Progressive Up Helly Aa one to note later in the season

‘There are a lot of big races that we could aim him at’.

  • Thursday 09 April
  • News
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Willie McCreery feels the lightly-raced Up Helly Aa has the scope to make his presence felt in good company later in the year.

The Niarchos family-owned colt, who is bred in the purple, being by Galileo out of Group One-winning mare Fiesolana, did not run as a two-year-old, instead seeing the racecourse for the first time at Cork in May.

He progressed from there to win his maiden at Gowran Park, before finishing second to Mohawk in the Group Three Meld Stakes at Leopardstown and ending the season with success in the Listed Navigation Stakes at Cork.

The Curragh trainer said: “Up Helly Aa is a lovely horse. He might take a bit of time just to come to hand and we are waiting for the autumn with him. There are a lot of big races that we could aim him at.

“He’s wintered well. He looks well and is cantering away at the moment. There is not a bother on him. He’s a big horse, like his mother, and then Galileos aren’t small either.

“Fiesolana is showing that she can pass on a good level of ability, and she was nothing until she was four or five.

“I wouldn’t say he would like it too soft. The dam just liked a tiny bit of juice in it. She was a big mare and it would have been unfair to run her on ground too fast. Galileos go on any ground.”

He added: “We’ll probably be looking at races from a mile and two to a mile and a half. The dam herself really only stayed seven furlongs. I know she won over a mile, but I thought it was a great ride that day (by Billy Lee in the 2014 Matron Stakes).

“He has loads of options. We’ll take our time and let him come to hand.”

Progressive Up Helly Aa one to note later in the season
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