Ashjar may take opener


Sligo winds up this evening with a seven-race card, and the first horse on that card looks one for punters to get stuck into.

Ashjar has had just the three runs this year and now looks set to hit the winner's enclosure in the Strandhill Maiden Hurdle. The five-year-old ran a decent enough sixth to Amy Johnson in a Galway handicap last week and before that was a length second to Plettenburg Bay at Kilbeggan when Entertainment was fifth.

Tonight's opposition is nothing special, although Call My Bluff returns to jumping after a stint on the flat. His second to Celtic Serenade at Down Royal in March gives him a chance, and Arthur Moore's Givenchy De Solzen is worthy of respect too. Ashjar, however, looks the one. The most valuable race is the Royal Exchange Handicap and Andy Nolan's mount, Simple Ideals, could find this tight, undulating track to his liking.

The juvenile claiming race looks quite a trappy contest. Michael Grassick has a fine record here and Groundswell ran all right on his debut when eighth to Windward Rock and Immovable Option. He'll have his supporters, as will Eddie Lynam's Lefty Fugerri. However, that horse is relatively exposed, something Go Girl Go isn't. Jeremy Harley has booked Pat Shanahan for the ride and Go Girl Go ran with a degree of promise when fifth to Boley Lass at Ballinrobe last month.

Brush With Time has been mixing it between the flat and jumps recently and took a claiming race at Tralee back in June. There was also a lot to like about how he ran prominently throughout when third in a handicap hurdle to Third Agenda at Limerick last month.