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Sunday 4 December 2016

Forceful Keatley

Adrian Keatley won't be involved in this weekend's Irish Classic but he is still hopeful of making his mark on the weekend with new recruit G Force. Picture Credit: John Grossick
Adrian Keatley won't be involved in this weekend's Irish Classic but he is still hopeful of making his mark on the weekend with new recruit G Force. Picture Credit: John Grossick

Irish 1,000 Guineas winning trainer Adrian Keatley won't be involved in this weekend's Irish Classic but he is still hopeful of making his mark on the weekend with new recruit G Force.

The high class sprinter joined Keatley for this season and had his first run for the trainer on Irish Derby weekend when finishing fifth in a listed race over six-furlongs.

On Saturday, the Group One winner will revert back to the minimum distance for the Group Two Kilfrush Stud Sapphire Stakes and the trainer is hoping it will prove a nice stepping stone for a trip to Glorious Goodwood later in the month.

Keatley, who has five runners at Chepstow today, said yesterday: "G Force is in good form and Saturday's race was the only one for him between now and the Stewards' Cup and I just felt he needed another bit of match practice, so we threw him into it on Tuesday morning. Hopefully he'll run a big race."

Eddie Lynam's Sole Power is also among the entries and trainer Michael Dods is expected to make a decision today about whether he is going to send Mecca's Angel to the Curragh for the same race so it promises to be quite a fascinating renewal.

Keatley added: "We learnt a lot about him the last day as it was his first run for us. He was obviously a bit ring-rusty that day but he showed a nice burst of speed but we know that the enthusiasm is still there and the burst of speed is there on the day when we need it. Saturday's race will leave him spot on for the Stewards' Cup."

Dods is also looking at using Saturday's valuable Group Two contest as a warm up for the future.

"If we're going to run her before the Nunthorpe this is the only option, so it's looking likely at the moment," he said.

Fruitful

Meanwhile, jockey Pat Smullen will be hoping that his often successful relationship with trainer Hugo Palmer will once again prove fruitful as he rides We Are Ninety in the Irish Oaks.

The dual Derby winning jockey guided Palmer's Covert Love to victory in the Irish Oaks last season and is hoping that We Are Ninety can belie her odds and run a big race this weekend.

"She's a very progressive filly and was well fancied going into Royal Ascot but probably ran a bit below par but you can always forgive a horse that," Smullen said. "Hugo thinks enough of her to bring her over and hopefully we can have a repeat of last year!"

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