The daughter of Showcasing was enterprisingly ridden by Lee, who dictated the pace before seizing the initiative with less than two furlongs to race. Soon clear, the 6/1 shot kept going well to hold favourite Born To Be (hit top gear too late) by a length and three-quarters.
“Charlie (Fellows) is at the Sales and was upbeat about her chance and confident she’d handle the ground,” explained Lee, having ridden his 49th winner of his best ever season. “He told me to be good and positive on her and not to be afraid to go good and early, because there’s stamina in her pedigree, on the dam’s side.
“I didn’t feel I was going that quick but, when I looked behind, I had them all in trouble. She did it well and has the size and scope to make a nice three-year-old.”
Fellows later indicated that Moonlit Show might now target a Group 2 fillies event in France as her last juvenile start.
Billy Lee completed his double on Edward O’Grady’s versatile six-year-old Roconga in the finale, the Christmas Parties Handicap, riding the 11/2 shot with supreme confidence to lead before the furlong-pole before seeing off Total Demolition and My Direction.
“He’s definitely getting stronger and wouldn’t have handled that ground last year,” stated O’Grady, who added: “I’ll have to discuss plans with his owner, my son-n-law. But he’s in the Irish Cesarewitch, or he could wait for the November Handicap (at Leopardstown) before he goes back over hurdles.”
Jim Bolger followed-up Sunday’s Curragh double by talking the opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Maiden with the Dark Angel filly Miss Qatar, which got the better of Comhgairdeas by two lengths, getting off the mark at her third attempt. “Kevin said that the ground is hard work, gluey and horrible,” explained Bolger’s representative Ger Flynn. “But she’s a grand genuine and honest filly. She broke smartly and travelled well and handled both the track and the ground. She’s a nice filly for the future.”
Raised a whopping 13lb. for her win in a claimer in Naas last week, Dinky Inty, trained by Tim Doyle for his wife Claire, struck again when landing the six-furlong nursery from which favourite Twist Of Magic was a late withdrawal.
Another winner for apprentice Gary Halpin, Dinky Inty foiled top-weight Catch A Wave, trained by Halpin’s boss Kevin Prendergast, by a neck, prompting her trainer to acknowledge: “She’s only small but has a great attitude. She’s game and tough and Gary says she’s all heart. He also felt that the ground was a bit deep for her. She deserves a break now, after winning twice in a week, before we look for another nursery for her.”
Positive tactics employed by Gary Carroll paid dividends for the Sheila Lavery-trained Truffles in the seven-furlong maiden as the home-bred Canford Cliffs filly overcame a high draw to make virtually all for a convincing, four and a quarter lengths win over Waitaki. “She jumps from the stalls quickly and Gary was able to get her across and into her stride,” commented Lavery, “He said he just sat on her and, when he gave her a squeeze in the straight, she just accelerated away.
“She’s in the Mares Sale in December, but it would be nice to keep her for next year.