Wednesday 13 December 2017

Ana can take another step to title 'dream'

Ana O’Brien will be hoping to take a step closer to winning the apprentice jockeys’ title at The Curragh today. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Ana O’Brien will be hoping to take a step closer to winning the apprentice jockeys’ title at The Curragh today. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

That brother Donnacha has turned pro will surely pave the way for Ana O'Brien to record a victory in the apprentice jockeys' title race and she can take another step by steering Pocketfullofdreams to glory in the Curragh's finale today.

This horse rather recalls Music Box at Gowran last Monday. Both are fillies by Invincible Spirit; both were ridden in the card's last race by Ana O'Brien for her father Aidan; both had questions to answer with regard to ground.

If Pocketfullofdreams drifts as markedly in the wagering as Music Box did but wins, punters shan't complain. Her rating renders her a near-certainty in this, and it seems perfectly legitimate, given her Listed seconds at Navan and Lingfield. Forget her Oaks run when she was sacrificed to make the pace.

Seamus Heffernan can steer Bond Street to victory in the opener - a race in which those with form have questions to answer, though Sebastiano Ricci must be capable of more.

How these steeds will cope with what could be quite tacky ground may decide the outcome in the winners' juvenile event. Too Familiar, which belied big odds, may cope sufficiently well for John Murtagh.

Take note of the Joe Murphy-handled Silverkode in the McDonnell's Bar Newbridge Supporting Junefest Maiden. Though behind Snowstar on debut, the Kodiac-bred was making his debut and met traffic into the bargain. Murtagh may double up in the Junefest Handicap. Miss Cogent has tumbled down to a figure of 81, she handles an ease and is a tentative pick in a tough race.

Pat Fahy has seen some nice improvement in recent times in Micras, which looks nicely-in now in the Brady Burns Insurance Brokers Supporting Junefest Handicap. The Medicean filly ran into a tartar over course and trip last time, yet is just 2lb higher.

The penultimate contest sees another fancied Murtagh runner in Khudha, which seems to stay quite well and is far from exposed as a handicapper.

Highland Reel, meanwhile, has been invited to Moonee Valley to take another swing at Winx in this year's Cox Plate. Aidan O'Brien's five-time Group One winner was third behind Winx when she won the first of her two Cox Plates in 2015.

John Oxx's unbeaten Naughty Or Nice is to go for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. "It's a fair step up from a Listed to a Group Two but Ascot should suit. If she's well we'll let her take her chance," he said.

However, former Royal Ascot winner Portage will not be running, as trainer Michael Halford says he has been retired. Irishcorrespondent is on the stable's ticket for the meet and he is to go for the Hampton Court Stakes.

Dawn In The Park (7/4f), Just Janice (7/1) and Sea Light (13/8f) provided Davy Russell with a fine treble at Clonmel last evening.

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