Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 25 February 2018

Classy Futurity triumph will see Pathfork on Guineas trail

Martin Kelly

Pathfork (10/11 favourite) looked a very smart colt in the making as he maintained his unbeaten record with victory in the Galileo European Breeders Fund Futurity Stakes at The Curragh yesterday.

Always handy behind the pace-setting Rudolf Valentino, Fran Berry's mount still moved sweetly when taking control of the race at the two-furlong pole.

Market rival Glor Na Mara ranged upsides inside the last but Jessica Harrington's charge found plenty to run out the ready winner.

William Hill go 12/1 about his English 2,000 Guineas chance having been 33/1 in the morning, while Paddy Power are 12/1 from 20s for the Newmarket Classic.

Harrington said: "He just jumped out and got a great position, Fran said he was always cruising. He's such a laid-back horse, he's brilliant with an amazing temperament. Fran said he was only getting going at the end.

"We'll discuss with the owners as regards future plans for him."

Earlier, Rajik stepped up markedly in class to take Listed honours in the Ballycullen Stakes for Charlie Swan and Declan McDonogh.

Successful in a valuable handicap at the Galway Festival, the versatile five-year-old was sent off at 10/1 for this stiffer assignment.

McDonogh brought his mount with a strong run in the straight as the stiff early pace set by 11/8 favourite Roses For The Lady and Drumfire began to take a toll.

Rajik went away in the end to beat the staying-on Silverhand by three lengths, with Roses For The Lady third.

Swan said: "He's just improving and improving, it's so hard to believe he was beaten in Wexford. We were going to enter him in the Ebor only he ran so bad at Newcastle.

"He'll either go for the Irish Cesarewitch or go back over hurdles."

Queen Mary runner-up Meow just got home to land the odds in the Listed Grangecon Stud Stakes.

David Wachman's filly showed stacks of pace from the stalls under Johnny Murtagh, and had enough in hand as Ladie's Choice came at her deep inside the final furlong to record a neck success.

Wachman said of his 4/6 favourite: "She got a little tired on the run-in, but Johnny was happy enough with her and we'll see what happens from here."

Sunday Independent

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