Tuesday 20 February 2018

O'Brien and Heffernan have 'Sound' claims for hat-trick

Trainer Aidan O'Brien Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien Photo: Sportsfile

Keith Hamer

Only four go to post in the feature race at Killarney this evening but it should be a case of quality over quantity.

Aidan O'Brien's Long Island Sound is unbeaten in two starts as a three-year-old and can make it a hat-trick here in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

The War Front colt, out of a half-sister to American superstar Zenyatta, has won twice at Dundalk and has entries in the St James's Palace Stakes and the Eclipse so he is clearly well regarded at Ballydoyle.

However, he might still have to work for the spoils at the Kerry venue. The Moore Factor won well at Gowran last month and that form has been boosted since with the third winning. Ger Lyons' Elusive Heights is also unbeaten, having won on his debut at Naas last month and will clearly improve from that, while the fourth horse in this evening's field, World Of Good, could be out of her depth.

Dermot Weld introduces Baliyka for the Aga Khan in the preceding Fillies Races and a chance is taken on this newcomer seeing off Willie McCreery's Erysimum which won at Sligo last time out.

In the Follow Us on Facebook Handicap, Eddie O'Grady has booked Kieran Fallon for top-weight Le Vagabond. He won twice on the Flat in France, and recorded his second win over hurdles at Tramore recently.

Elsewhere, it is the start of a new era at Gosforth Park where Newcastle stages its inaugural all-weather meeting on the Tapeta surface. The fixture has attracted 105 runners for eight races and such has been the demand that one race has been divided, with prize-money of £65,000 on offer.

The sole Irish raider is Coto, owned and trained in Clonmel by Matthew Tynan, in the last race on the card, the Mobile Betting At 188Bet Fillies' Handicap over five furlongs. "She won at Southwell and prefers a straight five. She's run at Dundalk but doesn't really like it there," said Tynan.

Irish Independent

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