Monday 24 July 2017

Katla on trial at Leopardstown

Dairy farmer John Grogan is looking forward to seeing his pride and joy Katla return to action in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial on Sunday.

The three-year-old gave connections a year to remember as a juvenile, winning York's Rockingham Stakes and signing off with a fine third in a Maisons-Laffitte Group Two.

Grogan is keen to find out if his charge could be a Classic contender, and sees this weekend's contest as the ideal starting point.

"We're very happy with her and she's wintered well," said the County Tipperary-based handler.

"We were delighted with her last year. The win at York was brilliant. They went like the clappers early on but she just picked up and annihilated them. Then she ran well in France on her last start.

"She hasn't been further than six furlongs and it would be the distance we'd be worried about on Sunday.

"I'm not sure if she'll stay seven furlongs or not.

"She clearly didn't stay when she ran over seven at the Curragh last year, but she's stronger now and we'll keep our fingers crossed she will get the trip now.

"This is a trial, so we might as well have a go. If she does seem to stay the trip well and runs a good race, we might be at Newmarket for the Guineas."

Kevin Prendergast saddles Seeharn, a winner of her first two starts last year before suffering a setback when disappointing in the Debutante Stakes.

"She was good on her first couple of runs last year but she was fairly lame after running in the Debutante," said Prendergast.

"She pulled a muscle so we eased her off and decided not to run her again last year.

"She's training well, but like the colt in the 2,000 Guineas Trial (Dunboyne Express), she will need the run.

"We want to get her started and see where we're going.

"There's no point making heavy entries if she's not going to be able to keep up, so we'll see."

Gossamer Seed was last seen striking over five furlongs at Cork in October, but her trainer John Murphy believes the extra couple of furlongs are within his filly's range.

"Obviously the trip is a question mark, but we think she'll stay. She's giving us the right signs," said Murphy.

"Her training is going well and she'll love the ground, so fingers crossed she'll run very well.

"She's developed very well and we've trained her to try and get further.

"We'll know more Sunday night. We're going to learn a lot from the race and there are a lot of reputations on the line."

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