TEMPLEMICHAEL (best price 9-1) was going strongly enough before tipping up to suggest he would have played a major role in the outcome to a similar contest at the last meeting and he’s worth another punt to see whether that viewpoint stands the test here this afternoon. Strongly fancied that day, supporters of the Turtle Island must have felt on good terms the way things were going as the runners headed down the back straight but no sooner as they were licking their lips with anticipation, out crashed the eight-year-old at the fourth from home. Prior to that untimely exit, David Budds’ inmate has intimated a victory was just around the corner with an excellent effort behind Magnetic Force at Wexford and with the hood and tongue-tie combination on again, there’s reason to be hopefully that another solid performance is in the offing.
Although QUEEN KHALEESI (best price 6-1) has failed to win in nine attempts, her recent performances suggest connections shouldn’t have to wait too much longer and today’s examination she be well within her range based on her current wellbeing. Third in a well-run mares handicap on the first day of the Listowel Festival, the daughter of Kalinisi backed up that sound effort with another positive display six days later and once again the time figure in defeat suggested she’d run to a pretty decent standard. Clearly gelling well with crack conditional Adam Short, the partnership has another chance to flourish this afternoon and Patrick Neville’s inmate makes plenty of each-way appeal at her morning odds.
The potentially well-handicap Swingbridge is bound to be popular in his bid to rack up a four-timer, but I WILL FOLLOW (best price 15-2) is in cracking form himself and will prove no pushover for the favourite if he runs to the level he has been of late. Since the tongue-tie has been fitted on Martin Brassil’s inmate, the five-year-old has really turned the corner and following a promising effort when runner-up to Ted Bach at Roscommon, he duly got off the mark on his next outing at Wexford. Although he couldn’t quite manage to follow up on his latest start at Listowel, there was certainly no disgrace in chasing home the useful and in-form mare Gold Smoke – who’s capable of some very smart numbers – and a repeat of that level of form should ensure the daughter of Bonbon Rose hits the frame at the very least.