Sport Horse Racing

Friday 20 April 2018

'Cuba' an ally worth backing at Killarney

Trainer Joseph O Brien. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Trainer Joseph O Brien. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Johnny Ward

Joseph O'Brien has had an outstanding summer, flying high with his Flat runners and snaring the richest hurdle race in Europe.

He can keep the party going for main patron JP McManus in the form of Santiago De Cuba in the JOC Metal Fabrication Limited (Pro/Am) Flat Race. Notably this one is by Pour Moi, sire of Wings Of Eagles, and his bloodless course win on debut marked him down as a smashing prospect.

He gets the nap vote, especially with the feature MSL Cork Mercedes-Benz Handicap Steeplechase being such a difficult heat. McManus's The Gatechecker is a worthy play here under Mark Enright for veteran trainer Michael Hourigan after a cracking run at Galway.

The Clifford Ground Care Limited Novice Chase is probably the most enticing event of the day, with classy duo Peregrine Run and Rathvinden renewing Galway rivalry, Conrad Hastings a definite threat to them both.

There is little form to go on in the opening Maiden Hurdle so if Cymro can jump - rated up to 105 on the Flat - he should bolt up for Joseph.

Meanwhile, Royal Ascot winner Pique Sous has been retired due to injury, owner Supreme Horse Racing Club announced. The Willie Mullins-trained grey won eight times during his 26-race career, landing the Queen Alexandra Stakes three years ago at Royal Ascot.

Mullins' Max Dynamite, another high-class stayer, is available at 33/1 for the Melbourne Cup after his win on Thursday at Killarney.

Irish Independent

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