herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Murtagh looking to bag a perfect six

Johnny Murtagh (pictured right) showed his delight to get on the scoreboard at Royal Ascot on Tuesday and afterwards he spoke in glowing terms about the book of rides he has to look forward to at the final day of the meeting on Saturday.

Murtagh wasn't at the Royal meeting today, however, as he is at the second of Leopardstown's Bulmers Live Summer meetings at which he could enjoy quite a profitable night.

The Meath rider will team up with his current boss, John Oxx, at Leopardstown this evening for three very enviable rides in the opening three races and there was no way he would have wanted to miss tonight's rides.

There are only 57 runners at the meeting tonight but Murtagh's book of rides is an eye-catching one and he holds strong claims on all six of his intended mounts.

The first comes in the two-year-old maiden over six furlongs where newcomer Rubina is a tentative selection to hold off another newcomer Dahama Spirit, from the Kevin Prendergast yard, and Aidan O'Brien's Foot Soldier, who was fourth on his debut.

In the opening fillies maiden, two-time juvenile runner-up Narjawa is selected to score on her first outing this season and possibly provide a quick-fire double for the Oxx and Murtagh combination.

Only four runners go to post for the Growise Handicap for three-year-olds and here Murtagh's mount, Creekside, is the only one not to have won last time out. Despite that, and the fact that Creekside has to concede 11lbs, 15lbs and 20lbs to his rivals, he may still have enough in the locker to return to winning ways.

Tonight's feature race is the Glencairn Stakes where little separates Hen Night and Wild Wind. But given the allowances, Aidan O'Brien's Wild Wind gets the nod over the likes of Hen Night and Murtagh's mount Future Generation, who was a winner last time for Ger Lyons.

That team of Murtagh and Lyons may well team up to good effect for yet another occasion with the extra tough Casbah Rock.

The four-time winner of his last six starts, Casbah Rock returns under a mandatory penalty for his Navan win six days ago and although his run of top form will have to end at some stage, it's unlikely to be tonight.

Another to return quickly under a mandatory penalty is Ted Dolly, who won on Sunday having finished fourth on Saturday, and reappears here under Murtagh for trainer Joanna Morgan in the Undertones Handicap.

However, it's Spin Of A Coin that caught the eye here last week for Eddie Lynam who gets the nod in the penultimate race of the evening.

In the last Tornedo Shay is the selection, but Johnny McGeeney is unlikely to be far away.

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