Toe could Pour on the pain for Radan
AN early start (1.20pm) means Gowran Park’s meeting will finish in time for punters to switch their attention to the Grand National, but not before the exciting Radanpour returns to action.
Dermot Weld’s four-year-old won his first three races, including a Listed affair at Leopardstown, but hasn’t been sighted since trailing home last in last season’s Irish Derby at the Curragh behind Jack Hobbs.
He reappears under Pat Smullen in the one-mile-six-furlong conditions races, tagged on at the end of the card almost as an afterthought.
Radanpour takes on three rivals, headed by a very good mare in Toe The Line, with jumpers Rich Coast and The Brock Inn making up the numbers.
Radanpour, rated 99, has to concede weight all round under a 7lb penalty and is no certainty over the 102-rated mare Toe The Line.
Her allowance sees her in receipt of 9lb from Radanpour and he shouldn’t beat her on these terms, but the Weld stable is in cracking early-season form and that might just hand an edge to Radanpour.
Weld’s The Moore Factor was only fourth when favourite at the Curragh but that was a warm contest, certainly more competitive than this afternoon’s seven-furlong colts’ and geldings’ maiden is likely to be, and he will be fancied to go very close.
Pacodali, beaten three lengths when fifth behind Embiran, might have come on a bit for that and could be considered a danger but Jim Bolger’s Ardmore was less than a length-and-a-half behind The Moore Factor in that Curragh race and he is the one to beat.
In the fillies’ maiden over the same trip, Weld introduces an interesting newcomer in Discipline, a full-sister to his popular former stable star Famous Name, so she certainly has plenty to live up to.
The Aidan O’Brien three-year-olds have hit the ground running and he saddles two of the four runners in the 12-furlong maiden. Pietro Testa was fifth in the Leopardstown maiden won by Kevin Prendergast’s Irish 2,000 Guineas hopeful Awtaad and that gives him the edge in experience over stablemate Three Star General.
But Weld saddlez newcomer Topaz Clear here, another well-related half-sister to a star performer in Forgotten Rules.
Niven handled testing conditions well to strike at Limerick on Thursday and makes a swift return under a 5lb penalty in the mile Thomastown Handicap where Newsman is the one to beat.
Oiche Mhaith Boy is another Limerick winner to turn out under penalty with Killian Leonard taking over from Thursday’s winning rider Kieren Fallon in the mile-and-a-half apprentice handicap.