Oklahoma City, an Oasis Dream colt, sixth to subsequent Railway Stakes winner Sudirman on his debut at Leopardstown and wearing a visor, was sent off 4/7 favourite to beat just three rivals in the six-furlong Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Maiden and gave odds-on backers no worries.
Oklahoma City bounced out of the stalls smartly, showed plenty of early speed and, soon clear, was never threatened. In command well before half-way, he ws kept up to his work by Joseph and stormed up the hill to slam Bonjour Bob by thirteen lengths in a fast time, on fast ground, which he appeared to relish.
“He was very green the last day and the visor must have woken him up,” commented an apparently surprised Aidan O’Brien. “He came forward from his run in Leopardstown but we weren’t expecting a performance like that. It was a fast time and we’ll have to look at a listed or conditions race next. We might even try him in the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh next week.”
Debutante Minorette, wearing a hood, was an uneasy favourite for the two-year-old fillies maiden but delivered to give Ballydoyle its second win of the evening, proving almost two lengths too good for Touch Of Snow.
“She was very green but got away with it and seemed to like the quick ground,” was the winning trainer’s summing-up of the Smart Strike filly’s win.
Rain God, carrying a 5lb. penalty for a win at Leopardstown last Thursday, made all to give the O’Brien’s their third success in the Hospitality Bookings On Line Handicap.
The son of Henrythenavigator made all and stayed on up the hill to beat Mordanmijobsworth by a length and a quarter, prompting the Master of Ballydoyle to suggest: “He probably got an easy lead, but he quickened and kept going. He loves fast ground and might win another handicap.” He later confirmed that Galway’s valuable Topaz Mile might be the next target for Rain God.
Front-running tactics were again successful in the Follow Naas Racecourse On Facebook Handicap when handicap debutant Waver, ridden by Ana O’Brien, dictated the pace and responded to driving in the closing stages to hold longshot Lady Geronimo by three-quarters of a length.
“He’s hardy and just kept galloping,” said the winning trainer, who confirmed that Waver is likely to make a quick reappearance in the Ryan Sheridan Handicap at Leopardstown tonight.
The finale, the Tipper Road Race, saw Curragh maiden winner The Vatican completed the Ballydoyle haul when outstaying Dr. Funkenstein in a race which saw favourite Levanto flop badly, trailing in last of the five runners.
“He stays well and we always through he’d get further than ten furlongs,” said O’Brien, “We’ll try to find a stakes race for him now.”
In the other action, Violet Hour, in the Moyglare Stud colours, justified 5/2 favouritism in the one-mile fillies maiden, a welcome success for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen as the Galway Festival looms.
“She was entitled to win a maiden on her last run and likes that fast ground,” said Kris Weld.
Eddie Lynam, who will saddle both Sole Power and Slade Power in Saturday’s July Cup in Newmarket, landed a far less prestigious sprint when Penny Serenade ridden by Niall McCullagh, proved a convincing three lengths winner of the six-furlong handicap.
“It shows what a good judge I am,” quipped Lynam. “The last day, in Limerick, I thought at least two should have beaten her. But she did it well tonight and the ground doesn’t seem to effect her. She was the first yearling my daughter Sarah bought so, maybe, she should buy a few more.”