Racing

English raider not one to Cross

Gary Carson

THERE was a successful English raid on Laytown last year and Newmarket trainer Phil McEntee tries his luck on Thursday with a couple of runners on the beach.

His best chance looks to be with Swiss Cross in the amateur handicap and Katie Walsh is a positive booking.

The Cape Cross gelding has dropped a nice bit in the ratings this season, having been in the high nineties last year, but has shown he still retains plenty of ability this term with several decent performances. His most recent run at Wolverhampton was off this mark of 76 and he was absolutely flying home at the finish having missed the kick.

The fact that all his wins have come on all-weather surfaces or quick ground on the turf suggests the beach will hold no fear for him.

Strait Of Zanzibar turns out again having won a decent conditions race at Dundalk on Sunday and could go well under a 5lb penalty.

Ken Condon’s wife Pauline takes 5lb off, and she is a fine amateur, but it is a slight worry that she hasn’t had a competitive ride in over a year.

Champion amateur Patrick Mullins gets the leg up on Cash Or Casualty and he also won last time at Bellewstown. He may just be getting high enough in the weights now though with a 7lb rise for winning an ordinary looking race.

Shadow Catcher has fallen to an attractive mark on the level and is a decent horse on a going day but he hasn’t fired lately over fences, which is a worry.

There is further international interest in the claimer on the card with Jersey-based runner Herbalist in the line-up. He has been a consistent performer on the island and, although that form is hard to weigh up, the fact that his last English mark was 60 would give him a bit of a shout.

It might be safer to stick with one of the home team and Captain Midnight looks the pick for trainer John Feane. He has dropped a good bit in the ratings this year, but a couple of decent efforts, including when fourth at Limerick off a mark of 71, would make him hard to beat in this company.

Pershing looks to have found a nice opportunity to get his head in front in the maiden on the card while Acroleina looks to have a big chance back off her turf mark in the six furlong handicap.

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