'Dexterity' to miss Newmarket as Elliott eyes National treble
Verbal Dexterity has been ruled out of next month's 2,000 Guineas with trainer Jim Bolger reporting that his star three-year-old has met with a setback.
Bolger had planned to send Verbal Dexterity - an impressive National Stakes winner before finishing fourth in the Racing Post Trophy behind Saxon Warrior - straight to Newmarket on May 5 and was very complimentary of his chances. His next target is now up in the air but with entries in the Dante at York, the Irish Guineas and the Irish Derby, the Coolcullen supremo has plenty of options open to him in the months ahead.
In the jumping sphere, Gordon Elliott will rely solely on Fagan - the mount of Davy Russell - as the Meath trainer bids for a remarkable third Grand National this month in the Scottish equivalent at Ayr tomorrow.
Elliott won the Irish National with General Principle and Tiger Roll scored at Aintree last week but Fagan faces a tough task while Tony Mullins is also represented with Glencairn View, winner of a valuable handicap chase at Navan last month.
The Cullentra handler notched his 205th winner of the Irish National Hunt season when Sean Flanagan steered Azua Emery (2/1f) to the opener at Fairyhouse yesterday but it was a day when smaller trainers shone.
The most notable was John Ryan's Cluan Dara (7/2) - second to Samcro at the same track a year ago - which got off the mark at the 21st time of asking for Tommy Brett in the Fairyhouse.ie Maiden Hurdle.