Tested nicely in control on debut

In-form trainer Dermot Weld described Tested as "a group-class filly" after the daughter of Selkirk justified 4/11 favouritism in the Ladies Day June 21st Fillies Race in Gowran Park yesterday.

With apprentice Leigh Roche deputising for suspended stable-jockey Pat Smullen, Tested, successful on her debut at the Curragh last year, travelled sweetly throughout, came from off the pace and quickened up to take control approaching the furlong-pole before idling or tiring and beating 91-rated Colour Blue by two and a half lengths.

“She did what you’d expect,” stated Weld. “She’s quite a timid filly and needed an easy introduction. Leigh gave her a confident ride and was pleased with her. He said she got a little tired in the closing stages. She’ll improve from the run and we’ll decide in a couple of weeks where to go with her.”

Royal Ascot is on the schedule for two of yesterday’s winners, the Michael Halford-trained Warbird and Ger Lyons’ Piri Wango.

Halford nominated the Britannia Stakes for Warbird after he made all under Shane Foley and stayed on gamely to beat Trinity Force in the Centenary Weekend Rated Race.

Out of luck with Trinity Force, Lyons and apprentice Colin Keane were on the mark when Piri Wango got the better of Einsteins Foly in the Goresbridge Breeze-up Handicap.

Lyons explained: “He was off for a year with a leg injury, but was always a nice horse. Colin said he took a blow but kept going well and he should improve. We’re putting a team together for Royal Ascot and he’s part of it.”

Niall McCullagh completed a double on Consonance for Joe Murphy in the Gowran Park Golf Club Handicap and Truly Delightful for Tom Cleary in the Like Us On Facebook Handicap.

Both Murphy and Patrick Prendergast, successful with the Fergal Lynch-ridden Namurian Sunset in the concluding maiden, completed across-the-card doubles, with Daredevil Day and Madam Mo respectively (providing champion apprentice Connor King with a double) in Sligo.

Prendergast declared: “Job done!” after Madam Mo, in foal to Holy Roman Emperor, belatedly got off the mark in the mile and a half maiden.

But star of the action is Sligo was Billy Lee, who completed a fine treble on favourites Champagne Or Water and Northern Surprise and 25/1 shot I’ll Be Your Clown.

Champagne Or Water appreciated the “juice” in the ground, according to her trainer Willie McCreery after her eight and a half lengths win in the fillies maiden while Andy Oliver described debutant I’ll Be Your Clown as “a lovely, big horse that needed time and should progress when he learns more about the job”.

But Lee was suspended for a total of four days for his ride on 7/4 favourite Northern Surprise, a battling winner of the countysligoraces.com Handicap — two days for careless riding and two days for not giving his mount time to respond to the whip.

On a day which produced five successful favourites, Wexford Opera, for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning landed the competitive Sligo GAA race Day Handicap and Killarney-bound Sailors Warn, confidently ridden for Edward O’Grady by Fran Berry, bolted up in the featured Kennedy’s Bar Sligo Handicap.

* Tadhg O’Shea was banned for four days for using his whip when out of contention on Tiffany Bay in the Guinness Handicap, won by Daredevil Day.

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