Battling Kyllachy Star is edged out

Richard Fahey was out of luck on the opening day of the Irish Flat season at the Curragh yesterday.

Our Joe Mac and Kyllachy Star represented the Malton handler in the Irish Lincolnshire and it was the latter who almost brought the valuable prize to Britain, staying on well up the home straight in a thrilling finish, eventually going down by a neck in third place.

The Kevin Ryan-trained pair of Steed and Blue Moon failed to land a blow as they trailed home ninth and last respectively.

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Fahey’s Lost City was sent off the 8-11 favourite for the Tally Ho EBF Maiden but the son of Elusive City, who is part-owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, refused to settle from the outset under Paul Hanagan and finished last of the five previously unraced juveniles.

Fahey then launched a three-pronged assault on the Newbridge & Ocala Twinning Handicap and although Jeannie Galloway and Mo Mhuirnin threatened briefly to take a hand in the finish, they ultimately finished well adrift of winner Blue Dahlia.

The Dubai Carnival reaches its pinnacle at Meydan on Saturday but the rich card will be devoid of one of its brightest stars in Snow Fairy.

Ed Dunlop’s dual Oaks winner had settled in nicely over in the Middle East but the setback has come at just the wrong time ahead of an intended tilt at the Sheema Classic.

Dunlop, who was preparing to fly out yesterday, said: “It is a great shame, but the good thing is that the injury is not considered significant and is not career threatening.

“The vets have told us that it would be safe to travel, so Snow Fairy will fly home soon and she will then have two weeks’ box rest before we start all over again.

“She could well be back for Royal Ascot (Prince of Wales’s Stakes).

“It is disappointing for everyone, especially the owner (Mrs Christina Patino), and coming so close to the race we have no option but to withdraw the filly.

“She pulled out to exercise and was found to be slightly lame on her right fore.

“The vets did extensive tests and found minor bone damage on the right cannon bone and while not a serious injury, it has obviously come at the wrong time for her to be able to run in Dubai.”

The Flat campaign may be moving through the gears but the National Hunt season still has plenty to offer and Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross is likely to contest the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

Donald McCain’s stable star lost his unbeaten record at Cheltenham but went down with all guns blazing to Hurricane Fly.

“We’ll start cantering again next week and I said all year we were aiming to do both Cheltenham and Aintree,” McCain told At The Races.

“Aintree should really suit him, it’s two and a half miles around there on nice ground and it’s one of our local tracks.

“He’s doing somersaults at home, he’s very well.

“I’m a realist and I knew we had to get beaten somewhere along the line and I’d have found it difficult to cope if it was at Kelso but to be beaten the way he was in the Champion Hurdle – for five minutes I was devastated but after that I just felt thrilled to be a part of a horse like him.”

Peddlers Cross could cross swords with last year’s main Champion Hurdle protagonists, Binocular and Khyber Kim, at Liverpool.

The latter picked up the Grade One prize on Merseyside 12 months ago but is yet to rediscover that form this time in.

Binocular was all set to defend his Cheltenham title before Nicky Henderson withdrew him after medication he was given to treat an allergy failed to clear his system in time.

Henderson said: “He’s in work, JP (McManus, owner) and I briefly talked in the week, but we’ll sit down and discuss it.

“He hasn’t missed a day’s work since Christmas, but we’ll have a meeting over the next week to decide which horses go on to Aintree and Punchestown.”

Connections of Kauto Star have revealed their old warrior will, like stable companion Denman, race on following his gallant third in last week’s Gold Cup.