Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 17 December 2017

McManus' eye-catching Creek can take another step in right direction

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The JP McManus-owned Rae's Creek stands out as genuine banker material in the concluding maiden on this evening's all-Flat spread at Fairyhouse.

Jessica Harrington's New Approach colt – a three-parts brother to Jim Bolger's Gan Amhras, which finished third to Sea The Stars in the 2,000 Guineas in 2009 – caught the eye when fourth to Ralston Road at Leopardstown a month ago.

The form of that contest has held up well since, and Rae's Creek's effort to stay on keenly from the rear under hands-and-heels riding suggested that he is a horse going the right way.

On his only previous start, Fran Berry's three-year-old mount was a respectable sixth behind Epsom Derby hero Ruler Of The World at the Curragh.

His subsequent Leopardstown turn showed that he had improved in the meantime, so he may not need to progress much further to land this modest 12-furlong affair.

Bolger's Feile Bride is the obvious danger, having finished a gallant third on her Tipperary bow last week.

However, having made much of the running before narrowly giving best there, this filly could again prove vulnerable to something like Rae's Creek, which will most likely come from off the pace once more.

With a €15,000 prize fund, the seven-furlong conditions race is the joint most valuable purse on offer.

Recent all-weather scorers Akasaka and Hot Bed are just two of the 10-strong line-up of interest, but none has quite so much potential as Mooqtar.

A son of the brilliant 2006 Breeders' Cup Classic and 2007 Dubai World Cup victor Invasor, the well-bred Kevin Prendergast-trained colt quickened clear to collect in some style on its racecourse debut at Leopardstown last autumn.

SMART

The runner-up Mouteab came out and beat Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician next time, while John Oxx's smart Little White Cloud was well held in fourth.

That is extremely solid form, and the suspicion is that Mooqtar could yet show himself to be a very exciting colt. As such, he ought to begin his three-year-old campaign with a straightforward triumph under Chris Hayes now.

Despite finishing last of seven on its racecourse bow at the Foxrock venue in April, Exogenesis is fancied to provide Ger Lyons with his first juvenile winner of the campaign under Gary Carroll in the opening maiden.

The Dark Angel colt ran well behind Focus On Venice that day, and should enjoy the forecast quick ground here.

Irish Independent

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