DERMOT WELD’S Moving Heart, who had threatened more than was delivered in three previous runs, put it all together to produce a smooth performance in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden at Limerick last night.
Patiently handled by Pat Smullen, the daughter of Anabaa cruised up behind the leaders approaching the home turn.
Bean Uasal and Samba School flattered in turn, but the winner got a smashing run up the far rails to shoot clear inside the furlong pole and score going away by two lengths.
“We were very disappointed when she got beaten at Cork last time, but it was my fault, I got to the front far too soon”, said Smullen.
“You live and learn and everything went perfectly here, I had plenty of cover. She is only what we always thought she was.”
Andrew McNamara’s Drombeg Dawn, backed at 20-1 in the morning and returned at 12’s, easily won the Spin Southwest Handicap.
Having her first outing of the campaign, and her first in a handicap, the daughter of Orpen forged clear well over a furlong out to score by three lengths.
She is owned by Athlacca, Co Limerick farrier, Cian McAuliffe, and was a first success for him.
Commented McNamara: “I woke up in the middle of the night and said this filly would not be beaten! She will go for another handicap and is great to jump.”
Karen Kenny, who spent some time with Alan McCabe in England, rode her first winner since returning home, and her fifth in total, when guiding Tipper Road to land the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap unextended by three and a half lengths.
For trainer, Mervyn Torrens, it justified his marathon trip of four and three quarter hours from Omagh, Co Tyrone.
Said Torrens: “It panned out for Tipper Road. They went very hard early on and he’s a wee bugger to settle!”
Bryan Cooper, who partnered Tau Tona in this contest, was suspended for two days for careless riding.
Those brave souls who availed of the 1-2 about Castor, in the Hot Press Median Auction Maiden, suffered more than their share of palpitations before they could join the queue to collect.
Billy Lee forced Tommy Stack’s colt ahead just under two furlongs down, but had to drive him all the way to the line to hold Gagnant by a neck.
Stack’s son, Fozzy, said: “He’s had a good old blow, he missed three or four days last week with a bruised foot.”
Chris Hayes has made a sparkling start to the season and was again seen to advantage when giving Chibcha a tremendous drive to win the Shannon Fillies Handicap.
Last out of stalls, which was the plan, she weaved her way through late to grab Dash Back for a head victory.
Hayes then completed a double with a superb display on Jim Gorman’s Count John in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Race.
The son of Intikhab won his maiden on the track earlier in the month, but this represented a fair step up.
He buckled down in terrific style, however, inside the furlong pole to hold the late rush of Lastkingofscotland by a short head.
John Oxx’s top weight Aliyfa outclassed her rivals in the Croom Handicap, after being pushed ahead at the furlong pole by Michael Kinane.
“She’s not a bad filly, although it helps when you only have three to beat”, said Oxx. “She stays well and we’ll see what the handicapper does, before trying to nick another one over a mile and a half.”
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