Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has two tips for today's racing, including a NAP at Listowel.
MAUD GONNE SPIRIT (best price 4-1) represents an outfit running at a 30% strike rate in the last fortnight (19 winners from 65 runners) and Jessica Harrington’s mare could well turn out to be another off the production line from the bang-in-form Moone handler.
Returning to form with a bang at the Galway Festival, the daughter of Intello seemed to really appreciate reverting back to being held up for a late run over seven-furlongs and since that victory back in July she has gone on to finish runner-up twice under similar tactics. Her latest of those two performances saw her come from the rear of the pack to chase home Geometrical at Tipperary and with the time figure of the race extremely healthy for a small field and the grade, it’s clear she remains in fine spirits. Well drawn and racing off the same mark as she did 26 days ago, the four-year-old chestnut rates a solid each-way play at the morning odds.
ROCA ROMA (NAP) (best price 9-4) has always been held in the highest regard by her connections and following a cracking effort in a hugely-competitive Group 3 at Tipperary last time out, Ger Lyons’ filly can go a long way to justify those aspirations.
A convincing winner over a decent field at Killarney two starts ago, the first-time tongue-tie clearly had the desired effect and with connections dead-set in trying to obtain some all-important black type for their mare while clearly in the rudest of health, she was sent to the Co Limerick venue to see whether she could deliver the goods. Not well drawn in stall 13, the daughter of Australia was held up by design with a view to striking towards the latter part of the contest and although she managed to pull off her part of the bargain in the home straight, she couldn’t quite get on terms with the more prominently-ridden Pearl Galore. She did, however, cover the last four furlongs in the quickest time of the entire field and with the form subsequently upheld by the winner in Group 1 company next time, it would be a major shock if this talented four-year-old failed to hit the target in a race that looks well within her compass based on recent evidence.