Aidan O’Brien’s Marchese Marconi, beaten at 1-5 at Dundalk last week, went off a 2-7 shot in the Festival Of Speed Maiden and made no mistake this time round.
Ridden by Joseph O’Brien, Marchese Marconi edged ahead over three furlongs down and only had to be pushed out to easily beat Prima Vista.
O’Brien senior was on hand to see the Galileo colt, carrying the colours of his wife, AnneMarie, doing the business.
He said: “It is great that he has won and the fitting of cheekpieces probably helped a little.” Quizzed as to what happened the horse at Dundalk, O’Brien responded: “You tell me.”
The O’Brien team completed a double when El Salvador ran his rivals ragged in the Summer Twilight Nights Race.
The persistent rain greatly favoured Dermot Weld’s Irish Cesarewitch winner, Voleuse De Coeurs, and she was all the rage in the market.
But El Salvador popped away in front for Joseph and kept picking up in the straight to hold the favourite by a comfortable two and a quarter lengths.
Said Aidan: “I’d say he has a fair engine, that’s not his ground, and the plan is come back here for the Martin Molony Stakes.”
There are real signs, however, that Weld’s horses are coming right, with his Diesel Ten stepping up on previous efforts to win the UL Racing Society Median Auction Maiden.
He went toe-to-toe with Hold The Line through the last furlong, getting the best of the tussle for Pat Smullen by a short head.
Kris Weld represented his father and said: “He’s tough and enjoyed the ground. That was a great ride from Pat, he battled well and will now go for a handicap.”
The layers began their evening with the perfect result when Michael Halford’s unconsidered 25-1 shot Mizzava nailed Aidan O’Brien’s hot pot, Hanky Panky, in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden.
Hanky Panky, the rain-softened ground was hardly a plus, looked all over a winner when hitting the front at the furlong pole.
But she soon began to struggle and Shane Foley produced Mizzava with a powerful late challenge to win going away by three parts of a length.
“She hasn’t been on grass or come in her coat, so there should be plenty of improvement,” reported Halford.
“She has an entry in the 1000 Guineas (Irish), we’ll see.”
Tim Doyle’s Vasoni, who ran a cracker from the front on her seasonal debut at Cork, took the Tote Jackpot Handicap.
Leigh Roche was in the plate and was in no hurry with the mare, only producing her in the straight to sweep ahead with less than two furlongs to go.
“I gambled yesterday morning that the rain would arrive, that’s the secret to her, she likes cut,” said Doyle. “As long as the ground stays soft, she will keep running.”
The Four Elms, winner of the race a year ago, repeated the trick when storming away with the It’s A Student’s Life Handicap.
Partnered by Chris Hayes for John Joe Walsh, he came down the best of the ground towards the outside in the straight to collar the long-timer leader, Benbecula.
Commented Walsh: “He mightn’t have liked the ground as bad as that, we’ll see if we can get another handicap with him.”
Co Cavan trainer, Shane Donohoe, had a welcome turn when the talented Ronan Whelan guided Star Links to success in the www.limerickraces.ie Online Special Packages Handicap.
Revelling on a surface that was heavy by now, Star Links forged ahead with a furlong to run to beat Maundy Money by four lengths.
“He is owned by Gerry Dolan, who has a pub in the heart of London,” said Donohoe.
“He likes to have a few bob on and I told him this had a good chance.”