Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 24 September 2017

Light Heavy solid option to hit mark

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Wrote will be the latest of Ballydoyle's Epsom contenders to have his credentials examined when he tackles tomorrow's Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

With Joseph O'Brien on duty in France and likely to be aboard Camelot come June 2, Ryan Moore has been drafted in for the Breeders' Cup winner in a Group Two that both Galileo and High Chaparral took en route to Epsom glory.

Strictly in relation to Epsom, having run in the UAE Derby in March, it's hard to imagine that Wrote ranks too highly on an Aidan O'Brien team that also includes Imperial Monarch, Ernest Hemingway and Astrology.

Still, he did have Thursday's Chester winner Mickdaam behind when third to Daddy Long Legs at Meydan. While you couldn't write him off further strengthening the in-form stable's Classic hand, both he and Tower Rock are passed over in favour of Light Heavy.

On his seasonal bow at the Foxrock venue, Jim Bolger's Teofilo colt accounted for O'Brien's Furner's Green, and that one is bound for the French 2,000 Guineas tomorrow after going on to land last month's trial at Leopardstown.

In the meantime, Light Heavy galloped clear of Call To Battle, Tower Rock and the recent Navan winner Athens in the Ballysax Stakes.

All told, his form is just about as solid as it could be, so he is taken to deliver Bolger a first win in this since 1993, when Perfect Imposter followed St Jovite's triumph 12 months earlier.

The big disappointment is the withdrawal of John Oxx's Akeed Mofeed, which will instead be prepared for the Irish 2,000 Guineas in two weeks followed by the Irish Derby at The Curragh.

"He's got a problem with his hock," said Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah. "John (Oxx) said he'd rather not go for the Derrinstown, and he's not going to go for the Derby at Epsom without a prep race."

Meanwhile, in the 1,000 Guineas trial, Bolger saddles Alla Speranza, which wasn't disgraced when sixth at Newmarket last week. Coral Wave, a neck conqueror of Homecoming Queen in a Curragh Group Three in September, deserves respect for Pat Prendergast and Declan McDonogh, while Moore partners Soon for O'Brien, with Seamie Heffernan on Devotion.

The one that appeals here, however, is Duntle. A rare big-race mount for Billy Lee, David Wachman's filly recorded a stunning 18-length coup on her first start of the year at Dundalk.

She has since been purchased by the high-flying Niarchos family and, while you couldn't take her all-weather rout at face value, there must be a chance that she can still progress for what will be her third career outing.

Earlier, Famous Name faces little worthwhile opposition as he bids for a third successive Amethyst Stakes victory for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen, who could double up with Midnight Music in the 12-furlong handicap.

A proven soft ground campaigner, Midnight Music has a few lengths to find with Sharalam on their Curragh running in April, but the latter had the benefit of a run then, and the selection is four pounds better off.

Killarney's three-day May festival also gets under way tomorrow, and it is there that the day's nap choice features. Corbally Cross makes its handicap debut for Edward O'Grady in what is an otherwise open-looking two-and-three-quarter-mile handicap hurdle.

improvement

On his third start in a maiden at Clonmel just over a month ago, the JP McManus-owned five-year-old showed real improvement for the step up to two and a half miles, staying on nicely for third behind Prince Ludovic.

He turns out over an extra couple of furlongs again here and, on a line through Prince Ludovic, a first-time rating of 103 doesn't seem at all harsh.

In the conditions chase, Zaarito can account for five others to score a first win in more than two years for Colm Murphy and Davy Russell, with the classy Realt Dubh fancied in the most valuable race on the card, the €50,000 Ladbrokes.com Handicap Hurdle.

From his last eight starts over fences, Noel Meade's Beneficial gelding has won three Grade Ones and been placed in four others, so a mark of 135 makes him look something of a handicap blot now that he reverts to the smaller obstacles under Paul Carberry.

Irish Independent

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