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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Celtic Manor looks on the right course

By Johnny Ward
Fri 4 Sep 2020

The drying ground is a bit of a quandary for punters this weekend.

There has been a lot of rain in Ireland over the past week but recent days have been warm and dry. Keep an eye on going descriptions.

We are just a mere week away from Longines Irish Champions Weekend. It is going to be a meet to savour and this weekend’s action is not too shabby, either.

SATURDAY SELECTIONS:

2.40 Wexford: Dinny’s Ginny

Dinny’s Ginny represents a trainer, Declan Queally, who probably does not get enough credit for an exceptionally good strike-rate with his jumpers (16 per cent) given the quality of the horse he has.

His string remains in good form and Dinny's Ginny has a great chance here if reproducing the form she showed on her hurdling debut at Tramore in July.

That form has not worked out - and she herself has since suffered two heavy defeats - but back in distance with a hood tried, she should go close in a poor handicap.

2.55 Navan: Indiana Grey

Indiana Grey makes plenty of appeal. The Zebedee filly was beaten two lengths off a mark of 54 on the all-weather last year. After a nice run at Dundalk, she was eye-catching at Naas last time in a messy race where she finished strongly (watch above). She looks weighed to win, off 45, at a similar track now, her local one of Navan.

4.05 Navan: Celtic Manor

Celtic Manor’s two wins in a ten-race career were recorded for William Haggas last year.

Since he arrived in Ireland, his two runs at Navan have yielded two close thirds off a mark of 77; whereas his three runs elsewhere have ended in three unplaced efforts.

Returning to Navan and dropped to 73, he appeals very much as the type to offer a bit of value here and the ground is no concern.

5.40 Navan: Crescent Lake

Out of a two-year-old Listed winner and by Oasis Dream, Crescent Lake is bred to be decent, and he started off with a nice run, beaten 13 lengths, at the Curragh when seemingly stretched by the ten furlongs after running a bit keenly.

He is quite sharp out of the gates and could be hard to peg back in a really winnable maiden. The moderate second at the Curragh, Daylight Come, has since won his maiden.

SUNDAY SELECTION:

3.10 Ballinrobe: Famous Escape

She shaped much better than the bare result at Kilbeggan before demolishing her rivals in an ordinary course-and-distance mares’ maiden in July.

She then travelled well, without getting home, when beaten 11 lengths by Brogine on her handicap debut over an extended 3m1f last time. She gets an 11lb pull, is back among her own sex, drops to 2m6f and Rachael Blackmore takes over in the saddle.

I expect Famous Escape to tank through this and hopefully have enough left to finish the job off.

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