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Sonny' day on the way






Rapid improver SONNYBOYLISTON (3.10) can land a knock-out blow in the International Stakes at The Curragh today.

Johnny Murtagh's freewheeling gelding is bidding to complete a course and distance hat-trick and while he is trading punches at a new level here he has deservedly risen an impressive 28 lbs. in the ratings.

It looks a dream booking for Ben Coen who was booting home winners all over the place for popular Curragh-based Meath man Murtagh earlier in the season, but has only recently returned after breaking a collarbone in a bad fall at Sligo.

Willie McCreery's classy sort Up Helly Aa will make a race of it after his fine third to Tiger Moth on Champions Weekend at Leopardstown with Etneya and Order Of Australia serious players also.

While the handicapper has been keeping an eagle eye on Sonnyboyliston, he just might have missed a trick with RUN FOR MARY (3.40) who makes big appeal in the Paddy Power Irish Cesarewitch. Charles Byrnes' tough mare was dropped a pound after giving Princess Zoe a fright in the Qualified Riders at Galway and we all know what the winner has achieved since, both twice back at Ballybrit and at Longchamp last weekend.

There has been strong market support during the week for Emmet Mullins' new recruit Cape Gentleman who should build on his fine Listowel second to Mt Leinster on what was his first run for his new trainer.


Plenty with chances as we might expect in this highly competitive affair with Colin Keane an interesting booking for Ballydoyle on Shoshone Warrior who was a good second to Halimi at Leopardstown though this is a tough contest for a three year old. Willie Mullins has again teamed up with Joey Sheridan with last year's winner Royal Illusion who, however, has a lot more weight to carry this time.

The Keane/Aidan O'Brien pairing can strike gold earlier with PREAMBLE (2.10) a No Nay Never colt who coped fine with soft ground when a tidy winner at Fairyhouse and is very much on the upgrade.

Aunty Bridy has turned in three nice performances over seven furlongs here at Headquarters and clearly rates a danger.

Progressive filly APRIL SHOWERS (2.40) can take the Staffordstown for Donnacha O'Brien and Gavin Ryan. A good second to Emaniya on good ground at Cork, she had plenty in hand when following up over a mile on a softer surface at Navan and clearly has scope for further improvement.

While MT LEINSTER (4.10) would prefer a faster surface, Patrick Mullins mount skipped through the mud at Listowel and looks the business in the Amateur Riders Derby with Run For Oscar an obvious threat.