Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 30 March 2017

Zoffany looks good for Leopardstown feature

Zoffany, here winning at the Curragh, can strike again at Leopardstown
this evening.
Zoffany, here winning at the Curragh, can strike again at Leopardstown this evening.

Thomas Kelly

ZOFFANY can bounce back from a disappointing run at Royal Ascot to land tonight's Golden Fleece Stakes at Leopardstown for Aidan O'Brien.

While the Dansili colt could only manage sixth behind the talented Strong Suit in the Coventry Stakes, that was still a respectable run and his form remains the best on view.

Sydney Harbour is the most experienced animal in the field and David Wachman's inmate makes a quick return to the track after his eventful victory at The Curragh on Sunday.

The Danehill Dancer colt was alongside O'Brien's highly fancied Petronius Maximus two furlongs out when his rival suddenly toppled over and crashed into the rails, depositing jockey Johnny Murtagh. Sydney Harbour went on to win the race by two lengths under Michael Cleere, who keeps the ride, and Wachman feels that those exertions took little out of him.

"Obviously the other horse came down, but ours didn't seem to have had that much of a race and this race came along," said Wachman. "He seems to have come out of it well, but there's only one way to find out."

Shortly after Sydney Harbour had visited the winner's enclosure, English trainer Mark Johnston captured two handicaps at The Curragh and the Yorkshire-based handler has been tempted into bringing Stentorian. The mount of Fran Berry, Stentorian was the trainer's first two-year-old winner of the season when he scored at Leicester a fortnight ago but would need to improve to get the better of Zoffany.

Invincible Ash is another which struck gold at The Curragh on Sunday and attempts to supplement her National Lottery Sweepstakes Race romp in the Clonkeen Fillies Race.

Michael Halford's mare turned what should have been an ultra-competitive event into a procession at the weekend, with the reopposing Miss Velocity well in arrears. Wachman's Glorified should present a stern threat, having been beaten by less than seven lengths in a Group Three here last month, but Invincible Ash should still prevail.

O'Brien saddles two choicely bred newcomers in the shape of Inca Princess and Spin in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, but preference is given to Kevin Prendergast's Kissable, which ran a race full of promise when runner-up to Gemstone at Limerick on her debut.

However, the best bet of the evening might come in the closing Clonskeagh Maiden as Caesar's Song looks worth waiting for. A bumper winner for the colourful Monaghan trainer Oliver Brady at Limerick, the five-year-old has since been runner-up in a Listowel conditions event and will be very hard to beat, especially if this amateur riders' contest is run at a decent gallop.

Irish Independent

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