Orgilgo Bay watch can pay dividends
Killarney's four-day August Festival gets under way on the sort of heavy going that has blighted much of the Flat campaign, but the equine turnout has held up quite well in the circumstances.
A nine-runner €40,000 Listed race is the feature event at the picturesque Kerry venue, though it is the opening two-year-old maiden over an extended mile that boasts one of the most intriguing horses on duty.
Orgilgo Bay, which drew five lengths clear of the rest when pushing Sunday's Futurity Stake hero First Cornerstone to three-parts of a length at Tipperary last time, is the one that catches the eye in that extended mile heat.
Having also filled the runner-up berth behind the useful Dibayani on its Curragh bow, the Lawman colt is responsible for two of the 11 times that Stamullen-based John McConnell has watched his horses hit the crossbar this year. Still, with four winners in the past two weeks, McConnell seems to have turned a corner lately.
Stepping up from seven furlongs for a first time now and in the capable hands of Garry Carroll, Orgilgo Bay should have enough stamina to deny his five rivals to continue the yard's fine run of form.
Hall Of Mirrors, the Ballydoyle representative, finished well behind the nap selection when third in the Curragh race, while Dermot Weld's blinkered Impound didn't impress when second in a poor Galway contest.
In the main event, the Vincent O'Brien Ruby Stakes, Weld's Rock Critic has a squeak, as may the first-time blinkered Learn for Aidan and Joseph O'Brien.
Tommy Carmody's inmate Sweet Lightning — well clear of Learn when a slightly unlucky third in the Irish Cambridgeshire on Sunday — appeals more than either of those two.
However, the one with most going for it is Custom Cut. A brilliant four-time handicap winner in heavy ground for Tramore's George Kent, the prolific three-year-old had its work cut out on its last two starts at Galway, but is more favourably treated here under Danny Grant.
The other of interest on the seven-race spread is Tyrone trainer Andy Oliver's former Warwick maiden winner Ocean Drift in the www.mosscontrol.ie Handicap.
Fourth to Jembatt on its Curragh debut for the high-flying Caledon handler, that form was franked by the impressive victory of runner-up Joe Eile at headquarters last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Graham Lee rode his 50th winner of an incredible first summer on the Flat when Voodoo Prince completed a double in the feature City Of Ripon Stakes at the Garden Racecourse.
The Grand National-winning rider switched codes at the start of the season.
Apprentice Ray Dawson has been handed a two-year ban, 15 months of it suspended, by the Referrals Committee of the Turf Club after testing positive for a banned substance at Naas on May 16.
A urine sample was found to contain MDMA — commonly known as ecstasy — and its metabolite MDA. The Referrals Committee heard that Dawson's drink had been spiked by an ecstasy tablet at a party on May 13.
l DOWNPATRICK’S meeting which was cancelled on Bank Holiday Monday has been rescheduled for Tuesday, September 4.