Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 25 April 2018

Slight drop in trip to suit classy Haziyna

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Haziyna is the classiest prospect in action on this evening's low-key card at Naas.

John Oxx's charge shares a top rating of 97 with Sapphire and Priomhbhean in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies' Race. The Dermot Weld-trained Sapphire is also interesting, having finished just a length and a half behind Banimpire in May.

However, dual handicap winner Haziyna, which had Saturday's Down Royal hero Banksters Bonus behind when third to Laughing in a Listed race at Leopardstown two weeks ago, is on the upgrade.

Just run out of it on the line last time, the slight drop in trip to 10 furlongs ought to suit, and it is significant that she receives weight all round.

Proceedings get underway at the Kildare venue with the Royal Sun Alliance Supporting Aware Maiden. Five of the seven runners are already well raced, with Aidan O'Brien represented by Eagle Canyon, a colt that has shown ability.

Preferred here is Paul Deegan's Expire. Twice placed in handicaps off 87, the son of Kheleyf is still the highest-rated starter off a current mark of 81.

There is no doubt that Willie Supple's mount has been difficult to win with and it is a little off-putting that the blinkers are back on now, given that he didn't run too well on the only previous occasion that he wore them at the end of last season.

Nevertheless, Expire didn't look at all dishonest when just run out of it by Nidian over six furlongs at Navan last week, so the return to five might be to his advantage.

In the Goffs Country Handicap, Crystal Morning is fancied to account for recent winners Blackwitch Woman and Vastitas. The latter duo are well exposed, but Crystal Morning is a different proposition altogether.

Jessica Harrington's Cape Cross filly has run just seven times in all, scoring a debut victory off 74 at Tipperary in April. She followed that with a fifth to Haziyna at Navan, before then finishing third to Leceile at Naas. Those were two solid efforts in good races, and suggested that Fran Berry's mount can win off her current mark.

Tom McCourt's Bangalore Prince gets the nod in the sixth and final race on the card. A respectable sixth behind Compelling and Vastitas at Limerick, his first-time handicap rating of 65 seems very fair.

Willie Mullins hasn't had a winner since the start of the jumps season, but he struck on the Flat at Ballinrobe last night when he sent out Dorset Square to justify a short price in the staying handicap.

Playdate and Apache Drums were fighting it out approaching the final when Dorset Square, backed into 6/5 favourite, soon pounced under Pat Smullen to land the spoils by two lengths.

John Bleahan's Fleur De Nuit blew away the opposition when running out an impressive 13-length winner in the opening 14-furlong maiden.

Oxx's Dawariya took the nine-furlong maiden under Johnny Murtagh, while Ronan Whelan was seen at his best aboard Follyfoot in the Coleman Quarries Handicap.

Katie Walsh teamed up with her father Ted aboard the Barry Connell-owned Devil's Bit and the pair ran out convincing winners of the Purcell Construction Maiden Hurdle.

Irish Independent

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