Tuesday 17 September 2019

Skitter Scatter in race against time for Matron mission - Oxx

John Oxx: Turnaround is not ideal. Photo: Sportsfile
John Oxx: Turnaround is not ideal. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

John Oxx would have preferred more time to prepare Group One-winning filly Skitter Scatter for her Matron Stakes tilt at Irish Champions Weekend with the Kildare trainer admitting that the short turnaround between runs is "not ideal".

Winner of the Moyglare last season when trained by Patrick Prendergast as a juvenile, Skitter Scatter returned from a hamstring injury picked up in a disappointing display in the English 1000 Guineas with a satisfactory performance when second at a Tipperary Group Three last week.

Oxx was pleased with that comeback effort by the daughter of Scat Daddy but the Curraghbeg handler does hold some concerns about returning to the racecourse just 16 days later.

"She ran a good race, she didn't win, which I would have liked her to do, but it was perfect really as she had a nice race. She just got tired and blew up in the last furlong. We were lucky to be able to get her there and get to run her on good ground," Oxx revealed.

"I would have preferred three weeks, but we hope now that she can progress enough to run another good race. It hasn't been ideal, but we have to be happy that she's been in good shape all along and has kept going the right way."

Meanwhile, Ten Sovereigns is "unlikely" to tackle tomorrow's Sprint Cup at Haydock with Aidan O'Brien believing that the predicted soft ground will not be to the liking of the July Cup winner.

"With the ground soft at Haydock and rain forecast, it's unlikely that Ten Sovereigns will run. If he doesn't run then Ryan (Moore) will switch to Fairyland. She runs and So Perfect will also take her chance," the Ballydoyle maestro said.

Tom Hogan's veteran Gordon Lord Byron (3/1) finished unplaced behind Richard Hannon's Qaysar (5/2 favourite) in the race named in his honour at Haydock yesterday,

The globetrotting star - extraordinarily having his 103rd career outing - has won over €2 million in prize-money but he couldn't add to his 16 wins on this occasion.

Ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, the loveable 11-year-old was caught for pace with two furlongs to run and began to drop through the field before running on bravely to finish fifth of the six runners.

Elsewhere, Barry Geraghty has delayed his comeback from a broken leg until next month. The 39-year-old suffered the injury at the Grand National meeting at Aintree in April and had hoped to return to action at Listowel next week.

However, on the advice of his surgeon, Geraghty - who has been riding out in recent weeks for Jessica Harrington, Gordon Elliott and Gavin Cromwell - has decided to give the leg more time to recover.

"I saw my surgeon yesterday and he's pleased with the progress, but feels I should give it one more month to strengthen before returning to race riding," he told attheraces.com.

"My fitness is improving all the time and I should be in good shape to start back in early October."

Irish Independent

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