Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: It's time to enjoy Whiskey Sour at Cork

By Johnny Ward
Sat 20 Apr 2019

Before we get to some top-class National Hunt racing at the weekend, it must be pointed out just how slick the new Curragh is.

Journalists were shuttled around the track, which reopens next month, on Wednesday and one could not but be impressed.

Underground heating is a feature to keep racegoers warm when it gets cold and the corporate boxes are top-class.

Fairyhouse has had to monitor the ground ahead of the Boylesports Irish Grand National on Monday.

The dry spell continues and the test could hardly be more different to last year’s slog.

Saturday selection:

1.55 Cork: Isotope

Isotope goes close on his latest start

Ran into a really well-treated horse in Cuban Hope when touched off at Dundalk last month.

While this colt has been a bit of a slow burner, he looks well-treated on the evidence of that run, and he seems to have an excellent attitude.

The Names Jock won nicely here last time but being drawn 17 is not much use and Joseph O'Brien's charge is preferred.

Sunday selections:

2.10 Cork: Westernerona

Westernerona was purchased for buttons in late 2015 and now looks a very shrewd acquisition.

The daughter of Westerner is trained by the excellent Garrett Power, who spent time with Joe Crowley, and shaped really well on debut when second, 17 lengths clear of the third, here recently.

She has an experience edge over Sassy Yet Classy, whose trained provided the winner on that occasion, and it is likely she will be hard to beat.

2.50 Fairyhouse: Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle missed out on the mares' novice hurdle at Cheltenham –you would have to think she would have won the way it panned out – but she will be all the fresher here with the trip to suit.

She is going to make a better chaser presuming connections go that route but she is a really smart hurdler and usually has her races won by the second-last. This is tough but she has it in her.

3.40 Cork: Crossed My Mind

Crossed My Mind must be Arthur Moore's top horse at the moment, though the wily trainer has probably been a little frustrated by him.

He was touched off over fences last time and has essentially been a little disappointing since winning a maiden hurdle more than two years ago but this looks a nice opportunity.

4.15 Cork: Whiskey Sour

A compelling little heat, with Campeador back over hurdles and joined by former Galway Hurdle hero Tigris River, with it hard to know which of the pair will be more fancied.

It is likely they will all struggle to beat Whiskey Sour, who is a rare ride at this level for amateur Aubrey McMahon, who claims 7lb.

McMahon is no Ruby Walsh but he is perfectly competent and this is a pretty straightforward ride.

Whiskey Sour has plenty of toe, as he has shown on the Flat, and he should have too much pace for these, with Lac Kivu, his stablemate, admittedly an interesting alternative.

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