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Bosh heads to the big Ballyhane bash - but Sacred Bridge the one to beat

Sacred Bridge: will try to make it three from three in the Ballyhane Stakes at Naas on Monday
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Monday: 2.25 Naas
Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes | 6f | 2yo | RTV

It is hardly surprising to see five British-based challengers from four different yards in the field with €300,000 of prize-money on offer.

The Richard Hannon-trained Bosh will bid for his hat-trick under Pat Dobbs following wins at York and Newbury, where he earned an RPR of 91 in a 6f novice contest last month. The runner-up won cosily at Salisbury next time, the fourth scored by four lengths at Windsor, while the fifth won a maiden at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday.

The Tom Dascombe-trained Ever Given has won three of his four starts and adds to a strong British challenge but the home team is powerful too, and it was hard not to be impressed with the way Sacred Bridge won her two starts. She followed up a maiden win at Naas with an emphatic victory in a Listed 5f contest at Tipperary. 

She has loads of pace and an RPR of 97 last time arguably makes her the one to beat. There should be more to come and champion jockey Colin Keane has picked her from the Ger Lyons-trained trio.

The race has attracted 24 runners and the highest-rated of those with an official mark is Hadman, who is rated 99 after five starts.

What they say

Jessica Harrington, trainer of Albion Square, Bellabel and Tut Tut
Albion Square won his maiden at Navan impressively and ran in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 2 Railway Stakes, so this is a good opportunity with his experience. Tut Tut’s form has worked out well. The only little concern might be the ground as it was soft when she was second at Fairyhouse. You can discard Bellabel’s last run, when she ran well below par. If she can reproduce her first run, I'd hope she could run into a place.

Richard Hannon, trainer of Bosh
I hope he'll be up to black type come the end of the year but this is a nice pot so it's worth a go on the way. He's a robust, solid horse who has got better with every run. This six furlongs with an uphill finish should suit. It looks competitive but we hope he'll go close. 

Adam Ryan, assistant trainer to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Aleezdancer and Smullen
It would be poignant if Smullen won. He's had three good runs and the step back up in trip will suit. Aleezdancer twice won well before we stepped him up in class and I thought he ran well in the July Stakes at Newmarket, where the ground was quite firm. If he reproduces the form of his Carlisle win he'll have a big chance. 

Johnny Murtagh, trainer of Lord Gorgeous, Threebagsfull and Hapipi Go Lucky
It's a competitive field and it's hard to know which draw is best. Hapipi Go Lucky did well to win at Fairyhouse and is in seven, while the other two are higher. All three are in good form and ready to go.


The Front Runner is our latest email newsletter available exclusively to Members' Club Ultimate subscribers. Chris Cook, a three-time Racing Reporter of the Year award winner, provides his take on the day's biggest stories and tips for the upcoming racing every morning from Monday to Friday


It looks competitive but we hope he'll go close
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