Sunday 18 February 2018

Lord in 'perfect shape' to take on Marshal -- Queally

Thomas Kelly

Waterford-born jockey Tom Queally is confident a recent win at Chester will have done Lord Shanakill the power of good ahead of his run in today's Betfair Cup at Goodwood.

The four-year-old failed to find the target on his first three outings since joining Henry Cecil, but scored a shade cosily in a Listed heat on the Roodee earlier this month.

He returns to Pattern company on the opening day of Glorious Goodwood and Queally is hoping for a bold show. Speaking in advance of the big meeting, the former star apprentice said: "He had been running in Group One races so we dropped him in class at Chester, when he won pretty comfortably in a performance that will hopefully have given him a real confidence boost.

"This trip is ideal for him and it looks the perfect spot. Air Chief Marshal looks the one to beat, but I am going there pretty hopeful.

The progressive Air Chief Marshal is the sole Irish representative in the seven-furlong contest. Aidan O'Brien's charge has won his last two outings -- one on the all-weather at Dundalk and the other a Group Three at The Curragh -- and looks sure to run well for Colm O'Donoghue after getting a good draw in stall nine.

Clive Cox has a strong hand as he saddles last year's runner-up Balthazaar's Gift as well as Dunelight, placed in this race in 2008 and 2007.

"We're delighted to get Balthazaar's back to seven furlongs," said the trainer. "He's run creditably over six furlongs and ran very well in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot, but seven furlongs is his ideal trip.

"He ran a super race here last year and I'm very happy that he's in good nick. The ground will be on the fast side but that should be fine for him.

"He goes there as a proven Group Two winner and likes the track, so I'm very confident of a good performance."

"Dunelight loves it round here and has run some blinding races. He wasn't beaten far by Paco Boy in this race a couple of years ago and is a Listed winner this season, so we thought we'd have a go on one of his favourite tracks."

Riggins has run well in a couple of hot handicaps since joining Andrew Balding this season and the trainer is looking forward to seeing how he fares on his first start in Pattern company.

"It's a big step up in class for him and a drop back in distance, so it is a little bit of a punt, but the horse seems in great form," said Balding.

Dalghar drops down in grade after running a creditable fifth in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Georges Rimaud, racing manager for his owner the Aga Khan, said: "He was beaten at Ascot but he ran a good race and certainly ran well enough to come down to a Group Two, so we're hoping he goes well."

Irish Independent

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