Tuesday 23 January 2018

Endless Drama spearheads busy weekend for Irish raiders

Ger Lyons has big hopes for Endless Drama in the Lockinge Stakes. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Ger Lyons has big hopes for Endless Drama in the Lockinge Stakes. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The prospect of just a second Irish-trained Lockinge Stakes victory since the Newbury contest achieved Grade One status rests with Ger Lyons' Endless Drama.

Hawk Wing's record-setting 11-length rout in the mile contest 13 years ago remains the only win for the raiders since 1995.

Tomorrow, Lyons will strive to double that figure - and his own Group One tally - with Endless Drama, five years after Lightening Pearl plundered the Cheveley Park Stakes for him.

It also represents a chance for Colin Keane to break his duck at the highest level. With Qatar Racing's Killarney-born first-choice rider Oisin Murphy on Arod, Keane is reunited with Endless Drama for a first time since steering him to a successful debut at Naas in October 2014.

The Lope De Vega colt was last seen chasing home Gleneagles in the 2015 Irish 2,000 Guineas. He is as big as 14/1 to win to make a winning return in tomorrow's £350,000 13-runner contest, with Godolphin's Richard Hannon-trained Toormore heading the betting at odds of 4/1.

In a French 2,000 Guineas temporarily situated at Deauville on Sunday, Aidan O'Brien will bid for his fourth win in the Classic after supplementing The Gurkha.

A runaway Navan winner on just its second start last month, The Gurkha will likely be ridden by Ryan Moore in the €550,000 Group One, while Moore is also expected to partner O'Brien's Alice Springs in the fillies' €450,000 equivalent.


In America, Willie Mullins will give Nichols Canyon and Shaneshill the chance to set up a tilt at a $500,000 bonus. The Graham Wylie-owned duo are poised to tackle tomorrow's Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle, the winner of which will be eligible for the massive windfall should they follow up in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Ruby Walsh will partner Nichols Canyon in the $200,000 in Nashville, with Danny Mullins falling in for the ride aboard Shaneshill.

Irish Independent

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