HE'LL FIT RIGHT IN; Murphy gelding can get in front.
Byline: PETER O'HEHIR
BATTLE-HARDENED Fit For Function must be strongly fancied to defy top-weight in the seven-furlong Handipak Play Live On July 25th Handicap in Limerick tomorrow.
Trained by Joe Murphy, the seven year-old has four wins to his credit, two at six furlongs and two over today's trip. And he has looked as good as ever this season, performing consistently and set to return to winning ways here.
Having hit a career high mark of 87 two years ago, Fit For Function struck off 70 at Gowran Park five weeks ago, beating Waterlemon Bay.
He reappeared four days later, under a mandatory 5lb. penalty and failed by two lengths to cope with On A Session over six furlongs, on easy ground, in Listowel.
And, on his most recent start, Fit For Function again performed solidly, forcing the pace before being collared and beaten a length by Ahlan Bil Zain at Gowran Park.
Gary Carroll will, presumably, let Fit For Function roll along in front today and, in the hope that he can kick off the home turn, he's expected to triumph.
Opposition to Murphy's gelding includes class-dropper Major Reward, having his first run for Ger Lyons, and three-year-old Master Matt. But Fit For Function should prove a tough nut to crack.
Joseph O'Brien's string continues in top form and Fancy Footings is a hopeful nap choice in the Stagefright Play Live On 13th July Handicap.
Runner-up to Njord at Gowran Park on his handicap debut and first start for his new trainer, he again raced off 67 when beaten a nose by Raffaello at Leopardstown, finishing strongly and just failing to get up.
A Representing the O'Brien brothers, Fancy Footings is still racing off 67 and outstanding prospects. The O'Briens have plenty of chances throughout the card. And Donnacha (left) might also strike on Ballydoyle colt All The King's Men in the Party Time Ltd. Marquee Hire Rated Race, a field that features seasoned campaigners like Geological and Honor Oaks and a couple of three-year-olds.
A winner at listed level at two, All The King's Men stepped-up on two previous efforts this season when going down narrowly to Basic law in a contest similar to this at Leopardstown.
The winner was beaten at Tipperary before landing a premier handicap at the Curragh on Irish Derby day, pointing to the prospects of the Ballydoyle colt here, in what could develop into a tactical affair, with a strong pace certain.
FUNCTIONAL Fit For Function and Gary Carroll can win tomorrow's 2.55 at Limerick