The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at the Kerry track yesterday saw Aidan O’Brien’s long odds-on newcomer, Amalie Bay, throw the race away in the closing stages.
He cruised ahead with over a furlong to run, settling the contest in a matter of strides.
Those who had traded were, literally, on their way towards the layers to grab the winnings. But wait, Murphy’s Law - if something can go wrong it will - was about to rear its ugly head.
Suddenly, with the line in sight, Amalie Bay began to hang across the track and then he virtually pulled himself up. Michael Kinane fought mightily to get him balanced, succeeded, but could not rally his charge in time to hold either eventual winner, Almost Forever, last into the straight, or Straille.
Kinane, quizzed by one brave member of the press corps for an explanation replied, rather testily: “I can do a lot of things, but I can’t get inside the horse’s head.”
Kinane was out of luck as well on Castledale in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Premier Nursery.
Castledale, trained by Almost Forever’s handler, David Wachman, got a dream run up the inside in the straight and was a good three lengths to the good at the furlong pole.
But Declan McDonogh conjured a tremendous late burst from Chestnut Gallinule, from well off the pace, to get up close home and score by a neck.
The featured Guinness Gold Cup was won by Cloone River, runner-up to Sabadilla in the Galway Hurdle.
Zimbabwe made a brave attempt from the front, but had no more to give a furlong down, as Cloone River forged on.
Mutakarrim tried hard to close, but was always well held, as Tadgh O’Shea’s mount crossed the line half a length to the good.
Commented in-form trainer, Paul Nolan: “He will keep mixing it and will make a lovely chaser, that will be his game. He will have a bit of break now.”
The Tommy Walker yard landed a real touch with Victory Craft in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.
The six-year-old was racing 12lbs out of the handicap and his rider, Rachel Costello, could only draw one pound of her 4lbs claim.
But it all made not a bit of difference as Victory Crafty, 20-1 to 9-1, made every yard of the running to beat Maraami.
The Lake Coniston gelding was having a first outing for Walker.
Dermot Weld had his fifth winner of the week when easy-to-back All Theatrical turned-over Vintage Port, 4-5 to 4-7, in the Directors’ Maiden.
Vintage Port went on three furlongs out but had no answer to the winner once Pat Smullen produced her with a furlong to run.
Said Smullen: “She was very disappointing in her two runs, but we always thought her capable of winning a race and she got it together today.”
Robbie Burke, successful in a Listed event earlier in the week on Latino Magic, was on the mark again aboard Viva La Diva in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Handicap.
Burke pushed the Con Collins trained filly into the lead inside the final furlong to beat Kakatiya a length and a half.
Gamble of the contest was Jim Bolger’s Tropical Lady, 6-1 to 3’s, but she was beaten before the straight.
Market leader, Baikal, ran out a very easy winner of the Banna Beach Hotel Handicap.
The son of Singspiel came with a smooth challenge in the straight, in the hands of Fran Berry, to easily master Grand Madam and the flattering Rick.