Bianca banks another good prize

Carla Bianca finished strongly to make it back-to-back Listed wins in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Hurry Harriet Stakes at Gowran Park last night.

Bianca banks another good prize

The Dermot Weld-trained three-year-old (5-1) had struck at this level when winning at Naas in June and repeated the dose in the hands of Pat Smullen.

The lightly-raced Lahinch Classics was sent off the 7-4 favourite and looked all set to play a major part when travelling powerfully to the lead two furlongs out, but Smullen covered the move and got on top a furlong out.

Lahinch Classics eventually finished out of the frame as Alive Alive Oh ran her best race for some time to take second, a length and three-quarters back, with Beyond Brilliance in third.

Weld said: “It was a very pleasing performance with the penalty. It was an exceptionally good Listed race, it was a good Group Three or Group Two standard given the pace they ran it at.

“That’s her trip (10 furlongs), she’s progressed very well from the spring, it took her a bit of time early on so we paced it slowly with her and it’s paying very good dividends.

“We’ll take it one step at a time, we’ll find a big one for her before the year is out.

“Physically she is developing all the time and will make a lovely four-year-old.

“She loves fast ground and that would be as slow as she can handle.”

Smullen was in fantastic form on the night — partnering a four timer.

He was back in the winner’s enclosure after Timiyan made the handicapper blush with an impressive success over Ebadani in The McEnery Cup.

The winner was put up 16bs for his victory at The Galway Festival and on this evidence, the three-year-old colt is clearly well ahead of the assessor and Weld remarked: “It was a good staying performance. He’s a horse that has progressed and developed as the year has gone on. ‘

The pair landed their treble after the 4/9 favourite Sierra Sun just lasted home to win the finale and Smullen also guided Gone Viral to success in the mile and one handicap for Sheila Lavery.

Tipperary trainer Seamus O’Donnell saddled a welcome winner with the hitherto luckless Zelos Dream, who was guided to victory in the apprentice handicap by the promising Gary Halpin.

nHorse Racing Ireland (HRI) yesterday announced a number of enhancements to the Irish Flat Pattern race programme for the 2015 Flat season, as part of a broader initiative by the European Pattern Committee to improve the overall programme for sprinters.

Three existing Group 3 sprints at the Curragh will be upgraded to Group 2 status, while Naas will stage a Group 3 race for 3-year-olds only in early June, as part of an enhanced programme for this age group during the first half of the season.

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