Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Harrington's Freedom can finally get his head in front

Richard Forristal

Published 30/08/2013 | 05:00

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Jessica Harrington's Steps to Freedom tackles a decent beginner's chase

Killarney hosts yet another intriguing jumps card this evening, with classy former hurdlers Steps To Freedom and Cause Of Causes the two biggest names in attendance.

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Jessica Harrington's Steps To Freedom tackles a decent beginners' chase, having finished second for a fourth successive time at Dundalk last time out.

Such an exciting novice hurdler a couple of seasons ago, he has failed to live up to his potential in many respects.

Nonetheless, he should have enough quality to end his frustrating spell under Robbie Power in this.

Of his 14 rivals in the two-miler, the Ruby Walsh-ridden Nearest The Pin is the major threat, though he is no more reliable and shouldn't have quite as much class.

Cause Of Causes steps up to two-and-a-half miles in the Killarney Oaks Hotel-sponsored equivalent. Gordon Elliott's charge has misfired in three outings since being acquired by JP McManus, latterly getting stuck in the mud when switching back to the smaller obstacles for the Galway Hurdle last month.

Shanpallas, Thomond and Presenting Nama are among some smart opposition to Mark Walsh's mount today, but the suspicion is that the combination of a step up in trip on fast ground might bring about an improved showing from last year's Ladbroke Hurdle hero.

Mick Winters, who enjoyed another glorious victory in the lucrative Ballybrit feature with Missunited, is tipped to enjoy a first win since then with Another Rebel in the McSweeney Arms Hotel Handicap Hurdle.

Rodger Sweeney's Shamiran could be the danger here after chasing up Call Me Bubbles at Galway, but Another Rebel might have more scope for improvement under Martin Ferris now that he tries this slightly longer trip for a first time.

Second over two-and-a-half miles at Ballinrobe recently, his form has been franked by the subsequent Cork win of the third, Limpopo Tom.

In the card's novice hurdle, experienced chaser Supreme Doc is napped to fulfil the promise of his second to Domination at the same Cork fixture on Sunday under Declan Lavery, while Brian Hayes might steer Faustina Pius to an overdue first success in the mares' hurdle at Down Royal.

John Queally's five-year-old didn't take to Tramore last time, but her third to Sizing Machine here 12 months ago is decent form.

If she bounces back to her best, she ought to be good enough to get her head in front against modest opposition.

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