Dance gives her rivals the Slip

JOHNNY EGAN made a successful first visit to Cork Racecourse yesterday when guiding Slip Dance to a smooth victory in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Race.

“It’s my first day here, I was heading down to the old shed for the weigh-room”, reported Egan.

Eamon Tyrrell’s filly had previously finished fifth behind Godolphin’s Satin Kiss in the United Arab Emirates 1000 Guineas at Nad Al Sheba and certainly found this a lot easier.

Egan produced her to ease past Sweet Gypsy Rose inside the furlong pole and the late rush of Society Hostess was held by a comfortable length and a half.

“I was going to work her at the Curragh, but decided to come here and do a piece of work instead and collect a few quid in the process”, said Tyrrell.

“She hated that ground and is now likely to go to Leopardstown on April 10 for a 1000 Guineas trial, as long as the ground is suitable.”

The featured Murphys’ Handicap Hurdle was won in fine style by the Eric McNamara trained Hordago. Pushed ahead shortly after the third last by the capable Brian Byrnes, Hordago soon shook off the attentions of well-backed favourite, Spring The Que, and the staying on Kilbdeggan Lad was never a worry.

“He’s been a consistent and lucky horse”, said McNamara. “He will be entered for a couple of handicaps at Liverpool, but may struggle to get in. If he doesn’t go there then it will be Punchestown next.”

John Oxx enjoyed his first winner of the season when Sweet Treat, a newcomer by Orpen, streaked away with the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden.

She ran fast throughout and was in complete control well over a furlong down to score by six lengths for Fran Berry.

Assistant trainer, Jimmy O’Neill, represented Oxx and said: “She has been going quite well at home, so it is no real surprise.” Berry was suspended for one day, April 7, for moving across the field much too early, grabbing a pitch on the stands side.

Oxx’s top weight Dolce Voche was the business in the ring for the Blarney Handicap, finding 7-2 from 6-1.

The four-year-old ran a cracker for Cathy Gannon, but hard as she tried in the closing stages just couldn’t get to grips with 16-1 shot Amongst Amigos, beautifully handled by Rory Cleary.

Grief-stricken is a term often used to describe beginners’ chases and yesterday’s was no different with victory going to the Pat O’Connor trained Hits And Memories.

The mare answered every call from Sean McDermott to poke her head in front close home and beat Munster Magic a short head.

But that only tells part of the story. Randwick Roar was all the rage in the ring, hardening from some 5-4 to 8-11.

He travelled sweetly through the race and appeared to be full of running when falling at the third last.

Lord Ajus was left in front and had a good four lengths advantage, looking all over a winner, when he and Davy Russell went their separate ways at the next.

Andrew McNamara, who took two heavy falls during the course of the day, off Randwick Roar and Vic Ville, dusted himself down to partner his father Andrew’s City Of Sails to take the Munster Waste Management Maiden Hurdle.

City Of Sails powered into the lead approaching the final flight to beat Hickory Hill and On The Net.

“He was very unlucky the last day at Tramore, getting no run down the hill, I really fancied him”, reported McNamara senior.

Dusty Sheehy’s first-timer Wild Ocean made practically all to win the Bumper, holding on close home as favourite Virginia Preuil closed with every stride, only to fail by a short head.

Wild Ocean was partnered by 28-year-old Jim Barcoe and this was his fourth winner on the racecourse.

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