Smullen at his best on game Grace

PAT SMULLEN gave Grace O’Malley a quite magnificent drive to land the Group 3 Kerry Group Noblesse Stakes at Cork yesterday.

Kris Weld represented his father, Dermot, and reported: “Everyone is delighted, she is brave and tough and has now won this two years in-a-row.”

Smullen had her in front from the start, but the pair had defeat staring them in the face all the way up the straight, as Karasiyra and Unity threw down strong challenges.

But Smullen was not for turning and kept Grace O’Malley going with grim determination to beat Karasiyra a short head, with Unity just a neck away in third.

Both Fran Berry (Karasiyra) and Johnny Murtagh (Unity) put up a pound overweight and just how much of a difference that made we will never know.

Said Weld junior: “That was a great ride from Pat. Thankfully, she is in foal to Shamardal and we might have a look at the Lancashire Oaks (Haydock) now.”

Ger Lyons’ Clondinnery was very impressive in the Listed Galtee Rochestown Stakes over six furlongs.

The rapidly improving son of Choisir was quickly into stride and was far too good for his four opponents.

Clondinnery made virtually all of the running and only had to be nudged out by Keagan Latham at the furlong pole to score by three lengths.

Shane Lyons represented his brother and said: “It was a toss-up between coming here and the Coventry (Royal Ascot).

“He will be a better three-year-old, he’s a big horse with character. The Railway Stakes (Curragh) is the plan.”

Rodger Sweeney saddled his first ever two-year-old winner when Khelino, owned by his wife, Joan, took the Cheestrings EBF Auction Maiden by two lengths.

“That was badly needed, the Rodger fund was fairly low”, quipped Sweeney, after his filly had landed a tasty touch.

Returned at 10-1, she was taken at 40-1, 33-1 and 25’s in the morning. Produced by Ben Curtis to lead at the furlong pole, Khelino eased away to easily beat market-leader, Joe Eile.

Said Sweeney: “She has loads of old boot and we’ll have to try and find her a new owner now.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Queen Of Troy, last of ten behind Gilt Edge Girl in the Ballyogan Stakes at Leopardstown on Wednesday, was back on track in the Charleville Cheese Race.

Partnered by Aidan’s son, Joseph, the daughter of Storm Cat was near the front throughout.

She got the full treatment from the youngster in the final furlong to beat Invincible Ash by half a length.

Best backed horse in the contest was O’Brien’s other runner, Full Of Hope, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, who was closest at the end, after getting far from a clear run.

Commented O’Brien: “She (Queen Of Troy) disappointed the last day for whatever reason. She is definitely a stakes filly, if we could get it right.”

The Andrew Oliver-trained Super Say was backed from 4-5 to 2-5 in the Golden Olive Maiden and obliged, but only by a fast diminishing neck over newcomer, Bold Identity.

Super Say, ridden by Murtagh, made every yard of the running and by the time the penny dropped with the runner-up it was all too late.

“He’s a very big horse and we are delighted to get the job done”, said Oliver. “We will look at our options, but he will probably go for a big handicap at the Curragh on Derby weekend.”

The Kerry Group Handicap looked hard to solve, but punters got it right with victory going to the 7-2 favourite, Iron Major.

Eddie Lynam’s gelding powered through late, initiating a double for Murtagh, to ease clear of Bank On Black, the verdict a length.

Full Title, who scored by four lengths at Fairyhouse earlier in the month, followed up by winning the Low Low Handicap.

Sent on well over a furlong down by Gary Carroll, Full Title had no trouble holding Dawn Eclipse.

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