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Art Power primed for Greenlands defence

Art Power primed for Greenlands defence
Art Power primed for Greenlands defence

Art Power is looking for his sixth win in Ireland when he contests the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, so it is no wonder connections see it as a ‘home’ game.

Trained in Yorkshire by Tim Easterby, the seven-year-old won the Group Two contest last year in fine style and ended his campaign by bagging a long-overdue first triumph at the highest level on Champions Day at Ascot.

He showed he is still a force to be reckoned with when shaping encouragingly on his comeback in the Duke of York Stakes recently and Alastair Donald, racing manager for owners King Power Racing, certainly believes he reserves his best for Ireland.

“He’s been a great horse for us and he obviously loves Ireland, he seems to find an extra length or two over there,” said Donald.

“We were delighted with his run the other day at York, it’s the best he’s run in that race for a while, as he’s run in it a few times as a prep and had he been drawn a bit better there, he would have gone close to winning that race.

“We’d rather a little bit more rain had hit Ireland, but I think it will be lovely ground and on his ‘home’ patch, ironically, I think he’ll be the one to fear.”

Last season, Art Power was beaten almost nine lengths at York before winning the Greenlands by nearly five, so the fact he was just over two lengths behind Mill Stream last week bodes well.

“The ground at York was just lovely ground, but he’s never had a great record there, so it was encouraging he ran so well,” said Donald.

“Last year, he didn’t run very well at York, but bolted up in this. He has a 3lb penalty, but he seems to find 3-5lb whenever he runs in Ireland.

“We’ve been lucky to have had some great days for King Power but the day he won on Champions Day meant a lot, he’s been quite unlucky in a few Group Ones and the horse really deserved it, it was great for Tim and everyone.”

Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker won the Flying Five at the track last season and returned to action this year with a win under a penalty at Naas.

Condon said: “He seems in great form and on good terms with himself.

Moss Tucker has a good record at the Curragh
Moss Tucker has a good record at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

“He made a very good start to his season in the Listed race at Naas and the Greenlands looks a good opportunity for him, although he does have to carry a penalty and in sprinting, by definition, on any given day something can pop up if they get lucky.

“He’s very consistent and he has a good record at the Curragh, winning a Group Three here last year as well as the Flying Five, which was one of our best days. If all went well, he’s got entries in both of the sprints he’s eligible for at Royal Ascot.

“They missed a lot of the rain that fell elsewhere in Ireland earlier this week, but so long as there’s no jar, we are keen for him to take his chance. We just want some kindness in the ground.”

Richard Hannon’s Shouldvebeenaring was in front of Art Power at York, beaten just a nose, and looks another sure to go well.

“Shouldvebeenaring goes to the Curragh in great form and looked to be back to his very best in the Duke of York Stakes last week,” said Hannon.

“He has bounced out of the race, so we’re hoping for a good run from him on Saturday.”

Shouldvebeenaring was second in the Group One Sprint Cup to Ed Bethell’s Regional last season and the pair meet again.

Along with Moss Tucker, home hopes include Kieran Cotter’s Matilda Picotte, last seen running well in Saudi Arabia.

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