Newsletter should read well for Condon
Published 06/06/2015 | 02:30
Ken Condon, who vies for Derby glory with Success Days, will return to the Curragh tomorrow to saddle his exciting filly Newsletter in the TRM Ballyogan Stakes.
A native of Ballyhea in north Co Cork, Condon is a self-made man who has done brilliantly to carve a niche for himself on the revered Kildare plains since emerging from the slump of the recession with his business intact.
Despite Epsom-bound Success Days' owner Robert Ng - a wealthy Malaysian businessman - having horses with an array of leading British-based trainers like Michael Stoute, Ed Dunlop, David Elsworth and Marco Botti, his Irish string is shared between two of the game's rising stars in Condon and his Curragh neighbour Paul Deegan.
That is a testament to both men's ability and acumen. Newsletter recently supplied Condon with his first win in England, and she appeals as being capable of maintaining her momentum when she lines out in tomorrow's €63,000 Group Three.
The top-weighted Charles O'Brien-trained Iveagh Gardens claimed Found's scalp here in early May.
Found did that form no harm when second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but Iveagh Gardens might want it even softer than the forecast going of ground on the slow side of good.
James Tate's recent Haydock winner Blhadawa is a raider with a live chance, but Newsletter appeals as nap material. Ground conditions should be ideal for the daughter of Sir Percy, which won with some authority at Listed level at Nottingham.
As a juvenile, she had the quality to finish a close third to Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot, so it was no surprise to see her build on her reappearance third at Bath to score last time.
If Newsletter makes similar progression now, she could prove hard to beat under the in-form Shane Foley, who will also do the steering aboard Success Days at Epsom this afternoon.
The Listed TRI Equestrian Silver Stakes is the card's other Pattern race, and Jim Bolger's Parish Hall is the top-rated by upwards of 3lb. Bolger's Paene Magnus is another with a life, while Deegan's Ng-owned Aussie Valentine is the second highest rated of the eight runners.
However, the one that might be worth keeping on side is Ger Lyons' Colin Keane-ridden Chopin.
A German import that finished seventh in the 2013 Derby, the Santiago five-year-old was a respectable fourth behind Olympic Glory in last year's Lockinge Stakes.
Chopin didn't run after that until making his debut for Lyons in April, when he never really figured on testing ground over a mile behind Fascinating Rock at Leopardstown.
Still, he steps back up to 10 furlongs now, and the combination of that along with the promise of some nice ground and the application of first-time blinkers could prompt a return to form.
Earlier, Eddie Lynam's Fort Del Oro might get one over on the colts in the six-furlong maiden.
Billy Lee's mount ran a lovely race on her debut over course and distance last month, coming through to challenge strongly only to be denied by Lyons' Urbestchance.
The winner has since run well to be placed in better company, so Fort Del Oro could have a big say if she improves for the experience.
It is a pretty open affair, with John Murphy's returning Compass Hill one of the more dangerous rivals, given that he chased Lucida home on his only previous outing at Naas last summer.
Ballydoyle could plunder the maidens that bookend proceedings. The juvenile Air Vice Marshal is by War Front, which tends to sire precocious two-year-olds, while the three-year-old Sherlock Holmes has an intriguing pedigree as a Galileo half-brother to the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Drosselmeyer.
Joseph O'Brien rides both selections for his father, with Rockaway Valley and Game Set Dash the respective dangers, but it will be interesting to see what shape the market takes.