Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Malone Road set for one-way traffic

By Johnny Ward
Fri 16 Nov 2018

As I type here in Ireland's capital in a T-shirt, it seems staggering that it is mid-November, with temperatures not uncommon on a mild summer's day in the Green Isle.

This has long been a source of frustration for those who have horses who need soft ground and, sadly, I believe it will prevent an incredible match-up between Samcro and Faugheen on Sunday.

We can only hope both turn up, but Gordon Elliott has already pulled Shattered Love out of action this week, and he will not risk Samcro unless he is certain the ground is safe.

Otherwise, we have some interesting races over the weekend.

Saturday selections:

1.10 Punchestown: Voix Du Reve at 7-4

Cadmium has the assistance of Ruby Walsh here but it’s likely there is little between him and Voix Du Reve, who was impressive at Galway when slamming Mind’s Eye.

He’s not the biggest but is an excellent jumper and he could be hard to pass here in a cracking race. He has a high cruising speed and is able to jump nimbly.

2.55 Punchestown: Acclamatio at 5-1

Tony Martin’s string has hit form and this son of Acclamation bolted up on the Flat last time, rendering him well-in now hurdling.

He is a typical hold-up horse from the yard, the type suited to Robbie Colgan, who rode at Tipperary last time.

Granted, with Due Reward and Paris Texas at the top of the weights, this is a tough race, one dominated by young horses.

Sunday selections:

1.20 Cork: Clementina

Walk In The Park, the sire, was hugely in vogue when Douvan and Min came along, though he has since produced little else of note in Ireland.

Clementina may be able to provide the sire with a winner here for Martin.

Rider Eoin O'Connell is an excellent asset in a race like this and it is eye-catching that the mare ran so well behind the useful Us And Them in a maiden hurdle 12 months ago at this venue. Her Galway Festival effort represents excellent form.

3.40pm Cork: Macs Legend

This is an intriguing hunter chase to close the card, with Alpha Male returning for his first run since landing some nice bets at the Punchestown Festival.

Quite useful when trained in Britain, he hacked up at Punchestown, but that was a nothing race and previous evidence casts doubts about his stamina here, whereas Macs Legend is an assured stayer.

He looks the value to cause an upset, his rider taking off a valuable 5lb.

3.55pm Punchestown: Malone Road

This looks a potential clash between Malone Road and Mount Leinster, with the former readily preferred. Given that he won a point, the speed he showed when scooting clear at Down Royal was sensational.

He looks exciting and it will likely take quite a performance to beat him, regardless of how this race is run.

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