The progressive Algonquin completed a four-timer with a typically gamebattling display in the listed Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes last night at Killarney last night.
The 9-2 chance was held up just off the pace by Kevin Manning, before being produced to challenge in the straight. Upsides Devonshire as they raced past the two marker, he stuck his head out determinedly to see off the filly by a neck, with the fast-finishing Sacrificial back in third.
The benefit of experience was certainly not lost on Johannes Vermeer, who left behind the costly defeat of his debut with a very impressive display in the opening maiden, for two-year-olds.
Backed into odds-on on his only previous start, at Tipperary, he finished a well-beaten third behind Mrs King, but looked a different proposition this time when popping out and quickly taking control of the race.
The 6-4 favourite quickened to go clear down the straight, and jockey Emmet McNamara, having his first winner for trainer Aidan O’Brien, had the luxury of having a leisurely look behind him.
Said McNamara: “We got a nice, easy lead to halfway, I got him balanced around the bends, and when we turned for home I got a fresh hold of him, and he quickened all the way to the line.
“I didn’t even have to have a look around, because I knew nothing was going to be quickening as well as I did. He took a step forward from the first day, and hopefully he’ll step forward again. He could win nice races.”
Runner-up Dawenkour was heavily supported, but had to settle for second place. The ground, which the winning rider reported to be on the quick side of good, may have been against the runner-up, while third-placed Aridity is worthy of the notebook following a very pleasing first effort.
The second race, a maiden three-year-olds and upwards, went to the well-backed Assume, from the stable of David Wachman. The daughter of Fastnet Rock was ‘hard to train’ according to her handler, but his patience was rewarded with a smart display.
Stable companion Black Wolf Run was sent off favourite, and held every chance before fading to finish fourth as Assume, under in-form Billy Lee, challenged late and found plenty to beat Mcguigan by three parts of a length.
“She’s been hard to train,” said Wachman. “She was a big two-year-old, she had a few problems in the spring, but maybe she’s turning a corner now.”
Jockey Robbie Downey is enjoying a superb season, and gave Plough Boy a most confident ride to take the Clifford’s Groundcare Limited Handicap for trainer Garvan Donnelly.
Partnering the horse for the third time, and completing a hat-trick aboard the four-year-old, Downey sat in third place until moving to challenge a furlong and a half out. He was in control soon afterwards, and not fully extended to beat Angel Of Joy.
The Oi Oi Skipper Syndicate, headed by journalists Johnny Ward and Daniel McDonnell, were in celebratory mood following Aye Aye Skipper’s success in the Diarmuid Cronin Electrical Handicap.
Jockey Donagh O’Connor was able to get his mount – the well-backed 9-2 second-favourite – into a good position early, despite a tough draw, and it went smoothly afterwards for the Johnny Levins-trained gelding. In front over a furlong out, he readily accounted for favourite Udogo.
Trainer John Oxx and jockey Declan McDonogh wrapped up proceedings bycompleting a 63-1 double in the last two races, with Xebec and Nebulla respectively.
The former made all the running to take the Easy Clean Handicap. Easy to back, the three-year-old was earning due reward for his consistency this season, as he found plenty to see off the late challenge of Here For The Craic by half a length.
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