Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 16 December 2017

Bobby's Kitten gets off to flier for Weld

Jockey Pat Smullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Jockey Pat Smullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Top-class sprinter Bobby's Kitten made a most impressive debut for Dermot Weld in the Cork Stakes.

The five-year-old claimed the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint in 2014 when trained by American handler Chad Brown and was not beaten far into fourth when defending his crown at Keeneland last October.

Making his first appearance in Ireland, Bobby's Kitten was allowed to go off at 5/1 for his six-furlong assignment at Listed level, despite the significant withdrawal of Tom Hogan's multiple Group One winner Gordon Lord Byron.

Pat Smullen positioned his mount close to the pace from the off and after taking over the lead with more than a furlong still to run, Bobby's Kitten found another gear to pull eight and a half lengths clear of Flight Risk as 5/4 favourite Great Minds disappointed.

Smullen said: "Obviously his form spoke for itself but it was hard to be confident with the ground the way it is. He's a free-going sort who does his work on his own.

"I didn't know if he'd handle the ground. His ability got him out of trouble rather than going on it and in the last furlong he was lying up on the fence looking for a bit of help.

"He has enough ability for me and I was very impressed with him - he got the six (furlongs) well and, while five is a bit short at this stage, he could go up another furlong. He'll be there at the highest level over six furlongs and all those big races are open to him."

Chris O'Donovan recorded his first racecourse success as he guided the well-backed Mick Winters-trained Theatre Princess to an easy win in the Glenview & Rathbarry Studs Mares Maiden Hunters Chase.

Irish Independent

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