Tuesday 17 July 2018

Flymetothestars to foil Mullins raid

Inside Track

Jim Crowley riding Fidaawy (left) wins at York yesterday and he will be hoping for similar success this afternoon. Photo: Getty Images
Jim Crowley riding Fidaawy (left) wins at York yesterday and he will be hoping for similar success this afternoon. Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Ward

Can you name the last Irish winner of today's Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes? Clue number one: The year that Galway last won a senior All-Ireland in football. Clue number two: Manchester United. Clue number three: Antrim.

We won't be ending the famine today either - with no runner making the journey over. It is a record in which the Irish record is terrible yet, with the Curragh hosting a similar contest in tomorrow's Round Tower, and the Gimcrack's competitive nature, perhaps this is no surprise.


Many moons ago I knew Tommy Crowley when I worked in Dublin. Back then his son Jim was something of a journeyman rider on the northern jumps circuit. You'd likely have gotten 1000/1 on him ever being champion Flat rider - as he was last year.

Crowley can take the Gimcrack today. He teams up with Charlie Hills aboard Nebo, a progressive Kodiac colt which went well in the same class of race (Group Two) the last twice, though it would be no surprise were something to progress to be faster.

Ivan Grozny flies the Irish flag in the Ebor but hardly seems thrown in off 105 under Crowley for Willie Mullins, who took the race with Sesenta in 2009. The antepost selection here, Flymetothestars, makes obvious appeal.

He went down narrowly in the Northumberland Plate for Mark Prescott and should get the juice in the ground his connections state he requires now. Moreover, he is lightly raced.

There are some familiar faces in the Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes, none more than Sovereign Debt - and what horse is more likeable?

In 54 starts, he has been in the first two in 33 of them, and picked up £759,253 in prize-money.

Mondialiste finds the nine furlongs at least one too sharp, whilst Master The World steps up in yardage for David Elsworth and is tentatively preferred.

Intellect could take the Melrose Handicap, which is extremely competitive. Given Nathaniel's reputation for getting horses which need time, Michael Stoute is a trainer that should do well with his progeny, and the mount of Richard Kingsote appealed as a stayer to follow when bolting up from the front at Newbury.

Goodwood's Grosvenor Sport Prestige Stakes is an interesting contest. Godolphin's Peace Trail looked a smart prospect in her Newmarket win and may dictate again at the expense of another once-raced winner in Verandah.

Ultimate Avenue was a bit unlucky to finish third in a four-go bunch finish in a sprint handicap at Newmarket last month. Jamie Spencer will fancy his chance of going two better aboard Ed Walker's colt, which has plenty of pace.

The Group Two Celebration Mile provides the nap of the day in David Simcock's Lightning Spear. He is probably best at this type of trip, looks worthy of his mark of 117 and should be too good if running to his rating under Oisin Murphy.

And, should you still not know, the last Gimcrack winner from Ireland was Rock Of Gibraltar.

Irish Independent

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