Murtagh & Coen double-up with Australia bound Bear

Chicago Bear, a gelding by Siyouni who was only acquired earlier this week, brought home his first win in the OTI colours at Leopardstown overnight.

Chicago Bear completed a double for Johnny Murtagh and Ben Coen as he claimed the ‘HRI Equuip’ People Behind The Moments Handicap.

A winner at the Curragh on Guineas weekend, the four-year-old was since purchased by Australian owners OTI Racing.

Sent off at 4/1 this evening, from early shows of 5/2, the Siyouni bay was settled behind the leaders on the outer, coming with his challenge early in the straight.

Pushed along to lead a furlong and a half from home, he battled on gamely under pressure in the closing stages, holding off the run of Coill Na Sionainne by half-a-length.

Chicago Bear winning at Leopardstown, Ireland in June, 2022.

“The new owners will be delighted,” Murtagh commented.

“The deal only went through yesterday. We have a few horses for OTI and they came and saw him the other day and thought he would be an ideal horse for Australia. I said it is a nice race for him, so everything worked out really well. He is Australia bound.

“The horse himself is really settling down. He was a bit hot early in his career and even at the start of this year we had the hood on him and hood off him. He was a little bit keen and I don’t think he stayed the trip here one day over 10 (furlongs).

“He ran well at the Curragh over a stiff mile. This was a perfect trip for him here today. Ben says he is relaxing, he’s getting better and happy days.

“It was a tough race in the Curragh and it was a close finish and he got his head down. He is up for a battle. As I say, mentally now he has probably grown up and he is improving.”

Johnny Murtagh may now aim him up at one of the handicap’s on Derby Day at the Curragh, where he’s expected to be very competitive once again.

The above is an exert of Donal Murphy’s article, which can be read in full here.