Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Handassa aiming for classic redemption

Trainer Kevin Prendergast Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Trainer Kevin Prendergast Photo: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Ashley Iveson

Kevin Prendergast's Handassa could bid to repair her reputation in Sunday's Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

The three-year-old really impressed on her racecourse debut at the track in October, but she was beaten into fourth when sent off favourite for the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown early this month.

Angus Gold, racing manager for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, believes she is capable of better than that, but is unsure whether she is up to winning in Classic company or not.

"I know Mr Prendergast did want to run her and we'll see what happens," said Gold.

"It's hard to make a case for her on what she did the other day, but everything went wrong from the moment the gates opened.

"She did everything wrong that she could have done. She didn't break well, got behind them, jumped the road and got unbalanced.

"I can't tell you if she's good enough or not, but all I know is Kevin is keen to run her and for a man of his experience to want to let her run in the Guineas, he must think she's a decent filly.

"I certainly wouldn't say she has a good chance of winning it because she ran an ordinary race last time, but she looked decent last year and we'll see."

Jessica Harrington will decide whether Laughing Lashes will take her chance after walking the track.

The grey ran no sort of race in a fast-ground 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and her trainer is keen not to run her on such a quick surface again.

"It all depends on the rain. If we get the rain we're meant to on Saturday, then she'll run," said Harrington.

"I'll walk the course on Friday morning and see, but we're very rain dependant.

"She came out of Newmarket fine, but she just won't let herself down on firm ground. If the ground was good I'd be happy. I just don't want to make another cock-up!"

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