Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Chief suffers Killarney reverse

Indian Chief

One-time Derby hope Indian Chief could not get his career back on track when he finished a disappointing last of three in the Killarney Grand Race at the County Kerry track.

Aidan O'Brien had entertained Classic hopes for the son of Montjeu, but he was beaten into third in the Dante Stakes at York and fared badly at Royal Ascot, so this was something of a retrieval mission, and he has several Group entries.

St Jean made the running, with Indian Chief held up in last place by Joseph O'Brien, and when Shane Foley took it up on the Sheikh Mohammed-owned Opera Gloves (7-2) there was no response from the 4-11 favourite. Opera Gloves went on to win in cosy fashion by a length and a half.

Successful trainer Mick Halford, who had already sent out a jumps winner with Paddy The Celeb in the opener, said: "She has a preference for going left-handed and we will probably take her to Listowel next for a Listed race."

The O'Brien team did get on the scoresheet with Mekong River (4-5 favourite), who duly disposed of his two rivals to take his 100% record to two in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery after leading all the way.

The trainer said: "He is a hardy horse and he stays well. He learned a lot from Gowran (where he won in the stewards' room). Joseph made the running as he felt he would get the trip well and I'd say he learned plenty again today."

Katie Walsh drove He's Our Man (9-2) to victory for her husband Ross O'Sullivan in the ML Lynch Civil Engineering (QR) Race, getting the versatile eight-year-old home by a short head from Marchese Marconi in a thrilling finish .

The trainer said: "He is my stable star and Katie was very good on him. She was very strong in the finish. There is a meeting at Galway in a few weeks and there is a hurdle and chase there that would suit him. If he doesn't go there he could go to Listowel."

Highly regarded apprentice Connor King was successful on Ravello Again (11-8 favourite) in the Killarney Oils Handicap, while the Tracey Collins-trained Roe Deer (10-1) was an easy winner of the Killarney Sports & Leisure Centre Handicap in the hands of Pat Smullen.

Collins said: "He likes fast ground and it was all against him at Galway. He is a very big horse and Pat gave him a great ride as he is difficult enough to ride on a track like this. He is nearly 17 hands and here is a tight track for him. He is very lightly raced as he has taken a long time to come to hand. He is by Vinnie Roe and hopefully he has a good future."

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