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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Slatterys look to land apprentice contest with the other Sharjah

Sligo: race on Wednesday evening
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6.00 Sligo Apprentice Handicap | 1m2½f | 3yo+ | ATR

Sharjah was one of the headline makers at Galway last week when he landed the richest prize of the seven-day festival, the Galway Hurdle, under Patrick Mullins.

However, the Willie Mullins-trained French-bred is not the only Sharjah in training in Ireland and his namesake – the Andy Slattery-trained eight-year-old – will be in action at Sligo on Wednesday.

Slattery's son, Andrew, will be on board and he will bid to notch the 16th victory of the reliable veteran's 106-race career.

He heads the weights for the 1m2½f apprentice handicap (6.00), in which he faces ten rivals, and Slattery is confident of a big run from the Shamardal gelding if the ground remains good.

"Sharjah's in great form," reported his trainer. "He won well at Fairyhouse last time and the sharp Sligo track will suit him. I'm hoping they don't get much rain as good ground is as slow as he wants it.

"He's been a great servant and for a horse to win 15 races in Ireland is no mean achievement. We'll be giving him a break soon before he goes back to Dundalk, where he has such a good record, later in the year."

Sharjah has won nine times on the Polytrack at Dundalk, adding to his four victories on turf – two of which were achieved in Britain in 2016 under Silvestre de Sousa and Tony Hamilton respectively at Bath and Hamilton.


Back to Sligo for Zoffanyia

Zoffanyia, a seven-length winner of a maiden at the course in June, returns for the main event on the card, the seven-runner Irish Stallion Farms EBF Connacht Oaks Fillies Handicap (7.30).

The lightly-raced Seamus Fahey-trained four-year-old is set to step up in trip, and Fahey said on Tuesday: "On pedigree and her work at home, I don't see the longer distance being a problem. We gave her time after her win and we're happy with her. We're expecting a big run."

Fahey's brother Jarlath, who is represented by Nanabad, said: "There'll be a bit of family rivalry between myself and Seamus, as he looks to have the more fancied runner.

"But Nanabad has been running consistently well all season and we're expecting another good performance from her."

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He won well at Fairyhouse last time and the sharp Sligo track will suit him
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