Abbaye target for Athletico as connections seek ideal conditions

The Prix de l’Abbaye is likely to be the next stop for Go Athletico as connections target optimum conditions for their sprinting star at ParisLongchamp.

The five-year-old is yet to finish outside of the first two in three starts for Adrian McGuinness, claiming Listed honours on stable debut at Cork before finishing second in two high-class Curragh sprint events most recently.

Go Athletico does have the option of returning to the Kildare venue for the Group One Flying Five Stakes during the Irish Champions Festival, but it would be somewhat fitting if he were to head to France in search of big-race success on October 1 having raced 26 times there, winning on six occasions, before transferring to Ireland for €165,000 in the spring.

“We have him in the Flying Five but I don’t think the ground will come up soft enough for him,” said Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor, who own the horse in partnership with Shamrock Thoroughbreds.

“He’s a very honest horse and he’s going to try every time, but he can’t go unless there is some moisture in the ground and it was just against him last time.

“I don’t think you will see him again until the Abbaye. That’s where we are pointing and depending on what kind of draw he gets and how the ground turns up, he has a tremendous turn of foot and under the right circumstances he can run with the top horses.

“I think five or five and a half furlongs is what he is made for really.”

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