Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 15 December 2019

Alanza can get back on track for Murtagh

Richard Forristal

Alanza and Teo's Sister, two potentially high-class fillies whose latest runs generated a great deal of comment for very different reasons, are the star attractions at Naas this evening.

When third on her seasonal debut at Leopardstown, the John Oxx-trained Alanza turned in a similar effort to when she won her maiden at Listowel in September, flashing home late over six furlongs having struggled to cope with the early pace.

However, at Leopardstown the winning post came too soon for Johnny Murtagh's mount, a situation that was compounded by Murtagh prematurely easing the Dubai Destination filly when second place was still up for grabs.


Tonight, Murtagh, who received a one-day ban for his error, will bid to make amends on Alanza in the Dark Angel EBF Sweet Mimosa Stakes. While there is some concern that the Listed event is over the same trip that his partner has struggled with early on before, the fact that it is over a straight six furlongs should compensate.

By far the most unexposed horse in the 10-strong field, Alanza is taken to get back on track, though she will need to be as good as she has promised to beat the likes of Invincible Ash, Katla, Empowering and Radharcnafarraige.

Of those four, Invincible Ash, despite having to concede weight, may be the biggest threat.

In contrast to Alanza, Teo's Sister provoked the right kind of debate when Jim Bolger's full-sister to the stable's former juvenile star Teofilo delivered an authoritative display on her debut at Leopardstown recently. She takes on some established campaigners now in the Michael Higgins & Co-sponsored conditions race.

One of her rivals, John Oxx's Cocozza, beat Sunday's Curragh winner Manieree on her last start in October. How that one fares will be interesting, but Bolger confirmed after her Leopardstown success that Teo's Sister is highly regarded, an assertion that was backed up when the second horse, Shiramiyna, subsequently hacked up at Killarney.

Earlier, Wandering Heart is fancied in the KC Civils Supporting Naas Hurling Fundraiser Maiden.

When fourth in a decent maiden on her sole racecourse outing at The Curragh in June, Ben Curtis' partner had one of today's main opponents Eagle Canyon a couple of lengths behind.

In the opening two-year-old race, Angels Art is also taken to fulfil the promise of her only previous run. Ger Lyons' filly was a close third behind the useful Bahama Spirit at Fairyhouse last week.

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