Steel Bull looking for change of fortune at Sandown

Trainer Michael O’Callaghan believes fast conditions will suit three-year-old sprinter

Leigh Roche and  Steel Bull come home to win at Naas last July. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leigh Roche and Steel Bull come home to win at Naas last July. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

The Michael O’Callaghan trained Steel Bull will try to return to winning form in today’s Sandown feature.

Winner of last year’s Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood as a juvenile, Steel Bull was subsequently bought by the Classic-winning owner Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez but not a lot has gone right since.

Most notably in his next run Steel Bull broke three front teeth in the starting stalls of the Phoenix Stakes and subsequently had to have them removed.

On his first start of this season he came up against older horses in the Sole Power Stakes at Naas and didn’t threaten behind Logo Hunter.

However, he is back against his own age-group in the Coral Scurry Stakes over the minimum trip and O’Callaghan believes an outside draw will be no trouble to Leigh Roche’s mount.

“He needed his first run of the season. It was his first start against older horses and the ground wasn’t ideal.

“Back over a fast five furlongs in England will suit him. He has a lot of natural speed and the way he has to be ridden and held up the draw might actually suit him.

“It is tough for three-year-old sprinters. We will just feel our way through this year as I think he will develop into a really good sprinter,” he reported.

There is other Irish interest in the race in Queens Carriage, trained by Kevin Coleman.

The emphasis is mostly on quantity rather than quality in Ireland this weekend although Jessica Harrington’s runner in the concluding maiden at Limerick today, McPherson, still holds an Irish Derby entry.

Lord Luker doesn’t hold such fancy engagements but could be noted running on well after a poor start on his debut at Leopardstown last month.

A similar break might spell trouble from an inside draw but Ken Condon’s charge could be a decent prospect.

Quick ground conditions may suit Sangria best of all in the opening maiden.

Last year’s Derrinstown Derby Trial winner Cormorant has a first start for Joseph O’Brien at Gowran tomorrow although Baton Rouge shapes as tough to beat.

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