12.1.18

Carter McKay makes quick return to Graded level

Pearl Bloodstock's Carter McKay steps back into Stakes company in the Gr. 2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novices' Hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday.

Willie Mullins has won the Moscow Flyer Novices' Hurdle in recent years with Vautour, Douvan and Min, and Carter McKay will be one of three horses representing him in the latest renewal.

Carter McKay, who won his first two starts in bumpers before disappointing at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals last spring, looked right back to his best when making a winning hurdling debut at Gowran on his return in November. His task was made easier by his main rival Mortal falling at the last, but Carter McKay was almost certainly going to win anyway, and the well-beaten third won a similar race next time.

Carter McKay is going to need to improve plenty in this company, but there is no doubt his best days are ahead of him. He doesn’t seem to have an issue with heavy ground, and he’s currently clear third favourite behind Mengli Khan and hs stablemate Getabird.

Another Saturday runner with links to Qatar Racing is very exciting Australian two-year-old filly Sunlight. She was the first runner for her sire Zoustar - who is part-owned by Qatar Racing - and also his first winner, scoring at Gold Coast in late-December and then following up there last time.

Sunlight will start as one of the favourites as she bids to complet a quickfire hat-trick in the $1,940,000 Magic Millions 2Yo Classic at the same track (05:55 GMT). She's trained by Tony McEvoy for an all-female syndicate that includes Hannah Wall, assistant to Qatar Racing's racing manager David Redvers.