Terminal can deny strong McManus team in Kerry National
Eye Of The Storm looks good for Listed prize
Ruby Walsh and Terminal during the Galway Plate in July where Terminal appeared to race quite keenly in the early stages and paid the price in the closing stages Photograph: Inpho
The Guinness Kerry National is a glaring omission from JP McManus’s big race roll-of-honour but the legendary owner is clearly aiming to fill that gap today and half-a-dozen of his horses target the Listowel festival feature, an in-depth attack that could still come up short in the face of Ruby Walsh’s Terminal.
With an uncertain forecast, and the possibility of very soft ground conditions, Terminal’s best form – a defeat of Tofino Bay in last season’s Ten Up – starts to look attractive if you forgive him a lacklustre effort in the Galway Plate last time.
That Plate turned into a McManus benefit with Carlingford Lough leading home a one-two-three for the owner. The handicap impact of that success is evident in how the winner is topweight today having been first-reserve at Galway and requiring another McManus runner, Like Your Style, to come out just to get a run.
Both horses are declared here, along with Quantitiveeasing and Jacksonslady, who filled the board in the Plate, Double Seven who has won his last three at Kilbeggan, and the former Grade One hurdler Shot From The Hip.
Very testing conditions may not suit any of them, however, even though despite topweight Tony McCoy maintains his partnership with Carlingford Lough.
Walsh is persevering with Terminal who appeared to race quite keenly in the early stages of the Plate and not surprisingly paid the price in the closing stages. Today’s race can still present a much greater stamina test when conditions are soft and that could wind up playing to Terminal’s strengths.
McManus could still end up in the winners enclosure after the National though as Indian File looks a major player in the maiden hurdle while Court Frontier can make a successful first start for new trainer Conor O’Dwyer in the bumper. Today’s main supporting event is the mile and a half Listed race where Eye Of The Storm should be hard to beat.