Piggott's son out to prove he's chip off old block at Killarney
Published 18/07/2013 | 05:00
ALL eyes in Killarney today will be on a little-known apprentice jockey with a famous name as Jamie Piggott has his first racecourse ride.
Son of the legendary Lester, the 19-year-old will get the leg up on Pivotal Rock in the Killarney Grand Live Music Handicap over an extended mile.
The young jockey is attached to his mount's trainer Tommy Stack in Tipperary and will face 14 rivals. Under the rules of the race, the inexperienced rider is allowed to claim 10lb but his mount has decent prospects of finishing in the money.
The six-year-old hasn't won since scoring at Dundalk last year, but has been running consistently and Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, had no hesitation in giving Piggott Jnr his chance.
"He's also had some experience at Ballydoyle and he's a nice kid," he said. "This horse usually runs his race so we'll see how he goes."
Indeed, bookmakers believe the young Piggott could be a chip off the old block and Coral quote him at 10/1 to be crowned champion apprentice in Ireland before the end of 2015.
The action at the picturesque Co Kerry venue begins with a humble maiden over 11 furlongs in which Absolutlyfantastic bids to go one better than his runner-up finish in a handicap chase on Monday night.
Henry de Bromhead's charge merits respect, but a chance is taken on the former Michael Stoute inmate Plastiki, which is now in the care of Thomond O'Mara. As a son of Oasis Dream, this four-year-old is not guaranteed to get the trip, but the fact that he finished second in a Windsor handicap over a furlong shorter last summer does suggest he's worth supporting.
The feature event is the Dawn Milk Run Handicap Hurdle, in which Ruby Walsh teams up with the Willie Mullins-trained Inspector Clouseau.
This eight-year-old hasn't run since April last year, but the champion trainer is well able to get one primed after a long absence and the grey son of Daylami is preferred to Sizing Machine and High Importance.
At Leopardstown this evening, the Silver Flash Stakes for two-year-old fillies takes centre stage and it's very hard to ignore the claims of Jim Bolger's Heart Focus, which has been a model of consistency all season.
The Listed Challenge Stakes over 14 furlongs is another interesting contest, and narrow preference is given to Johnny Murtagh's Royal Diamond ahead of the returning Unaccompanied.