Sunday 17 December 2017

Butterscotch looks sweet for O'Brien

Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

The maiden in which Butterscotch started off at the Curragh said much about Aidan O'Brien's raw materials.

Though a Galileo half-sister to Norfolk runner-up Coach House, hers was arguably the least attractive pedigree of the Ballydoyle runners, as the other two were Clemmie (sister to Churchill) and Snowflakes (sister to Winter).

Both Churchill and Winter are dual Classic winners, strong fancies for Royal Ascot next week, and Butterscotch can also justify favouritism in tonight's fillies' maiden at Fairyhouse. She looks to have next to nothing to beat and ran a blinder at the Curragh, just behind Clemmie.

The wagering in the opener will be notable, all five runners in with a chance in theory. Orangey Red, trained by Bill Farrell at the Curragh, showed a fine attitude at Listowel, and her experience should be an asset against her three main foes, all of them only three-year-olds.

The older horses' sprint maiden sees Bay Of Skaill and Dreaming Of Gold renew rivalry, having both been placed here on debut. Eddie Lynam's charge seemed the greener of the pair then and is accordingly preferred, though Silk Cravat can probably leave his modest Killarney effort behind.

The divided sprint handicap is tricky and the draw will no doubt play a huge part. Take a chance that Anna May Wong can dictate the first division for Andy Oliver, though he has not scored yet on Turf this year and she has often struggled to get home. The Lynam-trained Milo's Lass is very interesting on seasonal bow in the second.

The Paul Kelly Veterinary Lets Go Grand Handicap can see Oliver double up, as The Eyes Have It has plenty in his favour as a course-and-distance winner which ran two excellent races coming here.

Ligeti never seems to run a bad race and makes plenty of each-way appeal in the penultimate contest, with his rivals having questions to answer in the main. Take a chance on Ciankyle dictating the nightcap under Andrew Breslin, though he finds it hard to win for Co Dublin trainer Peter Cluskey.

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