Apparition out to prove he is the real deal for O'Brien brothers
Peggy Guerin Memorial Handicap | 1m2f | 3yo | ATR
Quick turnarounds are the common theme in the most valuable contest of the evening at the rescheduled Roscommon fixture as Hyperdrive ran at Killarney on Wednesday, Go Guarantor was on duty at the same venue on Thursday, while Ontheiflist was fifth there on Friday.
Although Hyperdrive was agonisingly denied in the final few strides by Dalton Highway having made much of the running, his trainer Jessica Harrington would have been more than satisfied with the showing after being beaten 54 lengths on his previous start when sent off favourite for a Galway handicap.
Ontheiflist beat only one home in the mile race won by Bella Estrella on Friday but the combination of a tongue-strap, visor, softer ground and the booking of champion jockey Pat Smullen could contribute to a much-improved display from the Harry Rogers-trained three-year-old.
Unlike the aforementioned trio, likely favourite Apparition is well refreshed having had 30 days' recovery since his gutsy triumph in the Amateur Riders' Derby at the Curragh in late July under Derek O'Connor.
That was his second career success having scored at Killarney in the middle of May, but he is now up to a career-high mark of 87, which will make life tougher.
What they say
Joseph O'Brien, trainer of Apparition
He's in good form at the moment and holding his form together well. It was much quicker when he won at the Curragh and, while he has handled an ease in the ground before, he has faced nothing like the ground that will be at Roscommon.
Harry Rogers, trainer of Ontheiflist
Things didn't go plan for him at Killarney the other day but he'll certainly appreciate this softer ground and I'm expecting him to go well. Obviously Apparition and Hyperdrive are the two we have to beat, but he should give a good account of himself.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of Hyperdrive
I was thrilled with his performance at Killarney during the week. That was much more like it. I have no idea what went wrong at Galway but he just wasn't going at all. It was a rare blip as he has been very consistent and it was a relief to see him return to form. He has come out of the race well and, with so few runners in the race, we said why not bring him out again and have a go.