Enterprisingly ridden Solskjaer scores for O’Brien

SOLSKJAER, enterprisingly ridden by Seamus Heffernan, landed the listed Heritage Stakes for Aidan O’Brien at Leopardstown yesterday.

The five-year-old which is owned by O’Brien’s wife, AnneMarie, won the early battle for the lead and made all, responding under strong pressure from Heffernan, to keep Multazem and the favourite Zarad at bay.

“He’s a strong, tough horse,” declared winning rider Heffernan.

“He improved a bit from his first run and should improve again.

“He just about handled that ground and will be better when things dry up.”

Solskjaer’s victory, a measure of compensation for O’Brien, who was out of luck with his French raiding party at Longchamp, was the second leg of a double for Heffernan, understudy to Kieren Fallon at Ballydoyle, who had triumphed earlier on the Peter Casey trained Bective Ranger in the Maple Handicap.

Dermot Weld has high hopes for the Moyglare Stud Farm’s Danehill filly Utterly Heaven after her convincing victory over front-running stable-companion Happy To Chat in the fillies maiden.

Weld explained: “I’ve won this race for the last two years, with Dimitrova and Megec Blis, which went on to become stakes fillies. Hopefully, this filly will be able to emulate them. She’ll step-up to listed level next and might come back here for the Guineas Trial in two weeks.”

Trainer Jim Bolger whose Democratic Deficit remains on course for Saturday’s English 2,000 Guineas, recorded his second juvenile success of the season when Sandie put her experience to good use in the opener, outpointing debutant Jiaconda, with the remainder eight lengths adrift. The filly’s victory added to Bolger’s celebration of his fortieth wedding anniversary. And he confirmed plans for Sandie, “She’ll do more than that in time. We’ll run here at listed level next time, probably in the Swordlestown Stud Stakes at Naas.”

Curragh trainer John Oxx, who recorded a double at Naas on Saturday, continue his rich vein of form when Concert Party, owned by Sheikh Mohammed, justified 4/9 favouritism in the Cherrywood Maiden.

A fifteenth winner of the season for Oxx, and a thirteenth for stable-jockey Michael Kinane, Concert Party saw off the challenge of In The Hand by two lengths and is expected to prove more effective when stepping-up in trip, “He did well to win over that trip because I think he’ll be a better horse over a mile and a quarter plus, Hopefully, he’ll win again, over further,” said Oxx.

Another trainer to double-up at Naas on Saturday, Declan Gillespie, was also on the mark when Christy Geoghegan brought Final Opinion home the winner of the Pinewood Handicap.

The meeting ended with a bit of excitement when the Oliver Finnegan-trained Malthouse Master (Shane Gorey) and Tim Doyle’s Raggtime Toon (Michael Hussey) dead-heated for the finale, the twelve-furlong Oakfield Handicap.

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