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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Six to keep an eye on during Monday's bank holiday action in Ireland

Michael O'Callaghan and Pat Smullen team up at the Curragh on Sunday with exciting two-year-old I Am Power
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I Am Power

3.25 Curragh: Eleanor Comer Memorial Race (6f)

Michael O'Callaghan has proven himself more than capable of preparing a two-year-old and there was plenty to like about the winning debut of I Am Power at Naas last month.

The Phoenix, Futurity and Gimcrack Stakes entry gave 15lb to subsequent Down Royal winner Sankari Royale and picked up in taking fashion to score by three-quarters of a length.

O'Callaghan said: "This race has been the plan since he won at Navan. He came out of that race well and has come on a good bit for it. The extra furlong should suit him, the ground is ideal and Pat [Smullen] has been looking forward to riding him for a while – we're very hopeful."

Kailee (right) was in-season not long before an excellent effort at the Curragh last time.


2.55 Curragh: Where Champions Are Made Fillies Maiden (7f)

Bill Farrell's Bated Breath filly has been building from run to run, and her latest start at this venue was very encouraging, performing with credit on ground perhaps a shade fast.

She returns to headquarters on Monday in a bid to get off the mark and will again meet Willie McCreery's Covetous, who she finished just under two lengths behind on her penultimate start.

Farrell said: "She'll appreciate the rainfall and she's well in herself. She was in season two days before her last run which was a little bit of a concern but she ran well and we're hoping for a good run, even though we're slightly worried about Willie's filly."

James Dullea's Silent Sun is 2lb out of the handicap but has plenty in his favour after a fine Limerick success last time.

Silent Sun

3.05 Cork: Irish Examiner Handicap Hurdle (2m)

Cork trainer James Dullea was delighted with the success of his competitive handicap hurdler Silent Sun at Limerick, and the seven-year-old now steps up in class after a 6lb rise.

Dullea said of his Lucarno gelding: "He's in great form and the track, trip and ground should suit. It's a big step up in class but we're delighted with him."

Coquin Mans is unbeaten for Willie Mullins and has the assistance of Ruby Walsh on Monday at Cork.

Coquin Mans

3.35 Cork: Joe Walsh Memorial Hurdle (3m)

Willie Mullins enjoyed a phenomenal week at the Galway festival and he will be hoping Coquin Mans can continue the team's winning ways.

The five-year-old, who races in the same colours as the mighty Hurricane Fly, won a French bumper on debut before creating a nice impression at Limerick on his Irish debut at Christmas and built on that effort to score at Wexford in June.

Mullins said: "He's two from two over hurdles and we're very happy with him. He's a nice horse."

Pass The Ball is on a roll at present and could take plenty of stopping for the Madden family and JP McManus.

Pass The Ball

4.35 Cork: Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Hurdle (2m3f)

Niall 'Boots' Madden's Pass The Ball has proved a revelation since returning from a spell of point-to-pointing and will look to defy an 18lb rise from the handicapper to win for the second time over hurdles at Cork.

Emphatic over hurdles at Tipperary before impressing over fences at the same venue, Madden said of the eight-year-old: "I'm delighted with him and he seems to be in good form. We're hoping for a good run."

Ice Cold In Alex (centre) picked up in very smart style when winning at the Curragh last time.

Ice Cold In Alex

4.55 Curragh: Luke & Nellie Comer Memorial Handicap (6f)

Backers of Ken Condon's Ice Cold In Alex would have been hugely frustrated with the lack of luck in running he experienced two starts ago at Navan, but connections' patience was rewarded at the Curragh nine days ago, scoring with a dramatic late lunge.

"He's been raised 5lb which isn't easy for him and we're stepping him up to six furlongs," said Condon. "Hopefully he'll run well with the ground similar to last time."

He's in great form and the track, trip and ground should suit
E.W. Terms
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