The Aidan O’Brien-trained Gleneagles, winner of his maiden at the Curragh last time, produced what can only be described as a workmanlike performance to outpoint Tombelaine and Convergence in the three-runner JRA Tyros Stakes and was left unchanged at 25/1, by Boylesports, for the 2015 Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
Joseph O’Brien settled the full-brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous (unlikely to race again) in last place as Convergence set a muddling pace. Challenging off the home turn, Gleneagles quickened into a narrow lead approaching the furlong-pole but from that point, had to be hard-ridden to triumph by three-quarters of a length.
“You’d have to be delighted with that,” stated the winning trainer. “Three-horse races are often messy and they didn’t go very quick. Joseph did the right thing, getting him relaxed and riding to educate him. The horse got a bit tired and should come on a good bit for the run. For a Galileo, he’s not short of speed. He might go for the Futurity now and on to the National Stakes.”
Annus Mirabilis completed a double for Ballydoyle in the finale, a four-runner maiden. “The mile and a half helped him. He stays and got the trip well and might run in a handicap in Galway on Monday,” said O’Brien.
Earlier, the Jessica Harrington-trained Jack Naylor, in the colours of Gerry Byrne, stepped-up on her maiden win at Roscommon to prove a shock winner of the Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes, a Group 3 event for two-year-old fillies.
Fran Berry produced the daughter of Champs Elysees to lead inside the final furlong for a length and a half success, with Agnes Stewart, longtime leader Qualify and Raydara, in that order, involved in a blanket-finish for the placings.
Trainer Jessica Harrington stated: “She stays really well and will be better over a mile. The way she’s bred, she’ll be a mile and a half filly next year. She did what I hoped she’d do tonight.
“She’s in the Debutante, but I’m not sure where she’ll go. She has her big black type now and we’ll have to discuss plans.”
The much-hyped newcomer John F Kennedy, a full-brother to Darley Irish Oaks runner-up Tapestry and an uneasy odds-on favourite, was turned over in the opening two-year-old maiden, failing by two and a half lengths to the Jim Bolger-trained Hall Of Fame, which made all under Kevin Manning to record an emphatic success.
The favourite was undoubtedly green but, pushed along three furlongs out, never looked likely to peg back the winner.
Jim Bolger commented, referring to the Teofilo colt’s debut run at Gowran: “When you have a good two-year-old, you don’t like to see them beaten that far. But he has come on a lot, although he has done very little since then.
“He’s in all the good mile races and Kevin says he could go anywhere, from seven furlongs up. He might go for the Futurity, if it doesn’t come too soon.”
Nine-year-old mare Strandfield Lady, truly a course specialist at Leopardstown, registered her eighth win at the Foxrock venue (and the thirteenth of her career) when landing the Korean Racing Authority Handicap narrowly from the Donnacha O’Brien-ridden top-weight Egyptian Warrior before surviving a Stewards Enquiry.
“She’s a special mare to us and has kept things ticking over,” said winning trainer Harry Rogers, who confirmed that Connor King’s mount is “highly unlikely’ to fulfil her engagement in the Connacht Hotel Amateur Handicap at Galway on Monday but could run at Ballybrit next Friday.
Another successful front-runner was 10/1 shot Mezogiorno, which made all under Conor Hoban, to land the Morocco MOREC Apprentice Handicap for trainer Michael Halford.
Wayne Lordan was seen at his strongest on Eddie Lynam’s Mr.Snagsby, which held the fast-finishing Landau by a half-length in the Sharon Shannon Big Band Handicap, prompting his trainer to suggest: “He wants good fast ground and might find his way to a certain National Hunt trainer (Willie Mullins) at some stage.”
- Pat Smullen picked up a two-day careless riding ban following his ride on Marsali in the Silver Flash.