Friday 23 February 2018

Fahy wants softer ground for Ballybacka Queen

Trainer Pat Fahy Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile
Trainer Pat Fahy Photo: Paul Mohan / Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Pat Fahy is to wait for the ground to ease before running Ballybacka Queen again after conditions dried out quickly at York.

Fahy reported that the mare was unhappy with the going last Thursday and lost her action during the Group Two Middleton Stakes in which she finished sixth behind Beautiful Romance.

"The ground was too hard for her at York and she lost her action. She couldn't cope with it. She didn't enjoy it. The ground dries out very quick," said the Co Carlow handler. "It's not the first time she's done that. She did it at Newmarket once and at Haydock when she lost a shoe. She just needs the ground to suit her.

"I'm going to ease back with her and see how the weather is in Ireland. There's little for her here, so we'll take it easy for a bit and see where we go hopefully towards the end of the season."

Meanwhile, Knife Edge held on gamely to give trainer Marco Botti a second success in the German 2,000 Guineas at Cologne.

The Newmarket handler struck with Excelebration in 2011 and Knife Edge got on the roll of honour with a gutsy display.

Ryan Moore sent the Zoffany colt to the front from the stalls and Knife Edge, which had the benefit of two runs on the all-weather last month, proved up to the task.

Markus Klug's course-and-distance winner Degas put up a strong challenge, but Knife Edge would not be denied and got a narrow verdict to take the honours for owners Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith.

"It was quite a tight finish, but obviously Ryan gave him a great ride," said Botti. "He ended up making the running. There wasn't much pace and he probably just idled a little bit in front and once the runner-up came to him, he found a little bit more and kept on.

"He's entered in the St James's Palace (at Royal Ascot). We need to speak to the team and see what they want to do next."

British sprinters were out of luck as the Fabrice Chappet-trained Finsbury Square took Group Three honours in the Prix de Saint-Georges at Deauville.

Robert Cowell's Spirit Quartz and the Paul Midgley-trained Monsieur Joe helped set the pace in this five-furlong dash but they were left wanting at the business end of the race. Christophe Soumillon produced Finsbury Square at the right time to score from Son Cesio with Ride Like The Wind third.

Irish Independent

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