Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Fire Lily can step up to land spoils for Wachman

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Maybe, the current ante-post favourite for both of the fillies' Classics in England next year, is as short as 4/6 to further enhance her reputation by maintaining her flawless record in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at The Curragh tomorrow.

As expected, La Collina, seeking a Group One double following her shock victory over the colts in the Phoenix Stakes three weeks ago, leads the opposition. Beaten by the Ballydoyle tyro when they clashed at Leopardstown in July, Kevin Prendergast's Strategic Prince filly must find a quarter of a length here off 3lb worse terms if she is to turn the tables.

While she has clearly improved in the six weeks since they last met, La Collina faces a tough task.

Maybe has yet to be pushed to the pin of her collar in four outings and the general potency of Aidan O'Brien's juvenile collective is reflected in her price.

That said, the seven-furlong showpiece, which looks set to be run on slow ground, might not be just a two-horse race. Of the nine other runners, Fire Lily, representing David Wachman and David Lordan, appeals as a viable alternative at up to 10/1.

A Navan maiden winner, the daughter of Dansili turned in a fine display to land the Anglesey Stakes when stepped up to six furlongs on soft ground at headquarters last month. She followed that with a terrific effort to be second to Best Terms at York.

Richard Hannon's unbeaten winner could be right up there with the best two-year-old fillies, and Fire Lily was the only one to take her off the bridle, the pair drawing clear of the remainder.

Again, what was notable was the way that Lordan's mount stuck at her task in slow conditions, and she just might be an even more potent proposition now that she steps up another furlong in trip tomorrow.

In the preceding Market Slide Flying Five, the possibility of testing going may hinder the chance of Brendan Duke's supplemented Roicead, and the same could be true of the Mick Halford-trained Invincible Ash.

Eddie Lynam's 2010 Nunthorpe hero Sole Power is, likewise, expected to struggle should the ground ride slow.

The five-furlong Group Three dash has always been raider friendly, and Amore Propre, one of two English-based runners, might be the one here. Henry Candy's five-year-old handles a bit of cut, is lightly raced and has been coming into form.

One that is already at the peak of its powers is Bible Belt. Jessica Harrington's three-year-old is two from two this term, and tackles the Dance Design Stakes on the back of a five-length triumph in Listed company at Gowran Park.

This week's Killarney winner Wild Wind and John Oxx's consistent Haziyna should keep her honest, but Bible Belt is difficult to oppose.

Also fancied is Defining Year in the Irish Cambridgeshire. While the one-mile handicap is typically open, this one's effort to be third at Galway was promising, and it's notable that both of his career wins have come on soft ground.

Irish Independent

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