Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Lady can deliver on home soil for impressive Keatley

Shane Foley, who won at the Curragh with Final Frontier, pictured, will put Hasanour to the test at Navan tonight
Shane Foley, who won at the Curragh with Final Frontier, pictured, will put Hasanour to the test at Navan tonight
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Adrian Keatley has been responsible for one of the training performances of the week at Ayr and he could add to his haul with Anonymous Lady at Navan tonight.

Based south-east of the Curragh in Dunlavin, Keatley, who learned his trade with Francis Flood and Oliver McKiernan, is earning a name for himself as a highly efficient operator.

He took four horses to run at the Scottish track on Sunday and Monday, returning home with three winners and a second to take his tally there for the past two seasons to six wins from 13 runners for a 46pc ratio.


With seven wins, Keatley's overall cross-channel percentage is 33pc, while his domestic strike-rate is 6-64 for 9pc. That his yield would be more modest in this competitive environment is to be expected, but 45pc of his runners have finished in the first four, which is impressive for a rookie.

Seven of Keatley's last eight runners have been in the first four, the first of which was Anonymous Lady at the Curragh on Irish Derby weekend. In first-time blinkers, she was just run out of it over six furlongs, her effort petering out behind Dark Alliance.

As such, it is mildly surprising that the handicapper has seen fit to drop her straight back to her previous mark of 68 from 70. With the similarly insatiable Sean Corby, who rode each of Keatley's three Ayr winners plus one other for Heather Dalton, taking a further five pounds off, Anonymous Lady has a bundle of appeal this evening.

She contests a handicap over a trip a little shy of six furlongs, which might just suit a horse that has won once in eight previous starts, that victory coming over five at Dundalk last autumn.

In the €100,000 Nasrullah Handicap that was transferred from last night's Leopardstown meeting due to ongoing drainage works at the suburban Dublin venue, Hasanour is on a hat-trick.

Mick Halford's five-year-old won two similarly valuable events at the Curragh on each of the two Classic weekends, and a 10lb hike for the second of those sees him burdened with top weight of 9st 12lb here. Shane Foley's mount might well be a major player again on his first stab at 10 furlongs, but preferred in this 11-runner affair is Ger Lyons' Unsinkable.

A winner of four races between six and 10 furlongs, the Verglas five-year-old has thrived since joining Lyons in the autumn, winning twice from six starts.

He is rarely far away, and was also third in a proper contest at Cork last month, when he tired late on behind Ballybacka Queen over 12 furlongs.

Having initially cantered to the front two furlongs out, it looked as if the grey simply didn't get home, so this return to a more suitable trip could prove key now. The handicapper even moved to put Unsinkable up two pounds for his Cork run, possibly swayed by the runner-up Shadagann's subsequent Curragh triumph. All told, then, Colin Keane's mount ticks a lot of boxes here.

In the other relocated 10-furlong handicap, Willie McCreery's B Cosmos is fancied to build on his encouraging first try at the trip when second to Harasava at Sligo, while Cork handler Ken Budds and Donnacha O'Brien might take the maiden with Here For The Craic.

An unlikely jumps convert at eight years of age, the Millenary gelding has run well to be second in two outings at the Curragh, and this doesn't look an especially hot contest.


On tonight's hurdle card at Budds' local venue in Mallow, Mick Winters is trusted to deliver the nap vote with Theos Well in the two-mile maiden.

A Listowel bumper winner under Jonathan Burke two years ago, the son of Tamure hasn't quite fulfilled his potential in the interim. Found to be lame after being soundly beaten when odds-on favourite at Tipperary in May, Theos Well won on his return to the Flat at Ballinrobe a month later. He is still a slight enigma, but he might be good enough to get off the mark over flights in this modest heat, with Burke back up top now.

Gordon Elliott's Bayan should win the feature under Jack Kennedy, with the 2014 Galway Hurdle runner-up being readied for a return to Ballybrit.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport