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Hogan tries to exploit Flat mark with classy Inis Meain
CLOUGHJORDAN trainer/jockey Denis Hogan has decided to bring his 117-rated hurdler Inis Meain on a short journey across the Premier County to Tipperary on Thursday evening for the 1m4f handicap (8.30) as he attempts to exploit a lenient Flat mark.
After winning a Thurles maiden hurdle by 11l last February and holding his own in novice company behind the talented Lord Windermere, the handicapper slapped a mark of 130 on Inis Meain but he has only been seen once on the Flat and runs off a mark of just 47, 70lb lower than his hurdles one.
But breaking his duck on the Flat mightn’t be as straightforward as it sounds as the Paul Deegan-trained Filatore and Tin Town Boy from the Harry Rogers stable both deserve strong consideration.
Hogan also holds a strong hand in the Events At Tipperary Rated Handicap (7.30pm) as he is represented by Norah Starr, twice a winner over shorter trips but returns from a break having been banned for 60 days following a stewards inquiry into her running and riding when she finished seventh in a 1m3f handicap at Limerick in March.
Speaking about her chances, Hogan said: “She’s in good order but it's her first race for three months and I’d imagine she will improve for the run. Testing ground won't be ideal.”
One that won’t mind the ground is Leblon and John O’Shea is confident she will be involved at the business end of proceedings.
He said: “She had a bad fall at Kilbeggan last month and we're running her back mainly as a confidence booster. The ground won't be a problem and should actually help her. She has run well fresh in the past and I won't be surprised if she is in the shake up.”
Denis Cullen is also hoping for a bold showing from Total Reality. He said: “He ran well last time when third over a slightly shorter trip at Navan. The ground was heavy that day, so conditions shouldn't be a problem. If he produces the same sort of run he should go close.”
Stocktons Wing has struck a rich vein of form recently and chases a hat-trick in the concluding Follow Tipperary On Facebook Rated Race (9.00pm) for Christy Roche and Fran Berry.
The opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden (6.00pm) looks a match between the Aidan O’Brien-trained Parliament Square and Scream Blue Murder from the Tommy Stack stable, with slight preference for the latter who looked a high-class recruit when chasing home Cristoforo Colombo at Navan on her debut at Navan.
The seven-race card begins at 6.00pm and the going is soft, soft to heavy in places on the round course and soft on the sprint course.