Sunday 18 March 2018

Aneen can supply Prendergast with fitting winner before revamp

Laws Of Spin, with Chris Hayes up, on the way to winning the Tote Irish Cesarewitch Handicap at The Curragh. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Laws Of Spin, with Chris Hayes up, on the way to winning the Tote Irish Cesarewitch Handicap at The Curragh. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Johnny Ward

Aneen, a promising fourth in the opening race of Irish Champions Weekend, can strike in the opener at her local track on the last day of the season to be run at the Curragh.

The debutante daughter of Lawman, which provided the Leger winner in Harbour Watch, was the subject of many betting slips ahead of that race, despite it tending to be a pattern race masquerading as a maiden. After finding herself out of her ground, Kevin Prendergast's charge stayed on to striking effect.

This is no cakewalk for Aneen, with one rival in particular taking the eye. Out of the top-class Together, the War Front filly Old Time Waltz ran a pleasing race at Dundalk and there should be more to come. Aidan O'Brien also runs three others.

For Monday afternoon fare in October, this card at headquarters is subtly alluring and the seven-furlong handicap is a decent contest.

Michael Halford's string could hardly be in better form and Chestnut Fire, which seems to find his form in the back end of the year, is weighted to go close.

Ger Lyons has a superbly-bred filly in World War, out of Jacqueline Quest, a disqualified winner of the Guineas in 2010. Second both starts, the Galileo colt may have the beating of another in Galilean.

The Guy And Anne - 50 Years Wed Today Handicap could go the way of Quids In under Declan McDonogh. Yet to win a race, this gelding's stable struck with a 33/1 winner recently at Limerick under McDonogh.

There is a full field in the last race of the year at the Curragh, which is a rather anomalous 45-70 handicap. However, for the grade this is a cracker and ready preference is for the Gavin Cromwell-handled Plain Talking, though the ground is probably not ideal.

By the time steeds return to the home of Irish Flat racing, it will be somewhat unrecognisable, and finally Irish racing can look to the future after a tortuously long process preceding its redevelopment.

And perhaps Prendergast, who has been going to his local racecourse for the vast majority of his 84 years, can say that he won a race on its final day before it got bulldozed in the form of Aneen.

The Curragh's exhibition celebrating its historic past proved popular with patrons yesterday. Racegoers can enjoy it today as well and it will be open all days this week until closing on Friday at 4.0pm.

Items on display include Lester Piggott's riding boots, the solid silver Irish Derby Trophy won by Ballymoss and race cards depicting the racecourse over three centuries.

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