Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 February 2018

Sabaidee can do the 'trick' to keep Murphy on winning roll

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

CO CORK handler John Murphy can continue his recent purple patch with the hat-trick-seeking Sabaidee at Ballinrobe this evening.

With 10 Flat winners to his name already, the Upton-based handler is on track to at least equal his previous best of 15, and this much-improved four-year-old filly is napped to further that likelihood in Thetote.com Apprentice Handicap.

Having scored by a ready seven lengths at Bellewstown at the beginning of the month, Sabaidee defied a 17lb higher mark to again storm home at Killarney last week.

A five-pound penalty means that she must concede upwards of 13lbs to her 15 rivals here, though Murphy clearly isn't worried about that, as he has elected to let Colin Keane retain the ride, rather than use his own in-form apprentice Connor King – who did the steering at Bellewstown – to take four pounds off.

In truth, given the manner in which Sabaidee won in Kerry, she should still have more than five pounds in hand.

Keane also has a live chance in the preceding maiden over the same one-mile-six-furlong trip on John Carr's recent course and distance runner-up Benash. Converted hurdler Prima Vista and bumper winners Storm Away and Katie T are others that add depth to the six-runner affair, but Cullentry Royal is just preferred under Billy Lee.

Since winning a bumper on its Sligo debut last year, Gordon Elliott's five-year-old has finished second on four occasions, latterly having given Writer's Block an unassailable lead at Leopardstown.

Had Barry Connell's charge been better placed that day, he would probably have won, so he is fancied to make amends now.

Elliott might also take the mares' maiden hurdle with Definite Row. Myblueeyedgirl, Via Del Corso and Ashbury are among a handful of others that matter here.

However, in four track starts, Definite Row has won a bumper and been placed three times, so she has the scope to outpoint these on her hurdle bow for Davy Condon.

The concluding maiden should see the JP McManus-owned Hospital get off the mark.

Second in a modest race at Sligo last time, the Eric McNamara-trained son of King's Theatre faces a similarly poor standard of opposition under Mark Walsh tonight.

Irish Independent

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