Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Asking looks the answer at Killarney

Ana O’Brien. Photo: Sportsfile
Ana O’Brien. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

The victory of the Ana O'Brien-ridden The Pentagon in a maiden on Saturday, when Seamus Heffernan rode a shorter-priced stablemate, shows that it is foolish to ignore the Ballydoyle second-strings.

And it is Ana's mount, Asking, which gets the nap vote in Killarney's feature Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes, a race in which her dad Aidan accounts for a third of the 12-runner cast.

This Zoffany-bred stands out here from an excellent draw. None of these runners has a three-numbered rating except Asking, her revised mark a consequence of her Fairyhouse third recently. However, her rider had very little room at a crucial part of that race's conclusion, and indeed she may have been an unlucky loser.

Only five go to post in the opening auction race. Likely it will involve two of the previous winners and, though Painting Pictures was successful on debut, the runner-up's saddle slipped early then at Roscommon.

Lethal Steps now races in the colours of Qatar Racing and presumably trainer Ger Lyons is happy to risk the extended mile distance, even though it was six furlongs when the Bated Breath colt prevailed narrowly on debut at Leopardstown. That form got a boost at the Curragh yesterday.

Mr Ormsby's only career win came over the course and yardage of the International Hotel Handicap. With Sheila Lavery having a pleasing campaign, and the horse having come down to a rating of 71, he may prevail at a nice quote - though he will need to overcome a tricky draw at a track that makes such a difficulty all the harder.

Weightfordave is given one more - and quite possibly one last - chance in the Dermot O'Leary Flesk Restaurant Memorial Handicap. Noel Meade's Dark Angel-bred, an apparent certainty on the level by virtue of his Jumps form, is knocking on the door on the Flat but he is not wearing headgear as a fashion item and probably has his own ideas.

The most notable race name of the day is the Thanks For The Memories Colm The Gooch Cooper Maiden Hurdle and the well-bred Line Out is preferred for in-form John Kiely here to the frustrating Sharps Choice.

Tom Hogan is struggling so far to find the key to Cant Wait, which likely has more ability than results suggest, but she's the each-way value in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle.

Willie Mullins should not leave the Kingdom empty-handed, since Sapphire Lady has strong claims in the finale. She made virtually all the running at Ballinrobe, form that looks solid, and she can follow up here.

Irish Independent

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