Another winner for in-form Pat Smullen, the Azamour filly battled gamely to beat Byzantium by a head, with Newsletter third, prompting her trainer to declare: “It’s nice to have a bit of luck for those lads!”
O’Callaghan added: “Pat said they were going too slow and he decided to make his move. She battled and toughed it out well. He said that the better the race, the better she’ll be. She’s a big filly and will keep improving. She’s been busy, so we might give her a few easy weeks before we make plans.”
Ger Lyons declared: “She’s a little bullet – not over big, but very professional, with plenty of speed,” after Bear Cheek made a winning debut in the opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Maiden over five furlongs
Ridden by Andrea Atzeni, the Qatar Racing-owned daughter of Kodiac showed plenty of speed throughout and, when tackled by Know inside the final furlong, picked up again to triumph by three lengths.
Lyons explained: “We’ll go the same route as we did with Ainippe last year. Opportunities are few and far between for a five-furlong filly. We might look at the Curragh Stakes (Group 3) towards the end of next month, but we won’t over-face her this season.”
After eye-catching runs on this track and in Gowran Park, Laganore opened her account for Tony Martin and the Newtown Anner Stud Farm in the six-furlong Panoramic Restaurant Maiden. Having tracked the leaders, Fran Berry’s mount came home strongly to beat Glimmer Of Peace by a length and a quarter.
Martin commented: “She’s a nice filly and had a nice first run here and has built on it. It probably wasn’t a great maiden, but she won well. We’ll see how she is and find something for her in a couple of weeks.”
Shane Foley gave Kings Ryker an enterprising front-running ride to land the Naas Racecourse On Facebook Handicap, holding the challenge of Hurricane Cass by a half-length.
Winning trainer Michael Halford explained: “There was no obvious pace in the race and I told Shane to use his good draw. He won his maiden in Roscommon and had a few other goods runs, but’s been struggling with the handicapper.
“He tries hard and deserved a bit of luck. He’s owned by Eric Koh, who is based in Singapore. I’d imagine that’s where he’ll end up.”
The six-furlong ISS HR Services Handicap produced a shock as the Denis Hogan-trained 16/1 shot Burren View Lady (Leigh Roche) proved too strong for Way Of Light.
Ian Queally brought the Marcus Callaghan-trained Regal Power (12/1) with a well-timed challenge to foil Taggs Island in the www.naasracecourse.com Apprentice Handicap. If he’s okay this morning, Regal Power will run again, in a similar apprentice handicap, in Leopardstown tonight.