Racing continues behind closed doors but there will once again be a sense of local support at Naas Racecourse this Saturday 8 May. Naas Racecourse Business Club members, Quinns of Baltinglass and Castletown Press are co-sponsoring the Business Club Handicap. Both companies have been long standing supporters of Naas Racecourse and this year marks a milestone for Quinns of Baltinglass with the Agriculture business celebrating their eighty fifth year in business.
The concluding race on the card will be sponsored by local caterers Lily & Wild. The new caters to Naas Racecourse will sponsor the Lily and Wild Take-Away Picnics in Aid of Breast Cancer Ireland. Each weekend during the month of May Lily and Wild will be selling picnic baskets with all proceeds going to Breast Cancer Ireland.
Jessica Harrington is doubly represented in the Group 3 feature event, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes as the trainer bids to win a second consecutive renewal of the race.
Stable jockey Shane Foley will partner Silence Please, a three-time winner that ran well in defeat behind subsequent Classic winner Even So at Naas last season, while Harrington’s other runner Sacred Rhyme herself holds a number of Classic entries, including the upcoming Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Irish Oaks.
The trainer will face stiff opposition from other Classic entries such as the Aidan O’Brien-trained duo of High Heels and Willow, while the Dermot Weld-trained Emaniya also holds numerous fancy entries for the coming weeks, but Harrington is relishing the challenge.
Harrington said this morning: “I’m looking forward to the Blue Wind Stakes on Saturday at Naas. Shane Foley rides Silence Please with Tom Madden on Sacred Rhyme and I’m hoping for a big run from both of them.
“Silence Please had a good year last year, finishing off with a second-place finish in a mile-and-a-half Group 3 at Leopardstown, having been fourth in the German Oaks. This is her first run of the season and we are looking forward to another good year but you have to get started.
“I also have Sacred Rhyme in there. She ran very, very well in the Salsabil at Navan, when she finished third. She’s a lovely filly with some big entries and you’d be hoping she improves for that outing.”
An intriguing card begins at 1pm on Saturday with the €40,000 Irish Racing Writers due off at 4.25pm. A field of 13 runners go to post for the competitive sprint handicap in which Harrington is once again well represented with two runners.
“Rosie Bassett was second on debut and then won her maiden as a two-year-old so her run in Cork was a bit disappointing but I think the ground was a bit too quick for her,” she reported.
“On her second run of the year, you would expect improvement and the rain that has come is a help. She seems to be in very good form. She’s a proper five-furlong or six-furlong filly and I hope she’ll run a big race for Shane Foley.
“Bell I Am is a smashing little filly, who won her juvenile maiden in Sligo last year. She’s not very big. She’s got a light weight on her back and she tries her hardest.”
Eamonn McEvoy of Naas Racecourse commented: “We are delighted to have fantastic support from local businesses, even behind closed doors. This Saturday, Naas Racecourse Business Club Members Quinns of Baltinglass and Castletown Press are co-sponsoring the Quinns of Baltinglass & Castletown Press Business Club Handicap. Lily and Wild, our new caters are also showing their support by sponsoring the Lily and Wild Take –Away Picnics in aid of Breast Cancer Ireland Handicap.”
“Great to see both Quinns of Baltinglass and Lily and Wild recognising the grooms. Quinns of Baltinglass are providing a branded jacket to the grooms leading up in their race and huge credit to Kevin and Davina, owners of Lily and Wild, for providing all grooms with a Tea/Coffee and a pastry on Saturday. It promises to be another brilliant day of racing at Naas with a strong line up in the Irish EBF Blue Wind Stakes. “
View full list of runners – https://bit.ly/2QPTm43