Monday 18 December 2017

Halford has sights set on Winter

Irishcorrespondent, ridden by Shane Foley, winning the Leopardstown Summer Bundle Maiden
Irishcorrespondent, ridden by Shane Foley, winning the Leopardstown Summer Bundle Maiden

As well as having hopes that Irishcorrespondent could land a blow in tomorrow's 2,000 Guineas, Mick Halford will also saddle one of the main rivals to Winter in Sunday's 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Rehana won for the second time when scoring at Naas at the start of the month and did so having recorded some notable efforts in defeat prior to that.

The Aga Khan-owned filly was fourth behind Joseph O'Brien's Intricately in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh last year and returns to Group One level for this assignment.

Halford said: "Rehana has come forward since she won her Group Three at Naas and she likes good ground. Winter looked very good when she won he Newmarket Guineas and she'll be very hard to beat, but my filly was away last week and worked very well," the trainer admitted.

"Her win at Naas was over seven-furlongs but she relaxes so well that I think she has every chance of seeing out the mile."

Jim Bolger's Bean Feasa is now proven at a mile after winning the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown and Bolger will be aiming to win the race for a second time in three years following Pleascach in 2015.

"I'm hoping that she will step up again from her run at Leopardstown and that she'll run well," said the master of Coolcullen.

"She's very well and I'm happy with her, she has come out of the race well and I'm hoping for a good run. We are there to do our very best and hopefully we'll be there or thereabouts but it is a very, very hot race."

He added: "I'd be hoping that she'll improve as the year goes on and stay 10-furlongs as well.

Meanwhile, there was success in France yesterday for Wexford trainer John Paul Brennan whose Need To Know followed up his Punchestown Festival success to win the Prix Loire Anjou, a cross country race at Le Lion d'Angers.

Need To Know won the Dooley Insurance Cross Country Race on the final day at Punchestown.

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