Swear by Harrington's 'Bible'
Jessica Harrington didn't enjoy much luck at the Galway Festival, but back closer to home at Gowran Park, the Co Kildare trainer might well be celebrating after tonight's Hurry Harriet Stakes.
The celebrated 'King of Ballybrit' Dermot Weld will attract plenty of attention in the feature event as he sends out the progressive Sapphire, but Harrington's Bible Belt has strong claims.
Winner of a Roscommon maiden last season, Shane Foley's mount went on to be a respectable third to Chrysanthemum in the Group Three CL Weld Stakes last September before returning in style this season when winning a Leopardstown handicap.
The chances of Sapphire have to be respected, as the Medicean filly's only defeat this year came over course and distance when finishing less than two lengths off Jim Bolger's Banimpire. But the main danger to Bible Belt looks to be John Oxx's Curragh Group Three runner-up Kirinda, which was a fast-finishing second to stablemate Manieree and looks certain to build on that form.
The opening juvenile maiden presents an ideal opportunity for Foot Soldier to break his duck. The step up to seven furlongs is likely to suit Aidan O'Brien's charge, though he could face stiff opposition from Qatar's Pearl.
There's not much winning form to go on in the nursery, with only Greek Canyon and Battleroftheboyne having found the winner's enclosure. Handicap debutants Feathers And Bows, trained by David Wachman, and Allusive Power have been given decent marks and slight preference is given to the former.
Meanwhile, Navan trainer Liam McAteer got off the cold list in style at Ffos Las last night when he landed a 11/1 double. Yellow Dandy's victory under Martin Harley in the six-furlong handicap saw McAteer record his first win since October. Just over 30 minutes later, McAteer and Harley won again after That's A Fret took the five-furlong sprint by a nose from Bronze Beau.