Elliott confident Dirar can conquer America
HAVING both been among the winners at Perth last Saturday, Co Meath men Gordon Elliott and Barry Geraghty will endeavour to add to their international spoils when they team up with Dirar in the New York Writers Club Chase at Saratoga tomorrow.
However, with last weekend's foray taking place in Perth, Scotland, rather than its southern hemisphere namesake, the globe-trotting voyage isn't quite the formidable adventure that it might at first appear. Then again, maybe it is.
Should the 2010 Ebor hero Dirar, placed in a second successive Galway Hurdle last time, prove up to the Grade One task, it would be the perfect start to an ambitious two-month Stateside stint.
Elliott, whose Salford City was well held in tomorrow's two-mile-three-furlong contest -- equivalent to a hurdle rather than a chase here -- in 2008, has his eye on the Far Hills Grand National on Saturday October 22 for Dirar.
Boasting a prize fund in the region of $300,000, the 'National' was won by the ex-Tony Mullins-trained Your Sum Man two years ago.
Ridden to victory by Geraghty's brother Ross, Your Sum Man was rated around 20lb inferior to Dirar when sold to race in America, so Elliott has some idea of the type of horse that might be suitable.
"The prize money is very good and there is also the chance of good ground," said Elliott (pictured below) after landing in America ahead of tomorrow's $100,000 contest.
"Dirar travelled over nicely and seems in good order. It's great to have Barry on our side for the race and the plan is to finish up at Far Hills in October."
Closer to home, the rematch between crack two-year-old fillies La Collina and Maybe remains on course for the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday. Both were among 18 entries for the race at yesterday's forfeit stage. Having succumbed to the unbeaten Aidan O'Brien-trained Maybe at Leopardstown in July, La Collina was a shock 33/1 winner when defying the colts in the Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh earlier this month.
Kevin Prendergast's daughter of Strategic Prince is now expected to bid for a Group One double on Sunday when Maybe, successful in a Group Two on the Phoenix card, would spearhead the opposition.
Meanwhile, Ed Dunlop has revealed that Snow Fairy's next target could be the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday week.
Snow Fairy missed intended engagements at York and Deauville recently because of unsuitable going and an obscure technicality, respectively, but Dunlop confirmed that Leopardstown, where his multiple Group One winner would be likely to encounter her Eclipse Stakes conqueror So You Think, would be the next port of call, ground permitting.