Friday 18 January 2019

Harrington's 'Chicas' to strike at Curragh

Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Jessica Harrington. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Chicas Amigas could take advantage of having her sights lowered for the Mongey Communications Race at the Curragh today.

After winning her maiden over this six-furlong trip at Dundalk in May, Jessica Harrington's charge finished runner-up in a Listed contest at Naas before twice running unplaced in Group-race company.

She sets the standard in this six-runner affair with a mark of 94 and has cheekpieces fitted for the first time.

Evasive Power and Andre Amar look the dangers.

Three-year-old filly Excelling Spirit could give her elders the slip in a competitive Curragh Training Grounds Handicap. She clearly has plenty of potential after scoring on her third start in Cork for Willie McCreery.

Freiheit has been running consistently well without getting her head in front but her time may come for McCreery in the Curragh 'Where Champions Are Made' Fillies Maiden.

Cruciatus can put his experience to good use in the opening Maiden, although market moves for any of Aidan O'Brien's three newcomers - Barbados, Blenheim Palace and Sydney Opera House - would be significant.

Paddy Twomey's Foxtrot Liv is the one to beat in the six-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Median Auction Maiden after just failing by a nose over course and distance last month.

Hammersmith had no chance behind Anthony Van Dyck in a Group Three at Leopardstown but ought to make his presence felt in the Ryans Cleaning Event Specialists Nursery Handicap. Ben Coen's 7lb claim could be more than useful in this tight event.

A maximum field of 30 are due to go to post for the concluding Curragh 'Where Champions Are Made' Handicap and Zeeyalater can put up a bold show for in-form Sheila Lavery. He is a fast-ground horse who has slipped to his lowest mark of 53.

Arctic Fire is the star attraction on a seven-race card at Cork.

The top-class hurdler was retired by champion trainer Willie Mullins and his owner Nick Peacock earlier this year. However, Peacock later had a change of heart and returned the nine-year-old to training with Denis Cullen.

He made his first competitive appearance in well over a year in a two-and-a-half-mile conditions race at this venue almost a month ago and, while he performed well short of his lofty rating of 160, he ran with plenty of credit to finish third behind former stablemate Good Thyne Tara.

Connections will be hoping that effort has blown away any cobwebs and he is very much the one to beat in the Joe Walsh Memorial Hurdle.

Irish Independent

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