Nickajack Cave too good for rivals in Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes

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06 August, 2020

Nickajack Cave gained a career-best success when taking the Group Three honours in the Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Winner of the Saval Beg Listed Stakes over a mile and three-quarters in June, the four-year-old was not inconvenienced by the drop in trip to 12 furlongs.

The Ger Lyons-trained four-year-old broke well from his inside draw and led for a quarter of a mile before Fresnel took over.Nickajack Cave was shuffled back to be last of the five, but the field was tightly-packed and Gary Carroll appeared unconcerned.

The gap came for Nickajack Cave in the straight and the grey hit the front a furlong out.

Fresnel proved a stubborn rival, but the 15-8 favourite was always too strong and crossed the line half a length to the good. Connections are now looking at the Irish St Leger for the Kendargent gelding.
“He’s improving all the time. He’s in the Irish St Leger and that will be his ultimate goal,” said the trainer’s brother, Shane Lyons.

“We were a little bit worried about the ground beforehand and Gary said he just doesn’t want extremes. He would appreciate a bit more juice, but got away with that no problem.

“That wasn’t a quick race and he’s after showing a bit of class with that turn of foot. He’s after stepping back a bit in trip from the last day and will improve for the extra trip.”

The sponsors introduced the winner at 14/1 for the Sky Bet Ebor with Paddy Power making him their 8/1 joint-favourite.

Sky Bet Head of Sports PR Michael Shinners said: "That was a really good performance from a clearly improving horse. Although connections have suggested the Irish St Leger as his target, we’ve quoted him for the Sky Bet Ebor as the combination of Ger Lyons and David Spratt had such a great day in last year's race with Mustajeer”.

Sporting Life
Image Courtesy: RacingTV