Tuesday 26 March 2019

Chicas Amigas gives backers a fright

Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Chicas Amigas was made to pull out all the stops to justify short-priced favouritism in the feature race at the Curragh yesterday.

The daughter of Dragon Pulse burst out of the stalls under Colm O'Donoghue and was soon leading her five rivals over the straight six furlongs.

However, it was not all plain sailing as Chicas Amigas was taken on and even headed by Evasive Power, but she battled back and got up to win right on the line by a short-head.

Trainer Jessica Harrington said: "She's battled back, but she wants seven furlongs. We'll move her up in trip now, but where we go I'm not sure."

Harrington and O'Donoghue completed a double when 11/2 co-favourite St Brelades Bay struck gold in the Curragh Training Grounds Handicap.

Jim Bolger, meanwhile, was delighted to see Cruciatus get his head in front for the first time in the EBF Maiden.

The Teofilo colt, which had shaped with promise in each of his previous three starts, knuckled down to beat the fast-finishing Dumouriez by a head under Kevin Manning.

Bolger said: "He deserved that win and we'll consider going back in trip with him. There was no pace early so Kevin had to get on with it."

The Paddy Twomey-trained Foxtrot Liv fairly bolted up in the Fillies Median Auction Maiden. Billy Lee's mount, which was beaten just a nose at the Curragh last time out, was always well to the fore and readily kicked six lengths clear of Syrena.

Meanwhile, Arctic Fire claimed his first victory since the 2017 Cheltenham Festival with a clear-cut success in the Joe Walsh Memorial Hurdle at Cork.

Denis O'Regan cut a confident figure throughout on the nine-year-old former top-class hurdler and after looming up to join Flaxen Flare in the straight, Arctic Fire kicked clear for a decisive eight-length win.

Afterwards, trainer Denis Cullen said that Arctic Fire may return to Grade One level in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December - a race he won in 2015.

Mark Fagan claimed his first winner in more than seven years as 10/1 shot Just Klass got the better of even-money favourite Koroleva (Ruby Walsh) to land the opening Maiden Hurdle under Danny Mullins.

Irish Independent

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