Our Conor to make seasonal bow at Naas
O’Brien can Craft another Birdcatcher
Our Conor will return to action at Naas tomorrow.
There may be black-type flat action at both Cork today and Naas tomorrow but it will be the appearance of the 84 rated Our Conor in a mile and a half handicap that will be many people’s weekend centrepiece in Ireland.
There is a €30,000 first prize for Our Conor’s race at Naas and on the back of owner Barry Connell’s generosity in announcing all of the horse’s winnings this season will go to the Jockeys Emergency Fund, there will be even more support for the brilliant four-year-old.
That brilliance has come in four starts over hurdles since Our Conor’s previous flat start over a year ago. But the memory of that Triumph Hurdle rout in March, plus his hugely-expensive purchase by Connell afterwards, not to mention entirely realistic hopes he could lift the Champion Hurdle crown this season, means this is no ordinary 84 rated runner.
Danny Mullins, Connell’s retained rider, will also get his first racecourse experience of the Dessie Hughes star.
Dermot Weld’s Rasmeyaa started the season a single figure price to win the 1,000 Guineas. She wound up beaten almost 50 lengths but there was enough encouragement in her reappearance behind Fiesolana at Tipperary in August to suggest she can pick up the Garnet Stakes.
The historic Birdcatcher Nursery will be unique this year in being run over seven furlongs due to development work on the Naas track earlier in the summer. Even at six furlongs, Craftsman would have had a shout, but this trip makes the Listowel winner look a leading contender.
Today’s Listed highlight at Cork is the Navigation Stakes and if ground conditions turn against the topweight Brendan Brackan then Line Drummer can take advantage.