O’Brien at the double

HAVING enjoyed mixed luck in Epsom’s Group 1 action, Aidan O’Brien completed a double with Viscount Nelson and Vault at the Curragh last night, both ridden by Colm O’Donoghue.

Without a win since his juvenile days, but placed twice at the highest level last season, Viscount Nelson, ridden with supreme confidence by O’Donoghue, justified odds-on favouritism in the featured Donate to KARE at kare.ie Silver Stakes.

Having tracked market-rival Bob Le Beau (whose rider Shane Foley was suspended for one day for hitting his horse down the shoulder) Viscount Nelson cruised into the lead early in the final furlong and, shaken up, stretched clear to score by three and a half lengths, prompting O’Donoghue to comment: “He had a bit in hand on ratings and did it well. This will do his confidence good. It’s onwards and upwards with him from here.”

The Ballydoyle double had been initiated when Vault, a Danehill Dancer colt, made a successful debut in the opening two-year-old maiden. Helped by the stands rail, he foiled morning gamble Dragon Pulse (5/2 favourite) by a head with Jemima’s Pearl an eye-catching third.

Also in double form was Billy Lee, who scored on Coprah, trained by Ken Condon, in the six-furlong maiden and the Andy Oliver-trained 33/1 shot Terminal Velocity in the Winders Electrical Supporting KARE Maiden.

Oliver explained: “He has always been a nice horse, but was very green and immature on his debut.

“He learned a bit, but needs the blinkers to help him concentrate.”

The Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot is a likely target for Clare Glen, which made most of the running to record an emphatic win over Plum Sugar in the fillies handicap.

The Ben Curtis-ridden mare was described as “tough as nails” by her trainer, Sarah Dawson, who is based near Banbridge, County Down.

Meanwhile, at Tramore, the well-backed Gudni Gracious Me (2/1 to 11/8) opened her account over fences in the beginners chase, making it fifth-time-lucky on the track for trainer John O’Shea, who said: “She acts on sharp tracks, but doesn’t really have the scope for jumping fences on the big tracks. She’ll probably go back on the flat now, in the build-up to Galway, where she could run in the Galway Hurdle, if she gets in.”

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