Monday 16 December 2019

Causes can spark quick Elliott brace

Kentucky Derby hopeful El Padrino gallops on the track with his exercise rider during yesterday's early morning workout.
Kentucky Derby hopeful El Padrino gallops on the track with his exercise rider during yesterday's early morning workout.

Richard Forristal

Kilbeggan's first meeting of the year kicks off the Bank Holiday festivities this evening, with Gordon Elliott's only runners on the card expected to land the opening two races.

In the four-year-old maiden hurdle, Cause Of Causes should atone for a slightly unlucky Downpatrick defeat in March, while Spring Lane's resounding bumper victory at the same venue recommends him in the older horses' equivalent. Both horses are due to be ridden by Davy Condon, who replaces the respective Carberry siblings, Paul and Nina.

Cause Of Causes may be the stronger of the two. Still in contention when falling on his hurdling bow at Gowran Park under Condon, he took second on his return to Gowran when Carberry took over, before meeting trouble in running at a crucial stage on his foray north.

When he finally got a clear passage there, he flashed home for second, with two of today's rivals, White Feathers and Suspect Device, just behind. In all probability, Cause Of Causes' superiority over those two should prove good enough here.

Carberry switches to the once-raced Westhaven for Noel Meade. If the partnership improves on a middling first try behind Darroun at Leopardstown, they probably won't be far away.

Spring Lane's task is a touch more formidable, not least as there is a full field of 16 in attendance.

Still, he drew a long way clear to score by 16 lengths for Nina on his fourth start, and he is clearly a horse that should more than pay his way in the coming months.

Paul Carberry is fancied to land the Greville Arms Hotel Hurdle on Tuesday's Ballinrobe winner Turnonthegas. John Carr's nine-year-old bounced back to form in ready style then, but he needs only to carry a 4lb penalty now.

While Ado McGuinness' I Never Knew That is in the same boat, the race that she won on Tuesday didn't look as good as Turnonthegas'.

In the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares' Beginners' Chase, Philip Rothwell may have found the consistent Mayo Mystique a winnable opportunity, while the day's nap is Dermot Weld's Calgacus on the level at Dundalk.

The Galileo colt faces 11 rivals in the iRadio IRL Maiden, including useful-looking sorts such as King's Warrant, Moldowney, Pacific Ridge and Sinetta. Still, Weld's Pat Smullen-ridden runner made a big impression when keeping on well for third behind Azamata at Leopardstown and he might just have the required class for this.

Smullen also has claims on Versilia Gal, Moonbi Creek and Hawkswood at the Co Louth fixture, while Mark Johnston's Van Ellis can make his cross-water expedition worthwhile in the three-year-old maiden. Ger Lyons' That Boy David, a decent staying-on third to Ahimsa on its debut here over a mile, may not be suited by seven furlongs, whereas Van Ellis might.

A one-paced fifth over six at Newmarket first time, he can have a big say under Fran Berry.

Irish Independent

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