Confidently handled by Ryan Moore, she came from last to first, encountered brief traffic problems but showed her class inside the final furlong to triumph by a length and a quarter.
“I didn’t think she had come forward as much from her first run as she showed there,” admitted Aidan O’Brien. “The plan was always to run today and come back for the Tattersalls (on May 22). After that, we might look at the Coronation Cup and then give her a break before bringing back in the autumn for a run or two before the Arc.
“The plan today was to get her settled and Ryan was happy to track Pat (Smullen, on Fascinating Rock) and produce her late. She won well and you’d have to be very happy with her.”
Billy Lee produced the pint-sized Dolce Strega with a sustained late challenge to get the better of Jim Bolger’s Steip Amach by a neck, with odds-on favourite Ainippe third, in the Group 3 Canford Cliffs Athasi Stakes.
“That was the target- I’m a clever lad,” quipped McCreery in the winner’s enclosure, “She’s not very big, but she’s tough and strengthened up over the winter. Billy gave her a cool ride, but he said he was in a horrible pocket most of the way and she just got there.
“I have no definite plan for her beyond today. She’s a good moving filly and travels well in her races. So seven furlongs or a mile suits her.”
Awtaad, trained for Hamdan Al Maktoum by Kevin Prendergast, justified the supplementary entry fee paid recently to put him in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas, when proving a convincing winner of the listed Power Tetrarch Stakes.
Ridden by Chris Hayes, the Cape Cross colt forged clear late to beat uneasy favourite Blue De Vega (conceding 3lb.) by two lengths, with Embiran third.
“That was a smart performance,” stated Prendergast. “He trained on well over the winter and came forward from his win in the Free Handicap. This should put him right for three weeks time (the Irish 2,000 Guineas). If he wasn’t good enough to win the Tetrarch, he wouldn’t be good enough to run in the Guineas. He has to step-up again. But he wants good ground, not brick-hard, and that should bring more improvement.”
Prendergast and Hayes completed a double when Mizaah, fully recovered from the fractured pelvis he sustained at Naas last year, proved a convincing winner of the finale, the six-furlong Keadeen Hotel Maiden.
The Ger Lyons-trained King Electric, receiving 5lb. this time, turned the tables on his Dundalk conqueror and odds-on favourite Peace Envoy in the Ivawood 2-Y-0 Race, making all along the stands rails and finding plenty for Colin Keane to hold Ryan Moore’s mount by a half-length.
Lyons explained: “He’s a grand, honest horse, with a good temperament. We decided to sacrifice him early on, to see what we had at home. This was a good pot and he seems to be improving with every run. I don’t think he’s a Marble Hill horse – Colin says he wants six furlongs. So I’m not sure where we’ll be going with him.”
Andy Slattery recorded the first double of his training career when Sors and Creggs Pipes delivered, at odds of 116/1, in the handicap action.
Sors, ridden for the first time by Pat Smullen, captured the five-furlong K Club Handicap, holding the late surge of Anonymous Lady by a half-length , prompting Slattery to explain: “He’s a good, genuine, honest horse. It suits him to let him roll along and he will stay six furlongs. It would be nice to get him into some of the premier handicaps as the year goes on - something like the Paddy Power (at the Curragh on Derby weekend) would suit him.”
After Declan McDonogh partnered Creggs Pipes to an all-the-way win in the Cross Super-Valu Handicap, he explained: “We entered her for a seven-furlong handicap in Chester on Friday but felt she might be in season by then. So we came here instead, hoping she’d stay the mile. She’s a free-going filly and this opens up options for her – maybe the big handicap in Galway (Topaz Mile).”
Pat Smullen completed his own double when the beautifully-bred, Dermot Weld-trained debutante Rose De Pierre, sent off even-money favourite, scraped home by a nose from Ottilie.