Barry Connell hoping for an impressive display from Golantilla

Seven year old could be bound for Cheltenham if victorious at Leopardstown

Barry Connell: looking forward to Cheltenham this year following last year’s disappointments. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Barry Connell: looking forward to Cheltenham this year following last year’s disappointments. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 
Barry Connell

The Carrickmines-based financier always loves a winner at his local track and he is certainly anticipating a more enjoyable Cheltenham festival this year compared to 2014.

Having made the tough decision to not run horses he had with Philip Fenton on the back of the trainer’s involvement in the anabolic steroid controversy – including a prime festival hope in The Tullow Tank – Connell then lost Our Conor to injury in the Champion Hurdle.

The Tullow Tank is due to make Cheltenham this time though in the JLT and Connell has until next Saturday to decide whether or not to supplement Foxrock into the Gold Cup.

Gwencily Berbas (Triumph Hurdle) is another festival hopeful although Connell, whose sole Cheltenham festival winner to date is Pedrobob in the 2007 County, describes the Albert Bartlett contender Martello Tower as “my bet of the meeting”.

Holds entries

The complexion of the Christmas Grade One Golantilla ran in was altered dramatically by Nicholls Canyon’s early exit but he still only lost second to Sizing John in the closing stages.

He’s now rated 134 which on ratings gives him a major task against both Western Boy and Gerdago, as well as Felix Yonger who is having a first start over flights in almost three years. However there should be substantially more to come from Golantilla who is having just his seventh start.

Connell’s colours will also be in evidence in the bumper where the giant Cape City Boy attempts to confirm his Down Royal defeat of The West’s Awake earlier this month. He had eight lengths in hand then but Edward O’Grady’s runner was keen enough on his debut and has the weight pull now.

Leopardstown’s feature is the €50,000 Mercury Handicap, a race Arthur Moore has won three times in the last seven years and the Naas trainer looks to have another likely candidate here in Fever Pitch.

JP McManus has another runner here in the first-time blinkered Colbert Station, one of three rides on the card for Ruby Walsh who will also be on Voices Of Spring for Tony Martin in the opener.

Davy Russell has a busy book of rides at Doncaster today, including Golan Road, one of two Irish-trained hopes in Listed mares hurdle, while he has a single ride at Navan tomorrow.

At Navan Barry Geraghty gets the call up for Badgerfort now that JP McManus’s rider Mark Walsh is on the injury sidelines. But Sizing Titanium looks a better betting option.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.