Wednesday 13 December 2017

Success Days can exploit doubts over Found as Moore returns to fray

Success Days, pictured here winning the Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown last year under Shane Foley, is fancied to score again at The Curragh. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Success Days, pictured here winning the Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown last year under Shane Foley, is fancied to score again at The Curragh. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Ryan Moore will have his first rides in Ireland for nearly six months when he flies in to combine with Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh tomorrow.

Whether his final book includes the brilliant Breeders' Cup Turf heroine Found remains to be seen.

O'Brien has declared Golden Horn's Keeneland conqueror for the Alleged Stakes over 10 furlongs, but he indicated earlier in the week that she might not run if ground conditions at headquarters deteriorate.

The going was soft at declaration time and is expected to be worse by tomorrow, so there is a chance that the Ballydoyle genius will draw stumps with the Cape Cross four-year-old.

One of only two horses - both fillies - to topple last year's exceptional Derby and Prix de l'Arc victor Golden Horn, Found floundered when beaten in deep ground on her seasonal bow last year, before going on to excel with gallant placed efforts in four Group Ones prior to her deserved moment glory in the States.

That is doubtless something that will be in O'Brien's thinking, although she did win a soft ground Group Three here in between.

Still, given the doubts surrounding her, Success Days is put forward as a viable alternative.

Ken Condon's grey was a revelation in deep conditions this time last year, winning three times on the spin, including the two Derby trials at Leopardstown.

He flopped in the Derby itself, but he was never going to compete at Epsom on fast ground. Jarred up on his return, he didn't run again until tackling a German Group One in November, when he again underperformed.

For whatever reason, that display was too bad to be true. Success Days has had a proper break since, but the fact that Condon has him out early would suggest he has come to hand quickly again, as he did last term.

If that is the case, then he and Shane Foley appeal as nap material to prevail.

In the €62,500 Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes, Moore and O'Brien combine for Dick Whittington, the Group One-winning juvenile that was a disappointing fourth on his sole 2015 outing in the Greenham.

While he is a horse with obvious quality, he is also taken on in what is a pretty competitive Group Three.

Stable-mate Cougar Mountain, Tom Hogan's Gordon Lord Byron and Paul Deegan's Irish Lincoln victor Sruthan all have claims, but the one to keep on side may be Endless Drama.

Successful on its sole juvenile start at Naas, Ger Lyons's Lope De Vega colt filled the runner-up berth in each of its three outings last year behind Zawraq, Tombelaine and Gleneagles.

He emerged with varying degrees of credit on each occasion, most notably when getting to within three-parts of a length of Gleneagles in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Lyons subsequently opted to rough him off with a view to this year, and that is a decision that might begin to reap its reward now.

Endless Drama seems to be ground versatile, so Colin Keane's mount can secure a deserved win.

Cougar Mountain's rider Colm O'Donoghue has been rewarded for his consistent excellence from limited opportunities last year by being named as Jessica Harrington's first-choice rider now that Fran Berry has linked up with Ralph Beckett.

Berry is also on duty here and may take the juveniles' maiden on Patrick Prendergast's Callender, while O'Donoghue can score on Harrington's St Brelades Bay in the six-furlong handicap.

Equipped with blinkers for a first time after being intimidated out of it when seventh here to Bubbly Bellini two weeks ago, St Brelades Bay has to turn the tables on the winner and four others that finished in front of him that day.

Needless to say, he has something to find, but the head-gear might work, and he appeals as being well handicapped on his best form.

At Limerick, Ruby Walsh is pencilled in to return after spraining his foot at Clonmel on Thursday. He is booked for Avant Tout and Beau Mome. Neither is banker material, but both could win.

Avant Tout faces just three others in the Grade Two novices' chase. Lord Scoundrel is probably the best horse in the race, but he wouldn't be sure to stay three miles, so Avant Tout can plunder the €25,075 winner's prize.

Irish Independent

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