DUCKY MALLON (best price 14/1)
has for a long time suggested he’s capable of landing a race of this nature and having run two encouraging races on ground that wouldn’t have played into his strengths (fast ground form reads 43122), the son of Jeremy now gets the chance to have his day in the sun under his optimum conditions. Just touched off by Dark Alliance in a similar race over C&D this time last season that performance, creditable though it was, deserves to be upgraded even further on account of his poor draw and his propensity to take a keen grip in the early stages. Although Donal Kinsella’s inmate has failed to build on that effort subsequently, his two runs this campaign have been full of promise, and if he can get some cover from his favourable high draw up against the stands side rail, a massive run looks on the cards from this likable grey.
Similarly to the main selection, his old rival DARK ALLIANCE (best price 8/1)
has run all his best races in big-field, strong run affairs over six furlongs and although he’s a bit of a hostage-to-fortune character, he has far too much talent to be totally ignored. His latest performances when bang on the scene in some of the best sprint handicaps run at Dundalk during their all-weather campaign suggest Micky Halford’s charge is holding his form admirably and from his decent double-figure draw, the Dark Angel gelding is expected to make his presence felt.