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Inis Meain Listowel 21.09.2012

Inis Meain: 6-1 co-favourite with sponsors for the BetVictor Irish Lincoln

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Soft ground key to Inis Meain's Irish Lincoln bid

SOFTENING ground could be crucial to Inis Meain's chances of justifying co-favouritism in Sunday's BetVictor Irish Lincolnshire, the feature on the opening day of Ireland's Flat turf season at the Curragh.

The six-year-old has never won over shorter than 1m1f and has run over less than that trip only once, finishing last in a Dundalk claimer.

On Tuesday he featured among 30 who remain in contention for the €100,000 prize and was installed 6-1 co-market leader with the Dermot Weld-trained Tandem and Tom Dascombe-trained Anton Chigurh.

Inis Meain's trainer Denis Hogan said: "The trip is slightly on the short side, but the Curragh is a stiff mile and if the ground is soft it will hopefully make it stiffer again.

"We did think the mile and one at Listowel would be too sharp for him and he won that race. We haven't given up on his hurdling career though; we just want to get him some confidence back on the Flat."

The ground was soft on Tuesday, with further rain forecast before the Curragh's curtain-raiser, at which racegoers should also get the chance to view a team of Aidan O'Brien workers - the trainer having used the fixture as an away day for the past few years.

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