Sunday 18 November 2018

Chicago hands Lyons second Birdcatcher

Trainer Ger Lyons. Photo: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE
Trainer Ger Lyons. Photo: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

Chicago May made just about every yard of the running to give Ger Lyons and Colin Keane a second successive victory in the prestigious Birdcatcher Premier Nursery at Naas.

Just 12 months on from Moonlight Bay taking the valuable prize, Chicago May, which began life with Henry de Bromhead, bagged the far rail early on and never saw a rival.

The favourite Recon Mission was always in the firing line for Michael O'Callaghan, but was drawn away from the action in the centre of the track.

While he stuck on for third, it was left to Jessica Harrington's Dandys Ocean to chase home the winner, three-quarters of a length behind.

"She's not easy - she's very difficult at home," said Lyons. "Colin rides her most days and it's nothing more than he deserves for having that hardship.

"She'll go home now and hopefully she'll strengthen up to be a black-type filly. If not, we have the option of sending her to America."

Seamus Heffernan executed two perfectly-judged rides to give Aidan O'Brien a Listed race double.

Heffernan employed front-running tactics with Sarrocchi in the Garnet Stakes and she was well clear with two furlongs to run, although Damselfly closed to within three-quarters of a length at the line.

"Seamus gave her great ride," said O'Brien. "She's very genuine. I think she'll be off to stud now."

Curly is also set to head for the paddocks after Heffernan again made every yard on her in the Bluebell Stakes.

O'Brien began the day by saddling the first three home in the Tifrums Maiden as San Andreas (11/10 favourite) just got going in time to beat Ferretti and The Corporal.

Patrick Prendergast and Ronan Whelan landed another valuable prize when Cedars Of Lenanon was another to make all the running in the Auction Race Final.

Irish Independent

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