GBI RACING

Darren Bunyan on weather watch ahead of Hit The Bid’s Flying Five date

Darren Bunyan is watching the skies

Darren Bunyan is praying there is not too much rain at the Curragh ahead of Hit The Bid’s run in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five on Sunday.

The four-year-old made giant strides out in Dubai earlier in the year and was given the first half of this season off in preparation for a crack at the new Group One.

He made a pleasing comeback when second at Tipperary in a Listed race and Bunyan believes he has never been in better shape – but the trainer is eagerly watching the weather forecasts.

“Everything went well on his comeback apart from him just not quite winning,” said Bunyan.

“He had a huge blow after it, which we thought he would, but it has put him spot on. I couldn’t be happier with him.

“He’s got eight rivals on Sunday but my biggest worry is the weather. The forecast is changing all the time, yet there is a chance we could get plenty. I’ve just got my fingers crossed.

“If it does go soft, he won’t run. I’ll put him in the Group Three at Newbury next week as back up and hope that it is good ground for the Abbaye.

“It will be a huge shame if he can’t run, though, as we picked this race out months ago as our best chance of winning a Group One and it looks it.

“Leigh Roche knows him very well, he had a sit on him Friday morning and said he felt better than ever. He’s close to the finished article now.”

Karl Burke’s Havana Grey is favourite on the back of a good run when fifth in the Nunthorpe at York.

“We’re very happy with him and we’re looking forward to Sunday,” said Burke.

“Obviously he ran well at York on the far side of the track. I’m not saying he’d have beaten the first two, but he is a game horse and if he had something chasing him down, I think he might have finished third.”

The veteran Take Cover would be a popular winner, while Aidan O’Brien runs three, with Sioux Nation his main hope.

Dermot Weld’s Eziyra is aiming to give the Rosewell House trainer a fourth win in five years in the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes.

On her third place finish behind Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks, she looks the one to beat.

Eve Johnson Houghton’s Ice Age tops the weights in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Bold Lad” Sprint Handicap, in which Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat is on a four-timer.

Andrew Balding’s Flashcard arrives unbeaten ahead of the 300,000 euro Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes, while Davis Menuisier’s Danceteria aims to continue his progression in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Northfields” Handicap.

Winner of his last four races, his rating has shot up from 77 to 104.

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