Tuesday 23 January 2018

Cullen ponders Golden Jacket tilt for Becky

Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

Shaneless Becky, arguably the top stayer in training, is set for a busy start to the year with two staying events, one on each side of the channel, on her agenda.

The classy winner of Ireland's six-bend classic, the Corn Cuchulainn, last year and runner-up in the Night Of Stars 750 on her return from season is set to contest the Christys Bolt Open 790 at Clonmel on Sunday, February 26 and hopefully the final the following Sunday.

Owner/trainer Brendan Cullen is then considering bringing the bitch over to London the following Saturday for the first round of the Ladbrokes Golden Jacket.

This is a three-run competition which has been won twice in recent years by Irish stayers and is run at Crayford over 714 metres.

Tyrone-based Cullen said: "The two events could suit ideally as the two runs at Clonmel would have her spot on for Crayford. I am studying the travel arrangements at the moment but it is very tempting".

Sir Paddy just got the better of Airfield Paudie in the battle of the favourites in the second round of the Red Mills Open Unraced at Clonmel on Sunday, and the draw has thrown them into opposition again next Sunday in the quarter-finals.

Airfield Paudie shot off in front and led by almost four lengths at halfway but Sir Paddy finished strongly and got up late for a half-length verdict in a fastest-of-the-round 28.67.

Next best on the clock was Graham Holland's Cabra Lou as she won by a length from Kereight Wizard in 28.81. The runner-up was known as Quietly Fancied when winning the first round but has been bought by Aidan Denton.

The other heat winners were Cahernaheena Lad 29.12, Laughil Bolt 28.91, Clares Wonder 29.24 and Inslips Dino 28.91.

Best bets

Liam O'Rourke had almost four times as many winners as any other handler at Harold's Cross last year.

Tonight he looks likely to record at least one winner, with both Sandymount Gent and Theodolite holding strong claims.

Sandymount Gent (9.16) faces a favourable draw in the eighth race as the sole wide seed.

Theodolite (9.55) faces an easier task than in recent outings and could prove difficult to beat in the finale. If trapping on terms he would have too much ammunition for his rivals.

Tote guarantees

The Early Pick 4 Jackpot at Harold's Cross this evening will be guaranteed for €2,000 after the pool twice eluded punters on Friday night.

The Pick 4 at Shelbourne on Thursday will also be guaranteed to €2,000 after being carried forward on Saturday night.

Irish Independent

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