Rolo Tomasi will elude chasing pack

The £100,000 Goffs Challenge gets Derby weekend under way at the Curragh this evening, and this race, confined to horses bought…

The £100,000 Goffs Challenge gets Derby weekend under way at the Curragh this evening, and this race, confined to horses bought at the Goffs Sales, looks set to be a wealthy pay-off for Co Dublin trainer Eddie Lynam.

Rolo Tomasi is the colt who can prove as elusive to his 19 opponents as his namesake in the film LA Confidential. The son of Mujtahid was put forward by Lynam as the best of a useful batch of two-year-olds trained by him after an impressive success at Leopardstown over two months ago.

Rolo Tomasi was never asked a serious question as he sauntered four lengths clear of River George, with the useful Flip The Switch and Coralita further back.

Lynam immediately nominated tonight's race as the main target for Rolo Tomasi and ignored the temptations of Royal Ascot.


It should pay off, as the opposition looks substantially weaker. There are seven British runners, the best of whom could be the Swedish winner Devon Court and the Lingfield winner Touch Up, trained by Gay Kellaway, who saddled the second in the first running of this race last year.

One horse who did go to Ascot and was substantially backed was Generosa, who reappears in the Funky Friday Handicap. Generosa's chance disappeared in the race won by San Sebastian when she stumbled badly at Swinley Bottom, and she still looks well handicapped at her best.

Her jockey, Fran Berry, will be hoping to also win the opening Apprentice Derby, but John Oxx's Afarad is preferred, while in the handicaps, Richard Hughes looks a good booking for Saving Bond in the Silken Thomas Handicap while My Trivet could repeat an end of season course and distance win in the Chapmans Handicap.

Meanwhile, the John Durkan Leukaemia Trust was officially launched yesterday by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern. Trainer Durkan, 32, died in January and the Trust's aim is to raise £2 million towards a new research centre in St James's Hospital Dublin.

Richard Mandella has confirmed that he will be on board defending champion, Gentlemen, in the mile and a quarter Grade One Hollywood Gold Cup dirt race at Hollywood Park.

Mandella had originally line up Corey Nakatani for the ride.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column