Monday 18 December 2017

Fame And Glory set for Saddler's Rock test in Leopardstown contest

Reigning Gold Cup champion Fame And Glory could have a pre-Royal Ascot showdown with Saddler's Rock after the pair both featured among the entries for Friday night's Seamus/Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown.

Aidan O'Brien's stayer looks to be taking exactly the same path as last year through the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan and this Listed event, but he could have strong opposition.

Dermot Weld's Unaccompanied, which was only just beaten in the Vintage Crop, could be back for another shot while John Oxx representative Saddler's Rock looked a potential threat in the division last year when winning the Doncaster Cup, but has not been seen since last September.

Weld has also entered Sense Of Purpose while there are three possible runners from England -- Eternal Heart and Gulf Of Naples from the Mark Johnston yard, and Mark Prescott's All My Heart.

Paul Deegan's mare Midnight Soprano could step up in class after winning four consecutive handicaps, while Jessica Harrington can choose from Bob Le Beau and Steps To Freedom.

Meanwhile, Jim Bolger has warned his sidelined Classic hope Parish Hall will not be ready for an engagement at Royal Ascot.

The trainer had issued bullish reports about last year's Dewhurst Stakes winner and had intended to run him in both the Irish 2,000 Guineas and last weekend's Derby, but had to withdraw him on the morning of the Curragh showpiece due to a leg infection.

Parish Hall is engaged in the St James's Palace Stakes on June 19, but Bolger said: "I had to enter him at Ascot, but he won't make it. He has a small wound where the infection broke out and it will take a bit of time."

Bolger's candidate for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, the Derrinstown trial winner Light Heavy, was confirmed by his handler to be "in good shape".

At Redcar, favourite Danadana (5/4) gave Luca Cumani his second Zetland Gold Cup in three years after a cool ride from Kieren Fallon.


Fallon looked poised to strike for some time during the mile-and-a-quarter contest, passing long-time leader Navajo Chief with a couple of furlongs remaining and setting sail for home.

Young Longford jockey Darren Egan is expected to be absent for a few days as he recovers from a fall on Derby day at Epsom.

The apprentice was thrown to the ground when Star Date came down in the opening race, the Diamond Jubilee Handicap. Egan was treated on the track for some time before being taken to hospital for X-rays.

He is based with Chepstow trainer Ron Harris, who said: "It was a horrible fall but thankfully he hasn't broken anything. He's gone back to Ireland for a little while and I imagine he'd be taking the week off."

Irish Independent

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