Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 February 2018

De Bromhead feeling fantastic

Absolutlyfantastic is likely to have the Galway Festival on his agenda after opening his account over fences with a fine front-running performance in the beginners' chase at Ballinrobe last night.

Henry de Bromhead's charge jumped well in the main under Davy Russell and, while The Bull Hayes tried hard to throw down a challenge, he was playing second fiddle from the penultimate obstacle.

Russell's mount got a bit low at the last, but still had plenty in the tank and could afford to ease down in the closing stages for a length-and-a-quarter success.

"I'm relieved as we were having a lot of seconds recently. It's nice to get off the mark," said De Bromhead. "There is a race in Roscommon, which Davy said His Excellency will probably go for, and the two-mile novice in Galway. Those are the races we are looking at."

Paul Carberry was in double-winning form, first striking with the well-backed Usa in the opening maiden hurdle for trainer Stephen Mahon.

The Bertolini gelding had been well backed from 14/1 in the morning and the support continued on course as he went off a 9/2 shot, but Carberry had to be at his best to get the better of 9/10 favourite Jimjim Mac Cool by a head.

The Meath rider completed his brace aboard Noel Meade's Mickelson in the conditions hurdle.

Elsewhere, Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso is a surprise absentee from the final field of six in tomorrow's Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown. The Queen's Carlton House is now the headline name, with last year's Dante winner and Derby third having his first start since finishing fourth in the Irish Derby.

Without Monterosso, Godolphin now rely on Hunter's Light, winner of three Listed races. Colombian, which landed the Gordon Richards Stakes for John Gosden, returns to the Esher track.

The venue for Monterosso's return to action has still not been decided. Godolphin's flag-bearer holds an entry in Saturday's Investec Coronation Cup, but his participation is still not certain.

"He's in the Coronation Cup at Epsom and he could run there, but his options are open," said trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni

Godolphin's star stayer Opinion Poll heads a field of 10 declared for the Henry II Stakes on the same card.

David O'Meara's veteran Blue Bajan bids to repeat last year's success on the back of his sixth in the Yorkshire Cup, in which another Henry II hopeful Times Up was fourth.

Irish Independent

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