Tuesday 20 March 2018

Tickled Pink can seal poignant victory

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

JUST two days after the death of her iconic husband Henry Cecil, Jane Cecil's name appears on the Leopardstown card alongside that of smart sprinter Tickled Pink.

Cecil's passing marked the end of a glorious career, and a new chapter will eventually unfold at his revered Warren Place stable in Newmarket.

In all probability, Mrs Cecil is unlikely to take responsibility for such a high-profile operation on a long-term basis, but for now hers is the title under which Cecil's team will compete.

Should none of the stable's four runners at the daytime fixtures in England oblige, Tickled Pink might well provide a poignant first victory in memory of her former handler at the Foxrock venue this evening.

The four-year-old Invincible Spirit filly must concede weight to each of her 11 rivals in the Group Three Ballyogan Stakes, but she has the potential to prove equal to the challenge under Tom Queally.

Impressive when scoring for a second time in a row on her reappearance on fast ground at Newmarket in April, Tickled Pink wasn't disgraced when ninth behind top-class sprinters like Society Rock, Gordon Lord Byron and Maarek on slower going at York.

That marked her down as a serious prospect so if the forecast fast ground at Leopardstown doesn't deteriorate, this six-furlong test ought to be within her reach.

Tommy Stack's Scream Blue Murder is another with scope to improve in the €60,000 contest.

Wayne Lordan's mount did just enough to score in Listed company at Nottingham last month and is one that would certainly appreciate any rain that falls.

Only half as many runners tackle the card's other Group Three, the Ballycorus Stakes, but it is still a decent contest.

Just 4lb cover the field on official ratings, with Ger Lyons' Lily's Angel worthy of respect as she goes in search of more black type.

However, Ballydoyle's Reply appeals as nap material. Previously deployed as a pace-maker, the Oasis Dream four-year-old has progressed in less exalted company this term, and looked one to keep on the right side of when striding clear at Naas recently.

In the Riptide Movement Apprentices' Handicap, Kevin Prendergast's Gary Halpin-ridden Celtic Dane might collect off a career-low mark.

Johnny Murtagh and Niall McCullagh combine for Carlorie in the juvenile fillies' maiden. As the first Irish representative for the mighty Sea The Stars, it will be fascinating to see how she fares.

Irish Independent

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