Monday 26 February 2018

Easy to breathe extra life into Harty's slow-burning campaign

Sabrina Harty's Breathe Easy is a 'solid option'
Sabrina Harty's Breathe Easy is a 'solid option'
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Breathe Easy is fancied to build on the promise of his recent Curragh reappearance and justify the nap vote at Leopardstown tonight.

Sabrina Harty's team has been relatively slow to come to hand, but Have A Nice Day got her off the mark for the Flat campaign in a valuable handicap on the Sunday of Irish Derby weekend.

A day earlier, Breathe Easy returned to action with a fine turn in a similar contest, just getting thwarted by Hasanour after making the running.

That was a performance that suggested that the five-year-old still has more to give.

He has run just 11 times in all, winning twice in succession at the Curragh during the height of summer last year, having also won there and at Dundalk earlier in the campaign.

Breathe Easy's latest triumph came off a mark of 81, which is what he raced off on his comeback. He is 5lb higher now, and, while he didn't excel off similar ratings towards the end of last term, there were mitigating circumstances in the shape of unsuitable ground and a long season taking its toll.

All told then, if Breathe Easy improves for his Curragh outing, he is a solid option here under Leigh Roche. As a horse that likes to front-run, it would obviously help if he doesn't get taken on early, with Dermot Weld's first-time blinkered Katimavik possibly the one most likely to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

Arguably the most interesting runner on the card is Hidden Cyclone in the concluding qualified riders' maiden. Shark Hanlon's classy chaser is making his bow on the level at the mature age of 10 on the back of another solid jumps season.

Hanlon is using the near two-mile contest as a prep for the Galway Hurdle, an unorthodox plan for a horse that has never run on the Flat and not over flights for over four years.

It will be interesting to see how it unfolds, but, having been successful on his sole bumper outing in 2010, he sets a decent standard. He might prove hard to beat under Patrick Mullins.

Jim Bolger's Curragh debut winner Sanus Per Aquam gets the nod to account for Ballydoyle's course victor Port Douglas in the juveniles' race, while his Stellar Glow can gain a long overdue win under Kevin Manning in the 12-furlong maiden.

She has been highly tried in the past, but ran well when second to Outstanding in Listed company at Naas. This longer trip might suit her even better now.

Irish Independent

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