Sunday Sovereign was the star turn at Tipperary, the youngster enhancing his reputation with another deeply impressive display. A winner over six furlongs on his previous outing at the Curragh in a race which was boosted by runner-up Arizona, he returned to five furlongs for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Race and left his rivals standing when the race got serious.
Racing in the colours of King Power Racing Co Ltd, Billy Lee had him in front rank from the outset and when he pushed the button with a furlong and a half to go, the odds-on chance stretched right away. A date at Royal Ascot, in the Norfolk Stakes, is the likely next outing for the son of Equiano.
Local trainers David Marnane and Denis Hogan battled out the finish of the Welcome To Tipperary Races Claiming Race and it was Marnane’s Tennessee Waltz, ridden by Oisin Orr, who came from off the pace to collar long-time leader Lincoln in the very last stride.
The Michael O’Callaghan-trained Aurora Moon trounced her rivals in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden. Leigh Roche set out to make all aboard the filly and she was chased through the early stages by easy-to-back favourite Kattani.
The latter was under pressure by halfway, but the winner moved really well, picked up nicely from the top of the straight, and hit the line six and a half lengths clear of Harbour Dance. Mistress Of Venice gained an overdue breakthrough success in the BetVictor Bet €5 Get €30 Offer Maiden.
A smart juvenile for James Given, for whom she finished fourth in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and filled the same spot behind Clemmie in a Group 2 next time, she missed all of last season and this was just her third run for Ken Condon, who has brought her along steadily.
Third at Navan on her return, she was runner-up next time, and completed that sequence with a battling success in the hands of Shane Foley.
“With her two-year-old form it was hugely important to get a winning bracket,” said Condon. “She missed her three-year-old career, but ran a nice race following her layoff, at Navan, and stepped forward again at Dundalk.
“It’s proper soft ground now and she probably wasn’t in love with it, but it’s good to get the win and hopefully she can step back up into stakes company now.”
Kieran Cotter’s season continues apace and Dash D’Or, ridden by Conor Hoban, gave further reason for celebration when bouncing back to form in the Lengthen The Odds With BetVictor Handicap. The six-year-old ran on strongly to deny the challenge of favourite Dapper Power, the pair a long way clear.
“Things are going great,” said Cotter. “Everything we run is there or thereabouts, so long may it continue. They’re (her and Polly Douglas) some pair of fillies to have.
"But she did a bit of work last week and we thought she was really back on song. The ground was only a bit of a worry, but it was the first time she had 8-04 on her back, and she got through it well enough.
“She’s a nice filly and when I saw the favourite (Dapper Power) for the race was the one we beat up in Down Royal (with Polly Douglas) I knew if she was in form at all she would beat him. When things go right for her, she’s smart, and hopefully we’ll go to the Curragh on Derby Day for one of the big sprints there.”
Eight And Bob, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Colin Keane, had a good winter over hurdles, winning three times and finishing in the frame on four more occasions, and he made a successful return to the flat with an ultimately comfortable success in the first division of the Visit Tipperary Handicap.
Lustful, who was having her second start for Joseph O’Brien, took the second division with a strong performance in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien. She is likely to be quite well penalised for this victory but will be hard to deny in her follow-up bid.
The O’Brien clan dominated the end of the programme as Harpo Marx, trained by Aidan, gave Donnacha a quick double when taking the BetVictor Proudly Sponsoring Irish Racing Maiden. He looked in trouble leaving the backstraight but responded well to pressure and was well on top at the finish. The Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot is an option for the Galileo colt.
“He stays well, and he’s progressive, but probably wants better ground,” said the winning trainer. “I’d say he wants much better ground, and could step up in trip for the race in Ascot (Queen’s Vase).”