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John McConnell aiming high with Clonard Street

Updated: Thursday, 07 Aug 2014 11:13 | Comments

John McConnell's Clonard Street shone at Galway
John McConnell's Clonard Street shone at Galway

Trainer John McConnell is considering ambitious future targets for Galway Festival winner Clonard Street, despite receiving interest from abroad for the exciting youngster.

The Archipenko colt was pitched into what looked a strong maiden on his racecourse debut, with runners from the powerhouse yards of Aidan O'Brien, Dermot Weld and Mick Halford in opposition.

However, despite showing signs of inexperience, Clonard Street knuckled down well to make a winning start by half a length from Prologue.

McConnell hopes he will be able to keep hold of his colt long enough to run him in some of the better two-year-old races later in the year.

The County Meath handler said: "We were delighted with him and we thought he was a nice horse, but he's the sort of horse who will only win a gallop by as far as he won the race the other day, so you're never too sure what you've got.

"The runner-up is a fair marker as he'd already had three runs, so it was a good performance from our horse to go and beat him first time out.

"The time of the race was exceptionally quick, despite the rain-softened ground. I'm not mad on times, but it was the only race of the day that dipped under standard, so that has to be encouraging, especially as he jumped the path during the race.

"We've had lots of inquiries and it's ongoing. The owners don't need to sell, but if the right offer came along I suppose any horse is for sale.

"There has been interest from Hong Kong and places like that. We'd be delighted to keep him, but if he does get sold, it would be good business.

"At the moment we're just training him as though he's staying and we'll see where we end up. There aren't really any winner's races or novice races for him in Ireland.

"There is the Group Three at Leopardstown on Irish Champions weekend that Australia won last year and then there's the Beresford at the Curragh a couple of weeks later.

"There is also a Listed race in Haydock in early September, so those are the three races we're looking at."

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