Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 20 January 2018

Havoc secures Bolger double

Hurricane Havoc completed a double for Jim Bolger when claiming the concluding conditions race at Navan yesterday.

The Hurricane Run filly (6/1) was sent off the outsider of the four runners after the withdrawal of Fancy Socks. She proved best in the finish, however, grinding out a three-parts-of-a-length victory over Creekside.

Johnny Murtagh had hit the front a furlong and a half from home on the Sheikh Mohammed gelding. But he was followed through by Hurricane Havoc and she put her head in front inside the final furlong to claim the spoils under Kevin Manning.

The winner had been well held in two 1,000 Guineas Trials at Leopardstown this season and benefited from the drop in class. "She's a nice filly and the plan is to step her up to Listed company. Anything between a mile and a mile and a quarter," reported Ger Flynn after speaking to Bolger on the phone.

Meanwhile, Dr Marwan Koukash has a potentially compelling hand for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot after Gabrial excelled at Beverley. The Cheshire-based businessman houses a bewildering number of runners across Britain, having plunged huge sums of money into racing this season. His enthusiasm is now likely to be rewarded with a strong team at next month's Royal meeting, at which Gabrial could join the Koukash-owned Gatepost in the Coventry.

Richard Fahey's sprinter was one of a quintet of runners aiming for top honours in the Brian Yeardley Continental Two-Year-Old Trophy on the Westwood, and didn't disappoint as the 6/5 favourite.

The Dark Angel colt travelled beautifully from the outset under champion jockey Paul Hanagan, who did not require maximum effort to master Cravat by half a length. Hanagan, bringing up his half-century of winners for the championship campaign, reported: "He's a grand horse and definitely wants a bit further." Fahey's assistant, Robin O'Ryan, added: "It was a good effort as he probably needs a faster pace.

"It's a bonus him winning over five furlongs as Paul and Richard are both emphatic he needs six (furlongs). He might go for the Coventry Stakes, but Marwan has another runner for that race (Gatepost) so we'll have to discuss it."

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