Wannabe improving at a rate of knots

The Tommy Stack-trained Wannabe Better, clearly improving at a rate of knots, created a mild surprise when taking the featured Listed Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes at Killarney last night.

Wannabe improving at a rate of knots

For most of the season, she had looked very moderate, until getting off the mark in emphatic style in a maiden at Naas.

But once fillies begin to go forward the sky can be the limit and that clearly is the case with the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade.

Favourite, Captain Joy, touched the front over two furlongs down, but once Wayne Lordan found a gap on the winner there was only going to be one result.

Wannabe Better quickened in style and shot clear to score going away by two lengths. Commented Stack: “I’m not surprised, she has always shown a lot of ability at home, but not on the track. Like most women, you have to give them time!”

Stack was loud in his praise of the surface. He said: “It is really good flat ground, they always do a great job here.”

Lordan completed a 142-1 double with an excellent performance aboard top weight Long Journey Home in the Robin Parke Memorial Handicap.

Essentially, the pilot stole the contest, soon grabbing a huge advantage that the winner never looked like relinquishing, as the heavily backed market-leader, Shalaman, flew home to claim second.

Long Journey Home is trained at Mitchelstown by Danny O’Sullivan, who said: “He takes a bit of a grip and likes to bowl along. He will go for another handicap, in three weeks or more.’’

Aidan O’Brien’s Kingfisher was far too good for the opposition in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden.

The son of Galileo was fourth on his debut behind current Epsom Derby favourite, Free Eagle, at Leopardstown and it’s a contest that continues to work out particularly well.

Kingfisher raced near the front throughout for Joseph O’Brien and this was over early in the straight, as he forged clear to win by nine lengths.

Said O’Brien senior: “He did it lovely, you’d be delighted with that. He’s one to look forward to and could be a Beresford (Curragh) horse.” Stan James gave Kingfisher a 33-1 quote for Epsom.

The O’Brien combination completed a double when Piet Mondrian overcame an absence of 157 days with the minimum of fuss in the Wholesome Fayre Maiden.

Explained Aidan: “He kept pulling muscles off his hip, as we tried to get him fit. He’s a big horse and will make a lovely four-year-old.”

Joseph soon had the grey son of Danehill Dancer moving sweetly in the lead and only had to nudge him out up the straight to score by three lengths.

The Donal Kinsella-trained Maudlin Magdalen completed a hat trick with a game front running display in the Colin Counihan Tarmac Handicap.

Powerfully handled by Ben Curtis, the daughter of Dylan Thomas kept finding to beat Cairdiuil by a length and a half.

Said Kinsella: “She surprises me every day she does it. She’s turned inside out and just gets better and better.”

Jessica Harrington’s Tri Na Ceile followed her good second at Galway by making no mistake in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden. Ridden by Fran Berry, Tri Na Ceile edged ahead early in the straight and powered clear to easily beat Alkali. “She is only now getting the hang of racing”, reported Harrington. “She’s improving and might go for a handicap next.”

Sabrina Harty’s Ned’s Indian got into the Diarmuid Cronin Electrical Handicap as a reserve and proceeded to do the business.

Partnered by the impressive Colin Keane and far from neglected in the market, Ned’s Indian swooped late to beat Maal and long time leader, Apache Gold.

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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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