Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
Trainer Ciaron Maher is confident in the chances of stable star Mr O’Ceirin in this weekend’s featured Group 2 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) on the Gold Coast, despite being allocated the unfortunate and wide barrier 11.
Confirmed to line up alongside a particularly talented field of ten opponents, most of whom making their first-up appearance in Queensland ahead of the 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, Maher told TVN Mr O’Ceirin’s general running pattern should not be hindered by what some would consider an unfortunate draw.
“Basically, you just go with him; he goes about the same gallop every time he races” Maher said.
“If they go slow he’s leading, if the go quick he’s up outside the lead. Bossy (jockey Glen Boss) knows him well; he’s ridden him both ways.
“He’s normally pretty good early in his prep.”
Securing an impressive record of 10 wins and four places from 29 competitive appearances so far, Mr O’Ceirin completed a particularly strong and consistent eight race preparation over the 2013 racing calendar; claiming both the Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) and Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and finishing an unlucky second when blocked for a run early in the final straight in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m).
While unable to match the late pace of eventual winner Sistine Demon when eleventh in the Group 2 Victoria Handicap (1400m) in his only appearance in 2014 on April 19th, Maher is confident the Postponed gelding will be far-more polished for the run, and is optimistic of his chances of leaving the Gold Coast one Group 2 race richer.
Unable to perform first-up, Mr O’Ceirin is currently offered at particularly generous odds of $17 in betting markets for success in the 2014 Hollindale Stakes.
Having returned to the track in arguably career best form this season, Junoob is currently outright favourite for success in the Hollindale Stakes at $2.50 odds, ahead of Streama ($4.80), Moriarty ($5.50) and Angel Of Mercy ($6.50).
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