Friday 24 November 2017

Raiders aiming to plunder Perth prize

Press Association

While most punters' eyes are on Galway, Antrim trainer Stuart Crawford is hoping to raid some prize money at Perth this evening.

The big race at the Scottish venue is the £11,000 Orion Group Handicap Chase and Crawford is hoping that Call Box can claim the spoils in the hands of Peter Buchanan.

"I'd rather the race was over hurdles as he is better treated but he is a natural chaser," the Larne-based handler said. "He was second over hurdles at Perth three weeks ago and we were disappointed he didn't win.

"The smaller field should help him and he should come on for that last run. It was his second race back as he had been out hurt over a year."


Crawford runs two – Sultana Belle and Aintnosanityclause – in the maiden hurdle, while Mourne Paddy in the novice handicap chase and The Ice Factor in the finale will also travel with realistic chances.

Compatriot Pat Griffin will fancy his chances of landing the novice chase with Twentypoundluck, while Gordon Elliott's horse-box rarely leaves the track without a winner and interestingly, Feisty Lass is the Meath handler's sole representative.

Elsewhere, sprinter Pearl Secret will miss the rest of the season after suffering a fractured splint bone.

David Barron's inmate made a hugely encouraging seasonal return when third in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot and was due to return in the Betfred King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on Friday.

Barron said: "He's fractured his splint bone, just below the knee, and how it's happened I haven't a clue.

"It's very disappointing as everything was on target with him. He had run a stormer on his first run back at Ascot, we'd been patient with him working for a bit of nice ground and after watching him work on Friday, I was thinking, 'Here we go'.

"We were looking forward to Goodwood and then this has happened, and as far as this year is concerned that's him finished."

At Ayr yesterday, trainer Michael Dods was thrilled to see Le Chat D'Or get off the mark for the campaign with a smart display in the day's big race. Sent off the 7/2 favourite for his latest assignment in the featured one-mile handicap, Le Chat D'Or was ridden patiently by Paul Mulrennan before being produced to challenge on the far side of the track in the straight.

While his attitude may have been questioned in the past, the gelding was certainly up for it, finishing off the mile strongly to score by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Suits Me.

The victory was the second leg of a double on the card for Darlington-based Dods and completed a treble on the afternoon for Mulrennan.

Dods and Mulrennan had earlier combined to clinch the 13-furlong handicap with 15/8 favourite Beat The Tide.

Mulrennan's hat-trick was initiated by the Keith Dalgleish-trained Les Gar Gan, which justified 13/8 favouritism in the opening auction maiden.

Irish Independent

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