Tuesday 23 January 2018

Abbey makes Alleged return

Seamie Heffernan. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Seamie Heffernan. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

Seamie Heffernan is excited about getting the leg up on St Nicholas Abbey when he makes his eagerly-anticipated return in the Geegeez.co.uk Alleged Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Aidan O'Brien's colt enjoyed a brilliant juvenile campaign, rounding off the year with a scintillating display in Doncaster's Racing Post Trophy.

But he could only finish sixth when sent off the hot favourite for last year's 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and he has not been seen in competitive action since.

"I'm really looking forward to riding him and this looks a nice race to start him off in," said Heffernan.

"Hopefully he can start off the season in a good frame of mind. He wasn't what we thought he was for the Guineas last year and he had a few problems after that.

"He had a routine canter at the Curragh the other week, which went fine, but he didn't do a lot.

"He'll probably improve for the run on Sunday, but if he can come back to the form he showed when winning the Racing Post Trophy a couple of years ago, he'll win on the bridle."

St Nicholas Abbey looks set to face a stiff examination with Dermot Weld's Triumph Hurdle runner-up Unaccompanied a fascinating participant back on the Flat.

However, Heffernan feels his charge will have too many guns if he can reproduce his form of old.

"Dermot Weld's filly ran well in the Triumph Hurdle and she'd have fitness on her side, but she probably wouldn't have the class of St Nicholas Abbey," the jockey added.

"Hopefully he puts his head down and wins. I'm looking forward to riding him."

Weld also saddles Galileo's Choice, while Jim Bolger's Gift From The Sea also features in an eight-runner field.

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