Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Quill back for more at the Curragh

Bold Thady Quill (left) winning at the Curragh in 2012

Irish Derby weekend at the Curragh kicks off with a seven-race card on Friday evening featuring the Done Deal Handicap over a mile.

There are 17 declared for this 50,000 euro contest, with the weights headed by Ken Condon's Bold Thady Quill. The seven-year-old gelding landed this race two years ago off a mark of 81, but returns rated 99 although jockey Sean Corby takes 7lb off.

"He's been a good campaigner for us, but is most effective on soft or heavy ground so we will want a bit of rain. He ran very well off 96 in a good handicap on Guineas weekend behind That's Plenty," Condon said.

"He's in great form. He has had a few wind operations, but is tough and tries.

"He likes the Curragh and has been placed in a couple of Lincolns there."

Condon also saddles In Salutem who scored in Limerick last week before being touched off at Gowran Park.

He said: "He has been a frustrating horse that has promised more than he has delivered. It's worth a shot at the mile, even though seven furlongs is his best trip. He has hit form in back-to-back runs.

"He'll be ridden patiently to get the mile. You wouldn't want him trying a mile on soft ground.

"If he gets the trip he'll give a good account of himself with a light weight on his back."

Sabrina Harty runs the improving Breathe Easy who has won two of his last three races.

She said: "He's a very sweet horse from a nervous family so he's been very hot and we are trying to look after his mental health and take him along very easily. He's very keen, but he's learning to race. He stays well and he has a nice weight.

"The hood does him no harm so we'll keep it on him.

"He's very classy and has plenty of scope and should have an each way chance dropping back in trip."

Aidan O'Brien has three unraced juveniles in the Tom Crean's Irish Lager European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden - Cocoon, Qualify and Words. He has won this race in five of the last 11 runnings.

Feach Ar Agaidh bids to go one better when he lines up in the mile maiden. Jim Bolger's three-year-old colt made a pleasing introduction when second to Leafcutter in Gowran Park.

Keith Moriarty, 16, gets the leg up again on hat-trick-seeking Calm Bay in the Today FM Handicap. Moriarty won on his first racecourse ride on board the eight-year-old sprinter in Navan.

The Done Deal Apprentice Derby has a very competitive look to it. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane have had an excellent June and it could be topped off with a big run from Captain Teemo who got off the mark in Fairyhouse.

Harty expects Ned's Indian to run a big race in the mile-and-a-quarter handicap, if fit enough on his return from a break. He has not been seen since December, but was running consistently well on the Polytrack at Dundalk during the winter.

Sea The Stars colt Streetcar To Stars will be popular in the Hanlon Concrete European Breeders Fund Maiden. John Oxx's charge holds an entry in the Irish St Leger.

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