Monday 20 November 2017

Condon eyes more success for his 'Days' at Leopardstown

Trainer Ken Condon. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Trainer Ken Condon. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Ken Condon feels there is more to come from Success Days after his all-the-way win in the Royal Whip at the Curragh on Sunday.

Winner of the Ballysax and Derrinstown Derby Trials last season, he picked up a bad injury in the Derby at Epsom on fast ground and needs cut to be seen to best effect.

A series of solid runs this year had proved he was back to something approaching his best and he took full advantage of the weight he was getting off Fascinating Rock to beat the Champion Stakes winner by three-parts of a length, with Derby runner-up US Army Ranger in fourth.

"It was a great day, it was another career-best for me but the handicapper has said he's going to leave him alone," said Condon.

"He ran right through the line and crucially kept straight, which was a bit of a worry beforehand.

"He's trotted out sound and it was a polished performance, he's still improving. He was 5kg over his optimum weight so there's more to come. Shane (Foley) said he blew up in the final furlong.


"The fact he ran straight against the rail was the most pleasing thing for me, though, as I'd always felt he was better going the other way.

"It's not been decided if he stays in training next year, that will be reviewed in the autumn when we see where he's at.

"He's fresh, so there's a possibility of three more runs this year. Leopardstown's Champion Stakes is the first target, ground permitting, then he could go to Ascot and there's options abroad in November."

Maarek is set to bid for back-to-back victories in the Listed Beverley Bullet on Saturday.

The Group One-winning sprinter won the £50,000 dash by a neck under Jamie Spencer 12 months ago and is likely to return on Beverley's richest race day of the season, according to trainer Evanna McCutcheon.

"Maarek is also entered at Tipperary on Thursday," she said. "But I would say it was more likely he'll come back to Beverley for the Bullet instead."

Should all run smoothly at the weekend, Maarek is then likely to head to Chantilly for next month's Prix de l'Abbaye - a race he won in 2013 when staged at its usual home of Longchamp.

Irish Independent

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