herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Anne is top bird

It is Birdcatcher day at Naas tomorrow afternoon as the County Kildare track hosts a mixed card and it is local trainer Willie McCreery who can land the leading nursery contest with the Sheikh Mohammed-owned Queen Anne.

The Birdcatcher is always one of the more competitive races run at Naas all season and this is no different with Ger Lyons' top weight Dandyleekie holding a chance and Johnny Murtagh's Puck Fair is another to have strong claims but Queen Anne won nicely at Listowel and although outclassed in good company last time out, she can have a big say with Pat Smullen booked to ride.

Smullen will be crowned champion jockey for the seventh time next weekend and he can possibly enjoy a big race double at Woodlands Park with Dermot Weld's I'm Yours picked to win the listed Garnet Stakes.

Not seen since winning in listed company at Gowran Park back in April, I'm Yours does have that lay-off to overcome but Weld couldn't have his team in better form and the break shouldn't be a huge concern.

Market moves should be closely observed for the remaining maidens of the season but of those with form in tomorrow's opener is Johnny Murtagh's Hunt in the colours of Qatar Racing.

After two seconds to his name, he could get Smullen off to a good start to what could be a memorable day.

Trainer Alan Fleming has relocated back to his native Ireland to take up a roll predominately training for Barry Connell and that pair look to have the one to follow in the Andrew and Bridget Kenny Memorial Maiden Hurdle as Fairyhouse bumper winner Investmentsuccess makes his jumping debut.

Willie Mullins has yet to get his jumping team into top gear and as he and most other jump trainers await a change in the ground, there may be a nice prize to pick up on the Flat with Lucky Bridle in the October Handicap with champion apprentice jockey elect Colin Keane booked to ride.

CONCLUDING

While many will look to Mullins and his son Patrick in the concluding bumper as they team up with Lyrical Theatre.

Providing she puts her Galway run behind, where the ground was possibly a shade too quick, the daughter of King's Theatre should return to winning ways and hold off the likes of Sandymount Duke, who caused a major upset when winning at Listowel at odds of 40/1 for Jessica and Kate Harrington.

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