Carlingford Stakes Preview

Thu 15th Nov 2012, 19:35

Banna Boirche leads them home at Dundalk one more time
©Healy Racing Photos
Trainer Mick Halford feels Banna Boirche's fondness for Dundalk will stand him in good stead for the Carlingford Stakes on Friday night.

The six-year-old gelding has won eight times at the County Louth circuit, and was last seen staying on for third over this course and distance in October.

Halford said: "He's been a wonderful servant and this looks a lovely race.

"He was slowly away last time, but he's a horse you have to keep on the bridle for a long time so Shane (Foley) had to just creep into contention.

"He's run over this trip two times and just about gets it. He loves it at Dundalk so we'd be hoping for another big run."

Connections of Romantic Stroll are less convinced the three-year-old will stay the extended mile-and-a-quarter journey.

The Tommy Stack-trained filly claimed fourth place in a one-mile Listed affair last Friday, having previously won at Leopardstown in June.

Fozzy Stack, the County Tipperary handler's son and assistant, said: "We'd be delighted if she could finish in the first three.

"She was staying on last time, but you could argue the trip would be a slight concern. She's in very good form, though, so hopefully she'll run well."

Eight runners have been declared for the Carlingford, in which Jim Bolger is ably represented by the hat-trick-seeking Paene Magnus and Loreto, a winner at Listowel last time out.

Dermot Weld, successful in this race 12 months ago with Celebrity Sevi, saddles Starstruck, who was victorious here towards the end of October.

Jessie Jane, King's Trail and Muck 'N' Brass complete the line-up.

GRAND NATIONAL - The Northern Challenge

The Sue Smith-trained Auroras Encore was the last northern-trained horse to win the Grand National back in 2013 but recent victories for that part of the country have been thin on the ground since the likes of Lucius, Rubstic and Hallo Dandy in the late 70s early 80’s showed that steeplechasing was in a healthy state north of the Watford Gap with the likes of Gordon W Richards, Denys Smith, Arthur Stephenson, Peter Easterby and Jimmy Fitzgerald capable of holding their own against their southern and Irish counterparts.

THE IRISH TIMES