Veteran 'Brackan' aiming to prove vintage for Lyons
Ger Lyons will be hoping age is no barrier with stalwart Brendan Brackan as the nine-year-old bids for his sixth Listed success on his seasonal bow in the Heritage Stakes (5.0) at Leopardstown today.
The 110-rated gelding should be suited to race conditions and after signing off last season in style with Listed success at Cork, Lyons' charge will take beating under champion jockey Colin Keane.
He had the re-opposing Onenightidreamed (second) and Pincheck (fourth) behind on that occasion but with both having a run under their belts, there will be optimism that the tables can be turned, particularly by the former.
Dermot Weld has farmed this race with six victories in the last nine renewals and is represented by outsider Tandem under Leigh Roche, while Irish Lincolnshire winner On The Go Again may find the going a little tough.
Champion trainer Aidan O'Brien opens the seven-race card with a three-pronged attack on the fillies maiden (3.30) with Broadway, a half-sister to Danedream, the most likely winner having ran with credit on her sole juvenile start.
The Ballydoyle maestro is double-handed in the Leopardstown 'Club 30' Membership Maiden but the pick of the pair looks to be Gardens Of Babylon based on his encouraging third here in the autumn.
The opposition will test his credentials, however, with Jim Bolger's Change Of Velocity a smart prospect while the Coolcullen maestro also starts exciting €675,000 purchase Scriobh Nua in the JJ Kavanagh & Sons Fillies Maiden (5.35).
Meanwhile, Bloomfield claimed a Listed success with a dominant display in the featured Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes at Cork yesterday. Willie McCreery's four-year-old raced just three times during her first campaign in 2017 but showed plenty of potential, including when second to the classy Eziyra in a Group Three over this course and distance.
Having taken up the running early in the straight, the 4/5 favourite was pressed by Clear Skies, but her stamina came to the fore and she strode away again in the hands of Billy Lee to dispose of the staying-on Glamorous Approach by over four lengths.
"It's grand to win and she is as honest a filly as you can get," said McCreery. "I have her in next week (Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan) and I'd say she'll stay the mile and three-quarters, but I don't think running her is the right thing to do. I wanted to see if she was a Cup filly, because she does settle so well and all she does is gallop."
Lee was completing an 8/1 double as he had earlier won the opening auction maiden with the Pat Twomey-trained Expected (4/1) which galloped his rivals into submission to score by 21 lengths.