Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 February 2018

Gough sweats over Maestro's fitness for St Leger tilt

Sparta Maestro is a doubt for the second semi-final of the Kerry Agribusiness Irish St Leger at Limerick on Saturday.

The brilliant tracker eased up approaching the line when winning last Saturday's quarter-final – it has transpired that he sustained a pulled muscle in his hind quarters.

Trainer Phil Gough says the dog is now under treatment and a decision on his participation will be made later in the week. Skywalker Puma is the 15/8 favourite with Boylesports, while they still have Sparta Maestro at 2/1, Priceless Sky at 5/1 and a 10/1 bar for the other three.

Dolores Ruth, who has Kingo as the 20/1 fifth favourite for the Leger, has the two strong favourites for the Gain Feeds Select Stakes final at Waterford on Saturday.

Micheal O Muircheartaigh's Razldazl Rioga is the 4/5 favourite to land the €13,000 prize with kennel companion, Oaks winner Milldean Tally, at 9/4.

Next in the betting is Seamus Graham's Eabhas Fantasy at 9/2 followed by Pat Buckley's Killinan Cash at 9/1, Robert Gleeson's Krelco at 16/1 and Buckley's second runner Urard Gem at 25/1.

Graham Holland, who heads the trainers' list for the first time, was last night presented with the Personality of the Year Award by Minister of State Paul Kehoe at a function in Shelbourne Park. The English-born trainer, who is based in Golden, Co Tipperary, is a runaway leader in the trainers' list and has turned out two Classic winners during a remarkable year.

The Stud Dog of the Year award has been won for a second year on the trot by Head Bound, which is owned by Sean and Michael Dunphy from Knocktopher, Co Kilkenny.

The awards are run in conjunction with the 'Irish Greyhound Review' and the 35th volume of the annual publication was launched in front of a representative audience. The comprehensive 128-page annual is now available from all leading newsagents.

Entries close this morning for the Comerford Cakes National Puppy Stake at Shelbourne and a decision will be made before noon as to whether the event will commence this week. It could yet be put back a week.

There were 34 names in the book yesterday afternoon but a minimum of 54 is required for the event to commence this week.

Irish Independent

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