Canary sets out on new chapter
Testing conditions are expected to bring out the best in Canary Row in the www.thetote.com Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh on Sunday.
Twice runner-up behind champion juvenile Dawn Approach a couple of years ago, Patrick Prendergast's colt struggled to make a significant impact as a three-year-old as he competed in handicaps off marks in the high 90s.
Now preparing to make his four-year-old debut, the son of Holy Roman Emperor has been given some relief by the assessor and Prendergast hopes his charge can kick-start a profitable campaign with a bold showing in the 100,000 euro contest.
"I would imagine the ground is going to be quite hard work, but I think that will suit Canary Row," said the trainer.
"He's a horse who was second to Dawn Approach twice as a two-year-old and for that reason he was quite highly rated last year and just hit the crossbar a few times. He's come down the weights a bit and we're claiming 10lb off him with Ben (Dawson) taking the ride. Ben rides him out every day and they seem to get on well with each other.
"The horse has had a trouble-free preparation and we're quite hopeful he'll have a good four-year-old career."
Canary Row is one of two runners in the fiercely competitive handicap for County Kildare-based Prendergast, with Smoker making his first appearance since pulling up injured at Gowran Park last May.
The trainer added: "Smoker gets in with a very low weight (8st 4lb), but the last time he was on the track he got injured quite badly and he will definitely come on for the run a good bit."
Ken Condon's stable stalwart Bold Thady Quill makes his seasonal reappearance having finished third in the race 12 months ago. However, the trainer feels his charge has plenty on his plate this time around.
Condon said: "He is ready to run and ready to run well, but he is a horse who normally takes a run to get back up to full speed.
"He was third in the race last year off 91 and he's rated 100 now. I think his last win in a handicap was off 81, so it looks a difficult task for him. The ground will suit him, though. We know he handles extreme conditions.
"Hopefully he'll give a good account of himself and then we can kick on for the rest of the season. After finishing third here last year he went and won the Cork Stakes, which is a Listed sprint, so we might go down the same route again."