Tough Sudirman takes command

Sudirman gave trainer David Wachman his second Keeneland Phoenix Stakes success when confirming his Railway Stakes superiority over Big Time in the Group 1 feature at the Curragh yesterday.

Tough Sudirman takes command

In a race which saw Aidan O’Brien’s odds-on favourite War Command, impressive winner of Royal Ascot’s Coventry Stakes, finish only third, Wayne Lordan seized the initiative on Sudirman with a furlong and a half to race and the son of Henrythenavigator ran on well to keep his persistent rival at bay by a half-length (a carbon copy of their Railway Stakes clash), with the 2/5 favourite a similar distance away third.

Trainer Wachman, who won the Phoenix back in 2004 with Damson, commented: “He’s a good, tough horse. He idles in front, but keeps finding. Wayne said there was plenty in the tank. I’m really delighted for Wayne — he’s been waiting for a while for a horse like this.

“This horse is crying out for seven furlongs. Fast ground is vital and I suppose the National Stakes is a possibility now.”

Sudirman is jointly-owned by Mrs Ftiri Hay and Mrs Sue Magnier and it emerged later that his time of 1m. 9.35 sec’s was a two-year-old course record for six furlongs at the Curragh, and the second fastest race ever run over the distance at headquarters The winner received differing quotoes for the 2014 Qipco 2,000 Guineas — Boylesporst offer 12/1, Stan James 14/1 while Paddy Power introduced him at 20/1 for the Newmarket classic.

Guineas quotes were also forthcoming after Tapestry followed-up her recent debut success here with a convincing victory in the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Debutante Stakes.

The daughter of 2005 Debutante winner, Rumplestiltskin, came through smoothly under Joseph O’Brien to master front-running stable-companion Perhaps by a length and three-quarters, prompting her trainer to comment: “Seamus gave her a lovely ride first time and she came forward nicely from it. They went a nice even pace today and she should learn plenty.”

He added: “Our two-year-old fillies are going well and I’m delighted with a one-two in a race like this — both fillies are Galileos. There are a lot of options open to this filly, but she’ll probably come back here for the Moyglare.

Boylesports reacted to Tapestry’s win by cutting her to just 6/1 (from 12) for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas while Paddy Power offer 12/1

Seamus Heffernan, rider of runner-up Perhaps, was subsequently suspended for four days, having been found guilty of using his whip with excessive force and frequency and not allowing his mount time to respond.

Tapestry was the second leg of a Ballydoyle double with two-year-old fillies, initiated when the well-backed Terrific, a full-sister to Together, made all to land the opening, mile maiden, holding favourite Gorteo by a half-length. Aidan O’Brien commented: “She was unusually green on her debut and tried to stop during the race. The blinkers made a difference to her today. She’s a smart filly and could be anything.”

Big-race hero Wayne Lordan completed a Group-race double when the progressive, Eddie Lynam-trained Slade Power outclassed his rivals in the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes.

Third in the July Cup last time, the tough four-year-old was in front before the furlong-pole and beat Hamza emphatically, with even-money favourite Sea Siren only third.

“He couldn’t have done it much better than that,” declared Lordan. “He travelled easily and got to the front sooner than I had planned. He never kills himself in front! He’s improving all the time and I’m sure he’ll be stepping back up to Group 1 company now.”

British raider Maputo, trained by Mark Johnston and confidently handled by Joe Fanning, proved a convincing winner of the other Group race on the card, he Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes, proving a length too strong for Caponata. Johnston admitted: “I wasn’t sure what to make of his listed win in Hamilton. But Joe said he felt a much better horse today He’s very progressive, but I was more hopeful than confident coming here.”

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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