pat Smullen booked to ride. However, Tony Martin's Prince Charmin is trusted to come back to winning ways here.

A two-time hurdle winner earlier in the year, he ran well at Ballinrobe over 1m5f last time and this further step up to 2m1f should bring about enough improvement to score here under the talented Oisin Orr.

Racing begins with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap, where Pandagreen gets a confident vote.

The daughter of Casamento was trainer Gavin Cromwell's first ever two-year-old winner when scoring at Leopardstown last year and having won at Leopardstown again in May, Pandagreen was unlucky not to follow that up at Down Royal in the Ulster Oaks.

The gaps just never really appeared for Wayne Lordan on that occasion and the pair can put that right this time around.

Meanwhile, Darley Irish Oaks winner Enable is likely to take on the fillies again on her next start with the Yorkshire Oaks preferred to a meeting with the colts in the King George at Royal Ascot.

The King George would see the dual Oaks winner meet older rivals and colts for the first time just two weeks after her win at the Curragh last Saturday.

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