Bold Thady Quill, trained by Ken Condon for the Iona Equine Syndicate, got the better of front-running favourite Sassaway inside the final furlong to win the opening Fairyhouse Summer Series Handicap by a length and quarter.
Condon explained: “It’s great he won because he’s the mare’s first foal and the owners still have her. He has plenty of ability and handles fast ground well, but he has needed two operations to sort out a wind problem. We’ll look for something similar for him, over six or seven furlongs.”
Berry completed his double when Sean Og Coulston, owned and trained by John Coleman, defied a 14lb. hike for a recent win in Down Royal, bolting home a facile winner of the fairyhouseracecourse.ie Handicap.
The six-year-old broke smartly and tracked the leaders until taking control with less than two furlongs to race and drawing clear to beat Vigano by two and a half lengths.
Coleman explained: “I’ve spent most of the last eighteen months working on an oil pipeline in South Africa. James (his assistant James Nash) deserves a lot of the credit. We’ve always liked this horse, but he’s had his share of problems. He has come right, at last.”
Nash, who earlier saddled beaten odds-on favourite Luisant, added: “It’s been pure patience by John, giving this horse all the time he needed and it’s paying off. He’s in at Limerick on Friday and, if he eats up in the morning, he’ll be heading there before the handicapper can get at him again.”
Out of luck so far at Royal Ascot, Aidan O’Brien landed the seven-furlong Bobbyjo Bistro Race with seasonal debutant Emperor Claudius, enterprisingly ridden by Sean Levey.
The 106-rated son of Giant’s Causeway made all and poached a clear lead with two furlongs to race before beating odds-on favourite Luisant, seeking both his first win on turf and an initial success beyond six furlongs, convincingly by two and a half lengths.
The Aga Khan’s familiar green and red colours were carried to victory in the Ashbourne Handicap, but not by heavily-backed, John Oxx-trained odds-on favourite Simkana (Fran Berry), backed in from 4/6 to 1/2.
Sent into the lead turning for home and soon clear, Fran Berry’s mount was collared inside the final furlong and comprehensively beaten by the Michael Halford-trained Zerashan, ridden by apprentice Shane Foley.
The winner, a strapping son of Azamour, looks sure to improve, as his trainer suggested: “He’s a lovely big horse and just needed to be given a chance. That’s why we’ve given him so much time. He’s still very green and has loads of scope. We’ll take small steps with him and see how he progresses.”