Sunday 19 January 2020

Wachman's Lahinch Classics can hurry home at Gowran

David Wachman will hope Lahinch Classics can deliver for him at Gowran. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
David Wachman will hope Lahinch Classics can deliver for him at Gowran. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Richard Forristal

Gowran Park's Hurry Harriet Stakes might have got off to an inauspicious initiation seven years ago but it has since proved a resounding success by attracting double-figure fields each subsequent year .

The nine-furlong Listed race had to be transferred to Leopardstown after the Kilkenny track was flooded by heavy rainfall in 2007. Even then, though, it attracted 10 runners, and this evening's €50,000 edition comprises 15 declarations for the second time in its short history.

Dermot Weld, who has saddled the winner of the race twice, relies on the smart three-year-olds Carla Bianca and I'm Yours this time.

It remains to be seen whether either will turn out as good as Chinese White - which won this for the stable in 2010 en route to Group One glory in the Pretty Polly Stakes - but both have already been successful at this level.

I'm Yours enjoyed her finest hour over course and distance in April, and she certainly won't mind the slow ground conditions.

Pat Smullen has opted for Carla Bianca following her taking defeat of Palace on fast ground at Killarney in late June, and her race-fitness could prove crucial.

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for a third of the field, although Joseph O'Brien has eschewed getting down to 9st for any of them, with Beyond Brilliance and Shell House the pick of the quintet on official ratings.

Plenty others could figure - Ballybacka Queen is of renewed interest after struggling in unsuitable conditions lately - but the one that appeals most is Lahinch Classics.

The David Wachman-trained filly won at Dundalk on her seasonal bow, and she has since lost little in defeat in good company when second to Volume at Newbury and Mango Diva at the Curragh. Both were rock-solid efforts, so she is trusted to confirm her progression under Wayne Lordan now.

While the reigning champion jockey rides a pair of two-year-olds for the elite Ballydoyle stable earlier on, they might also be worth opposing. In the maiden, Johnny Murtagh's Hunt accounted for the O'Briens' reopposing Rule The Waves when a promising second on his Leopardstown debut last month.

If Niall McCullagh's mount builds on that here, he should win, and top-weight Toscanelli is taken on in the seven-furlong nursery with Ger Lyons' The Ice Meister, which drops slightly in trip after failing to excel over a mile in Killarney.

The nap vote is the Smullen-ridden Gone Viral in the nine-furlong handicap. Sheila Lavery's three-year-old won here on similar going on its reappearance in April, and kept on well to be second to No Dominion over a mile at the Curragh last Sunday.

That suggested that she can still win off this mark and the trip shouldn't be a hindrance.

Meanwhile, Paul Hanagan looks like delaying his return to action until Monday to ensure he can be at peak fitness for the Ebor Festival at York next week. The dual champion jockey has been sidelined since suffering a hairline fracture in an arm following a fall at Glorious Goodwood two weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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