Gary O'Brien Irish Racing Tips: Prendergast runner can confirm debut promise

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Gary fancies one in the 10f Maiden at Cork today

There's a decent card at Cork this afternoon, and Racing TV's Gary O'Brien likes the look of a very promising Kevin Prendergast runner in the 10f Maiden...

"He made his debut in the fabled Leopardstown maiden dominated by four Ballydoyle horses who would go on to perform with great credit at Group 1 level, the first three home finishing 2-3-4 in the Irish Derby next time."

Kevin Prendergast provided 17-year-old Jessica O'Gorman with a memorable start to her career in the closing event at Dundalk yesterday as the apprentice partnered the progressive Miss Cunning to victory on her first ride, and the veteran Curragh trainer could well be on the scoresheet again at Cork this afternoon.

Monaasib, who ran out an impressive winner of a maiden at the Curragh on Irish Oaks weekend, should give chief rival Arctician plenty to think about in the six furlong conditions race at 14:45 but it is stable-companion Alghazaal who appeals more as a betting proposition on his third racecourse start in the 1m2f maiden at 15:55.

On the face of things the Teofilo colt was a shade disappointing when well fancied at Fairyhouse last time but a review of that race shows that he was on the back foot from an early stage after being shuffled into midfield, while he also seemed ill at ease on the track. Though ultimately no match for the winner Pontchateau, it was really only in the last half-furlong that he was beginning to hit top gear and today's layout promises to be much more suitable.

Debut form working out very well

It's worth remembering exactly why Alghazaal went to Fairyhouse with plenty of expectation on his shoulders.

He made his debut in the fabled Leopardstown maiden dominated by four Ballydoyle horses who would go on to perform with great credit at Group 1 level, the first three home finishing 2-3-4 in the Irish Derby next time, while the fourth Amhran Na Bhfiann was third - albeit probably flattered - behind Serpentine at Epsom. Plenty of those further down the field have achieved subsequent success too, most notably Red Kelly, who was a spectacularly easy handicap winner next time before following up in the valuable Ulster Derby.

Prendergast's charge shaped very well that day, slowly into stride and forced to come wide to begin his run in the straight, yet beaten just five lengths into eighth in the final reckoning. Everything about that effort suggests that at the very least a race like this should be well within his capabilities, and having been given plenty of time to get over his Fairyhouse defeat it looks well worth giving him a chance to confirm his initial promise.

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