Tag Archive for: Harry’s Bar

Harry’s Bar set for Urban Beat clash at Tipperary

Adrian McGuinness reports Harry’s Bar in fine shape as the six-year-old bids to be the toast of punters in the Listed Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Thursday.

The six-year-old is seeking his first win in a season that has seen him take on the best sprinters in the game in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot before two runs over a six-furlong trip at the Curragh.

The latter races ended in defeat, but the chestnut – who even went to Saudi Arabia in February – went well at Dundalk in mid-August as he returned to form to finish second behind Ger Lyons’ Angel Palm.

“We were very happy with him on his run back at Dundalk,” said McGuinness.

“He just doesn’t seem to like the Curragh, but a flat track at Tipperary I think will suit him really well.

“He’s in very good form so we’re looking forward to a big run.

“The ground will suit, I think it’ll be nice good ground as it’s very warm here at the moment.”

Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat is well-fancied having finished third behind subsequent Nunthorpe winner Winter Power in the City Walls Stakes at York last time out, but McGuinness considers his gelding a worthy adversary for the five-furlong contest.

“Johnny Murtagh’s horses at the moment are on fire,” he said.

“Of course he’s the one to beat, but our horse is a very good horse and if he puts his A game forward he’ll be bang there with him.”

Also on the card, Pretty Gorgeous drops down in class from Group One company for the first time in a year when she lines up for the Group Three Coolmore Stud No Nay Never Fairy Bridge Stakes.

Since winning the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh last August, Joseph O’Brien’s filly has contested five races at the highest level.

She was successful in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket after finishing second to Shale in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, but has failed to make the frame in three starts this campaign. Connections will be hoping Pretty Gorgeous can regain her confidence stepping back in grade.

Her rivals include Jessica Harrington’s Deauville Listed scorer Loch Lein, the Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore, who won the Group Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse, and Michael Halford’s eight-year-old Surrounding, winner of this race in 2019.

There is a British raider in Archie Watson’s Parent’s Prayer, who was only beaten four and three-quarter lengths when ninth to Mother Earth in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville three weeks ago.

Harry’s Bar raring to go for Saudi assignment

Ado McGuinness is excited at the prospect of running Harry’s Bar in the Saudi Arabian Airlines Riyadh Dirt Sprint next week.

The trainer bought the six-year-old gelding for 75,000 guineas at Tattersalls Horses In Training Sales in October – and less than four months later he will be racing for a prize worth $1,500,000 over six furlongs in the Middle East.

So far, Harry’s Bar has been a revelation since his move from James Fanshawe’s Newmarket stables, winning both his starts for the County Dublin handler at Dundalk.

“He’s in great form. He’s come back 100 per cent from his last race, he’s cantering away and he’s heading out to Saudi on Sunday morning,” said McGuinness.

“They tell me it’s the closest dirt track to an all-weather surface probably in the world. He’s an all-weather specialist so hopefully he’ll act on it.”

McGuinness felt his head was on the block when he ran Harry’s Bar shortly after buying him at the sales.

“We’ve only run him twice and the first day when he won the Listed race if he had got beat and finished down the field I’d have been called all sorts, because he’d only come out of the sales and run a few days later,” he said.

“We gambled and it worked. He’s a very good horse and is enjoying life here.

Ado McGuinness has two runners in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar next week
Ado McGuinness has two runners in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar next week (PA)

“His win at Dundalk last week was a very good performance.

“The handicapper put his turf rating up 3lb after that and left his all-weather mark alone. I couldn’t understand that.

“If he goes back to the grass I think he’ll be a nice horse for the Wokingham.”

Salstonstall is set to join his stablemate in Saudi Arabia for a conditions race worth $1m after he runs at Dundalk on Friday.

McGuinness’ stable stalwart faces just four rivals when he has his first race for 88 days in the Hollywoodbets Horse Racing And Sports Betting Race.

“He’s heading for Saudi as well all being well,” he went on.

Bowerman has a big-race date in Qatar
Bowerman has a big-race date in Qatar (PA)

“He’s in really good form after his break. I’m looking forward to getting him out and about.

“It’s not going to be easy in Saudi, but I think he’ll run a big race there.

Not too far away in Qatar, another McGuinness inmate, Bowerman, will fly the flag in a local Group Two at Doha over a mile.

“Bowerman goes to Doha next week for mile Group Two on the grass on the Friday night. We’d have gone for the bigger race there, only the handicapper dropped him,” he said.