Monday 18 December 2017

El Salvador to make raid on Sandown pay for O'Brien

Ryan Moore will ride El Salvador at Sandown. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Ryan Moore will ride El Salvador at Sandown. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The ever-potent Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore alliance tackle this evening's Henry II Stakes at Sandown with El Salvador, but the bookmakers offer odds of 9/1 about the heavyweight firm emerging on top in what will be a gruelling Group Three.

Moore, who was his usual brilliant self in driving Marvellous to Classic success on Sunday, boasts a 20pc strike-rate for the Ballydoyle whiz in Britain and Ireland.

El Salvador has a 9lb gap in the ratings with the market leader Brown Panther to overcome, but the Galileo five-year-old – beaten just six lengths in last year's Ascot Gold Cup – hasn't been sent to England for a day out.

He will relish the testing ground, and would be coming here on a hat-trick had his latest outing at Limerick been run over yards further than the extended 12-furlong trip.

Denied by a diminishing whisker by Tarana then, El Salvador is fancied to be a formidable opponent over two miles now.

Conditions may not play to the strengths of Philip Hobbs' classy jumper Menorah on its Flat bow under the rejuvenated Kieren Fallon, with the Michael Owen-owned Chester winner Brown Panther and the Alan King-trained 2013 Ebor victor Tiger Cliff (Tom Queally) more dangerous rivals.

Moore might also be on the best horse in an intriguing edition of the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, with Michael Stoute's Hillstar expected to account for Remote, Top Notch Tonto and Sharestan.

At Chepstow yesterday, Adrian Keatley, who is based in Dunlavin on the Kildare-Wicklow border, enjoyed his first success as a trainer when Lady Ranger readily justified 2/1 favouritism under 16-year-old apprentice Sean Corby, who was also having his first ride in Britain.

"This is my second week with a licence," Keatley beamed afterwards.

"I was assistant to Oliver McKiernan for four years before I went to work for Chris Waller in Sydney for a couple of years and I was assistant to Peter McCreery for a couple of years when I came back. He has been a big help and I rent part of his yard."

Earlier, jockey Liam Keniry was stretchered off the track after a nasty fall in the seven-furlong maiden.

Keniry was riding the Tony Carroll-trained Rowlestone Express when she appeared to slip in the closing stages. The filly was quickly up and while Carroll reported Keniry to be conscious, the rider was taken by ambulance to the weighing-room for further assessment.

Irish Independent

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