Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Winning start for Sheikra

Trainer Brendan Duke has had three winners in a week

I'm Sheikra pipped the more experienced Reaching to make a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Naas.

The Captain Rio filly, owned and trained by Brendan Duke, got the verdict by a nose over the Aidan O'Brien-trained 6-4 favourite.

Reaching had looked like justifying strong support when battling to the front under Joseph O'Brien, but Rory Cleary brought I'm Sheikra (8-1) with a strong run in the final furlong to just prevail.

Duke said: "To have three winners in a week is brilliant as we only have 10 horses on the go. I really liked this filly. We started training her last year, but she was telling me she wasn't really up to it so we stopped and turned her away.

"She's a filly that will get black type. Rory was under instructions to give her two behind the saddle and no more even if it lost her the race. Mentally she'll improve for the run, but she wouldn't improve much fitness-wise."

The strongly supported Bold Thady Quill just got the better of Jamesie to strike for trainer Ken Condon in the www.thetote.com BBQ Evenings At Naas Handicap.

Shane Foley brought the 5-1 favourite from off the pace to challenge in the centre of the course.

It was a decisive move with the five-year-old gelding getting the verdict by half a length.

Condon said: "He ran well in this last year when he was fifth. The handicapper allowed him a little bit and didn't adjust him for a good run at Leopardstown.

"Thankfully he got it done today. He appreciated a little bit of ease in the ground. We always thought he was better on firm, but maybe he was more comfortable on that."