Gary Carson: Star hurdler Airlie Beach can score on the Flat at Killarney
AIRLIE Beach is the star name on show on the third day at Killarney as the Grade One-winning hurdler tries her hand on the Flat.
Willie Mullins’ charge is a good ground performer so it’s no surprise to see her turned out again during the summer.
She makes her first start since chasing home Apple’s Jade in the top grade at Punchestown in April and this looks like it could be a tune-up for something at Galway.
Her class should be enough to see her through in a decent but far from outstanding mile-and-six maiden.
The daughter of Shantou has the pace to mix it at the top level at two miles over hurdles and was a very impressive winner of the Royal Bond last season.
It would obviously be nice for her pedigree to get a Flat win on the page and rarely does Mullins have them short on their return.
Mullins also runs She’s So Flawless in the race and she shaped with promise on her debut at Ballinrobe when finishing third.
That wasn’t a bad effort and she should be winning races but may find her illustrious stablemate a bit classy today.
Aidan O’Brien has a remarkable record in the race having won seven of the last nine runnings.
Abyssinian may well leave behind his debut run last year at Leopardstown but does need to improve a good bit from that. The betting is probably going to be the best guide to his chance.
Dermot Weld is enduring a frustrating season but Alaykha has to be give serious consideration after a very promising debut run at Limerick.
She met plenty of traffic problems then and was promoted to second after just failing by a couple of short-heads.
That form looks solid with the horse that was demoted to third, Pearl Of The West, winning since. The Aga Khan filly looks sure to win a maiden but if Airlie Beach brings her ‘A’ game the rest should be battling for places.
The opening fillies’ handicap look a really competitive contest and it would be hard to definitively rule out any of them.
Pandagreen has always looked like the type to blossom as a three-year-old and she’s given another chance after getting no run on her last outing at Down Royal.
She had been a good winner at Leopardstown previously and there still looks plenty more to come from Gavin Cromwell’s filly.
Previous course-and-distance winner Courtncatcher may be able to land another one at the Kerry track in the two-mile-six-furlong handicap hurdle.
He has been knocking on the door recently in competitive events and should be capable of landing a race over timber off his current mark.
Open To The World ran well on her last visit here and is the pick in the mares’ maiden hurdle while Cloudy Miss looks progressive and can follow up her recent Bellewstown win in the mile handicap.
Gary Carson Next Best
5.55 Pandagreen Panstarr
6.25 Airlie Beach (Nap) Alaykha
6.55 Cloudy Miss Always Dancing
7.25 Magna Cartor Eight And Bob
8.00 Open To The World (Dbl) Mozilla
8.30 Courtncatcher Wood Breizh
9.00 Galaxy Burg Marble Moon