Keatley hopes G Force can prevail
Views from connections ahead of Sunday's Elmer Hannon Travel Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh.
Action from the Curragh
Adrian Keatley feels high-class sprinter G Force has plenty going for him in the Elmer Hannon Travel Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
Winner of the 2014 Sprint Cup at Haydock when trained by David O'Meara, the five-year-old was largely disappointing last season and was retired to stud at the end of 2015, but subsequently suffered fertility issues and was withdrawn from stallion duties in early 2016.
He then returned to training with Keatley and after a slow start, G Force has slowly started to regain his former zest, running easily his best race for his current connections when fourth in last month's Ayr Gold Cup.
He faces 13 rivals at Listed level this weekend and Keatley is expecting a bold show.
"He's in good form, the ground should be in his favour and he's got a champion jockey (Pat Smullen) on his back. All the pluses are there for him, so we just hope he can do the business now," said the Ballymount-based trainer.
"It would be great for the horse to get his head in front again as it would give him a great confidence boost.
"It's a big day for the horse and we'll see how he goes before we make any plans."
There are two British challengers, with the Charlie Hills-trained Shanghai Glory joined by Bryan Smart's Nameitwhatyoulike.
The latter won the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon and a Listed prize at York before finishing seventh in the Ayr Gold Cup, passing the post just over a length behind G Force.
Smart said: "He hasn't travelled before, so we'll have to see how he takes that, but he worked really well on Friday morning and seems in very good form.
"When you're rated 107 and you're carrying a penalty, you're a bit limited as to where you can go. We've been half forced to run him here, but I'm looking forward to it.
"He's had a great year, how often do you win a Great St Wilfrid and then a Listed race?
"He's been a superstar for us."
Edward Lynam saddles Fort Del Oro, Byzantium and Miss Elizabeth.
Other contenders include Jim Bolger's Flight Risk, the Ken Condon-trained In Salutem and Bebhinn from Kevin Prendergast's yard.