Mick Halford relishing return of promising Hamariyna at Naas

Sun 22 Mar 2020

Mick Halford is pleased to get the chance to run Hamariyna in the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at Naas on Monday.

Racing is continuing to carry on behind closed doors in Ireland, meaning the 2020 Flat season is able to get under way.

Hamariyna won a Guineas trial last season, but was only seen once more, when disappointing in an Oaks trial here in June.

“We had given her a little break and then when she was ready to run she had a little setback which kept her off for the rest of the season unfortunately,” said Halford.

“It was nothing serious, it was just that the timing wasn’t great.

“She’s in good form, she’s wintered well, she looks well and I’m happy with her work, so it will be nice to get her started again.

“This looks a good starting point for her against fillies’ only, so I’m looking forward to seeing her run.

“She’d prefer an ease in the ground. It’s late in the day (on the card) so it remains to be seen what it’s like, but I think she’d be at her best with a bit of an ease in any case.

“It just depends how she’ll handle it and we won’t know until we run her.”

Halford is full of praise for the authorities who have enabled racing to continue in Ireland, with strict instructions in place.

“It’s working well, racing behind closed doors at the minute, everyone is sticking to the protocols and it’s great to have it, we’re very appreciative of being able to race,” he said.

“Obviously it is being reviewed on a daily basis so we’ll just have to see how long we can keep going, but obviously from our point of view the longer the better.”

Aidan O’Brien has warned that Blissful would appreciate better ground.

A Listed winner last year at two, she was last seen finishing sixth in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.

“Blissful is just ready to start off, like most of ours she will improve for her first run,” said O’Brien.

“She’s prefer better ground, but it’s the same for them all.

“She’s racing against older fillies, so she won’t find it easy, but she seems to be in good form.”

Ger Lyons runs two interesting fillies in the Group Three feature – Even So, owned by John Magnier and Paul Shanahan, and Lemista, who was an impressive winner at Gowran in heavy ground in October.

Jim Bolger’s Cerro Bayo won her only race to date last season, while Paddy Twomey’s Raven’s Cry and Dermot Weld’s Kiss For A Jewel are others who have shown decent form.

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