Wednesday 29 March 2017

Smullen's super Naas treble

A huge plunge on Naked Cowboy in the six-furlong handicap at Naas last night was thwarted by outsider Allegra Tak from the Harry Rogers yard, which in the process initiated a brilliant Pat Smullen treble.

The Tony Mullins-trained Naked Cowboy -- available at 16/1 generally in the morning and 8/1 on the course -- was returned the 5/2 favourite after sustained market support, but never looked like winning, though staying on for second.

Smullen's second winner came aboard the Dermot Weld-trained Sapphire, which made all to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Race at the expense of even-money favourite Haziyna.

The Offaly jockey's hat-trick was completed on the Joanna Morgan-trained Ted Dolly after the 4/1 chance battled gamely to fend off the challenge of Adam's Return in the one-mile handicap.

Meanwhile, it was a case of lucky 13 in the opening contest at the Kildare venue as the Paul Deegan-trained Expire final broke his maiden tag.

While having run well in several of his previous 12 outings, the son of Kheleyf was starting to become frustrating, but that didn't deter punters who made him 7/4 favourite for the five-furlong maiden on the back of his good run behind Nidian last week.

Bounced smartly out of the stalls by Willie Supple, Deegan's three-year-old made all and was never really threatened by runner-up Red Army Blues, which was over four lengths behind.

"That was about time. I've gone through his form, but can't see why he is rated 87 -- it is still too high, but thankfully he has got his head in front. He is likely to go to the July Sales at Newmarket now," said Deegan.

The two-year-old auction maiden saw Kevin Prendergast's Catamount being mugged on the line by the Ger Lyons-trained Pitlochry.

Catamount went clear from two furlongs out and appeared to have the race in safe keeping before Pitlochry, under Keagan Latham, stayed on late to grab the leader close home.

"Pitlochry will step up to a winners' race now, but there aren't many races about for this type of horse unless you go for a black-type contest," said Lyons of his 16/1 winner.

Irish Independent

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