Midnight Music hits right note

HAVING registered a double in Group race action at Leopardstown on Saturday, reigning champion Pat Smullen doubled-up again — at Roscommon last evening — completing a double for Dermot Weld on Modern Romance and Midnight Music in ground described as ‘heavy’ before racing commenced before deteriorating further due to persistent rain.

“She’s a nice filly and handled the conditions well,” said Smullen after Modern Romance made a successful debut in the opening Irish Stallion Farms Median Auction 2-Y-0 Fillies Maiden.

Carrying the colours of her owner Chris McHale, the daughter of Muhtathir, sent off 3/1 joint-favourite, forged clear inside the final furlong to beat Balrath Hope by two lengths.

The Weld/Smullen double was completed in the featured fillies handicap when Midnight Music, in the colours of Lady O’Reilly, prevailed by a neck over No Trimmings.

The complexion of the race changed dramatically inside the final furlong as the main protagonists swept past front-running Miranda’s Girl which had made a bold bid to make all under apprentice Ronan Whelan.

Smullen went close to further success on board Lord Windark, beaten a half-length by the 16/1 outsider Cheval Rouge (Danny Grant) in the second division of the seven-furlong Cestlerea Handicap.

Cheval Rouge is trained by Harry Rogers, who commented: “She loves soft ground, so I thought she’d nearly win. She needs plenty of cover and Danny timed it right. She’ll go to Listowel next week, if he ground is soft.”

After two solid runs in Sligo, the Paul Deegan trained Darasal Wane belatedly got off the mark when scoring a convincing length and a quarter win over top-weight Balladienne in the first division of this seven-furlong handicap.

Paul Coyle, representing Deegan, said: “That was overdue after two good runs in Sligo, She’s very honest and loves that soft ground. I don’t know where she’ll go next.”

Twice-raced as a juvenile, last October, Spontaneous overcame an absence of more than ten months when justifying support (9/1 to 112) in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies maiden over a mile and a half.

Fran Berry attempted to make all on frustrating favourite Puzzled and had most of his rivals in trouble turning for home. But Niall McCullagh exuded confidence on Spontaneous and the Sinndar closed gradually before taking command inside the final furlong and stretching clear to triumph by five lengths.

Spontaneous, which is owned by Ann Marshall and trained by Frank Dunne, will now set to step into stakes company.

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