Black Scorpion could deliver Kerry National if promoted from reserves
Reserve system once again can play a significant role in a major handicap prize
The Eric McNamara-trained Black Scorpion looks an intriguing option for the Guinness Kerry National in Listowel. Photograph: Inpho
Black Scorpion is first reserve for Wednesday’s Guinness Kerry National but could prove the answer to Listowel’s €200,000 festival feature if he gets in.
For three years in a row between 2012 and 2014 the Kerry National was won by horses promoted from the reserves.
The first of them, Faltering Fullback, gave Co Limerick trainer Eric McNamara another win in the race following Ponmeoath’s back-to-back victories in 2007-08.
This time McNamara has Internal Transfer among the 18 declarations although it is his stable companion Black Scorpion that looks an intriguing option.
The trainer’s 19-year-old son Conor has been declared for the bottomweight who needs one to come out as the reserve system potentially once again plays a significant role in a major handicap prize.
Drying conditions in Kerry will play to the strengths of Black Scorpion who won at last year’s festival and has threatened to land a big handicap prize since. He came close in last year’s Munster National before falling in the Paddy Power at Christmas.
That was a rare jumping blemish and after an encouraging run over an inadequate distance at Killarney recently Black Scorpion looks a major contender if he gets in.
The Galway Plate faller Movewiththetimes heads four JP McManus hopefuls while Ravenhill, unlucky in the Plate, looks the best of Gordon Elliott’s quartet.
Laytown’s renowned annual beach fixture also takes place on Wednesday and English trainer Jamie Osborne, along with owners, the Melbourne 10 Syndicate, is back again with seven runners.
They have become regular visitors to the Meath coast and Ambient looks one of their good chances in a seven furlong maiden.
Osborne has won the concluding amateur event for the last three years although Twenty Minutes may be able to halt that streak this time.