HomeHorse RacingWillie McCreery eyes French glory with Vespertilio tipped to bounce back

Willie McCreery eyes French glory with Vespertilio tipped to bounce back

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Vespertilo and Billy Lee bid for French success at Deauville

The Irish action leaves a lot to be desired this weekend but eyes will certainly be turning to France tomorrow, where Willie McCreery makes a bold bid for Group One glory.

Two of the last three winners of the Prix Jean Prat (3.07) have been trained in Ireland – Aidan O’Brien’s Tenebrism in 2022 and Ken Condon’s Law Of Indices the year previous – so McCreery is following a well-worn path.

He sends Vespertilio to Deauville in what is her second trip to France this season, having ran an absolute corker when just touched off in third in the French 1,000 Guineas at Longchamp in May.

The Night Of Thunder filly made no impression when well fancied in the Irish equivalent later that month at the Curragh, before being freshened up for this sizeable task.

That was an uncharacteristic showing at the Kildare track given that she had never been out of the first three in her five starts before then. There is every chance that Billy Lee’s mount could bounce back to her best.

Should she put her best foot forward, Vespertilio would be right in the mix and she should not be discounted at lofty odds as the Kildare-based trainer, who famously played senior football for the Lilies during a glorious spell under Mick O’Dwyer in the 1990s, eyes a famous day in the French sun.

Closer to home, it’s quantity over quality, with four race meetings across two days but little to write home about as today’s €50,000 Bia Energy Bellewstown Handicap Hurdle (5.58) heads the action.

That’s the final day of Bellewstown’s July meeting, and last year’s winner Wouldn’t You Agree – trained by Kilkenny handler Eoin Griffin – is an intriguing prospect off a lower rating than 12 months ago should Niall Moore’s mount get a run in the contest as first reserve.

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