Condon takes bold approach
Published 30/08/2014 | 20:09
Ken Condon is doubly represented in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh.
The Rathbride trainer fields the Robbie Downey-ridden top-weight Bold Thady Quill as well as Strait Of Zanibar (Niall McCullagh), who has already won three times season.
Condon said of Bold Thady Quill: "He has ended up with top weight and we are just claiming off him to help that. The draw (two) probably doesn't matter that much to him as he does tend to be a bit slowly away.
"He has run very well in his last two Curragh handicap appearances. He was second off 96 and went up 3lb and was second off 99 and went up another 3lb to 102. I just feel it is a bit high for him to be winning, but I'm sure he will give a good account of himself.
"He was second in this race in 2012 and he has been placed in two Lincolns, so he does run well at the Curragh. Off 102 it is going to be difficult, his last handicap-winning mark was 81."
He added of Strait Of Zanzibar: "He has had a super season and on his last seven runs he hasn't been worse than fourth.
"The one concern we would have is that he hasn't ever run particularly well at the Curragh. I think he is better on a turning track. We will ride him with a bit of confidence and he will take his time.
"His previous highest winning handicap mark was 82 and he is 87 now, although he has run well off 85 a few times. He does look in particularly good form this year and he has a nice racing weight here. With a bit of luck we would be hopeful he will run well."
Recent Topaz Mile winner Vastonea is sure to prove popular with punters with Gary Halpin taking a valuable 7lb off, while his trainer Kevin Prendergast is also represented by the three-year-old Maskoon, with Chris Hayes having the ride on this son of Aqlaam.
Prendergast's nephew Patrick saddles Canary Row and he said of the Rick Barnes-owned colt: "He is very, very healthy and well and every bit of rain will help him.
"He will be doing his best as usual. He has been waiting for rain and to run in premier handicaps. He has to give wait to the likes of Vastonea and he hasn't won since he was two."