Saturday 20 January 2018

Classy Connor King shows ability on Colour Blue to initiate double

Connor King riding Maundy Money, on their way to winning the Guinness Time Handicap. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Connor King riding Maundy Money, on their way to winning the Guinness Time Handicap. Galway Racing Festival, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

REIGNING champion apprentice Connor King took the honours at Killarney, where his race-riding ability helped him to a 12/1 double.

King judged the fractions superbly aboard Colour Blue to land the four-runner median auction race, which was the biggest prize of the night.

Over an extended mile, King stuck to the rail on Willie McCreery's charge and had Lanyard for company as the pace quickened up the home straight.

Having shaken off Lanyard, Colour Blue (5/2) was then challenged by Davids Park, but the joint favourite could not get to King's mount, which battled on resolutely for a half-length victory.

King brought up his double on Joseph Murphy's Daredevil Day (11/4f) to take the extended mile handicap.

A wall of horses held chances with three furlongs to race, but it was Gone Viral which burst through to take up the lead at the two-furlong pole.

However, King was still going well and while Hannah's Magic collared Gone Viral inside the final furlong, it was Daredevil Day which quickened best of all on the wide outside to claim the spoils.

There was a shock in the closing conditions race as the Willie Mullins-trained odds-on favourite Arctic Fire got nailed on the line by Monica Dowdall Blake's Shu Lewis, which benefited from the determined urgings of Seamie Heffernan.

Earlier, the judge also had to resort to the photo-finish to separate Hospital and Beckwith Star in the two-mile handicap chase.

The latter, trained by Henry de Bromhead, made the more fluent leap at the last, but jockey Mark Walsh quickly got to work on Hospital and Eric McNamara's 2/1 favourite responded gamely to secure the verdict by a short-head.

De Bromhead enjoyed better luck in the opening novice chase as his You Must Know Me broke his duck over fences, although the 1/2 favourite was pushed all the way by Sammy Black.

An untidy jump at the last did Sammy Black (5/2) no favours and You Must Know Me was able to get his head in front on the run-in. He scored by four lengths in the Alan and Ann Potts colours and De Bromhead indicated that the Kerry National in September is the long-term plan.

Irish Independent

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