Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 19 October 2017

McCreery hopes rain will stay for Brownstown Stakes tilt

Jockey Shane Kelly ( left) rides Fiesolana to victory in the Irish Stallions Farms Europeans Breeders Fund 'Habitat' Handicap during the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas Day at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare.
Jockey Shane Kelly ( left) rides Fiesolana to victory in the Irish Stallions Farms Europeans Breeders Fund 'Habitat' Handicap during the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas Day at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare.

Ashley Iveson

Trainer Willie McCreery is keeping his fingers crossed for more rain at Fairyhouse ahead of his two-pronged attack on the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Brownstown Stakes on Wednesday evening.

The Curragh handler saddles the hat-trick seeking Fiesolana, who gives weight to all but one of her eight rivals following victory in the Group Three Ballyogan Stakes at Leopardstown last month.

The four-year-old is joined in the seven-furlong contest by stable companion Coolnagree, who has not run up to her best in two starts on fast ground this season.

McCreery said: "Fiesolana is in good form. She has a bad draw, she's widest of the lot in stall nine, so we'll have to see what happens.

"She got a very good ride from Colm O'Donoghue to win the last day over six furlongs. I think a stiff seven furlongs will suit her better.

"She has a Group Three penalty now, but we won't complain about that. You only get penalties when you're running well.

"Coolnagree had a little setback earlier in the year and hasn't had her ground yet. She's firing now and it is raining at the moment. If it keeps raining for the next 24 hours that will suit me as both horses like a bit of ease in the ground."

The admirable Lily's Angel chases her second Group Three win having struck at that level at Lingfield back in May.

The Ger Lyons-trained filly was just touched off in the Ballycorus Stakes last time out and regular jockey Gary Carroll is anticipating another bold show.

He said: "She's been a bit of a fairytale story really as the owners bought her for breeding purposes and weren't even going to run her to start with.

"They decided to give her a go, to see if they could pick up a race, and she's won six since then.

"She's gone from strength to strength since she won in Dubai earlier in the year. The main aim was to win a Group Three and it's great she achieved that so early in the season. Anything from here on in is a bonus really.

"I think seven furlongs at Fairyhouse should be ideal. The ground is on the fast side at the moment, but there is rain forecast and I'm just hoping they don't get too much. The faster the ground the better for her."

The highest rated horse in the field is Dermot Weld's Along Came Casey, who was narrowly beaten by Queen Anne hero Declaration Of War at Dundalk last year and made an impressive return to action at Leopardstown.

David Wachman saddles both Hint Of A Tint and True Verdict, while Aidan O'Brien also has two runners in Hanky Panky and Snow Queen.

The field is completed by a solitary British challenger - the William Haggas-trained Sentaril.

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