Irish raiders lead Lingfield rivals

Irish horses are forecast to dominate the finish of Saturday's Investec Derby and a happy party from Co Tipperary started the invasion early by making off with a double at Lingfield today.

Irish horses are forecast to dominate the finish of Saturday's Investec Derby and a happy party from Co Tipperary started the invasion early by making off with a double at Lingfield today.

Mark Loughnane is becoming one to watch on his forays across the water and the victory of Dametime (6-1) in the Bet Multiples - Betdaq Fillies' Handicap was not unexpected.

But Newmarket Story - a first British runner for the small stable of Willie Austin - who had travelled over with Loughnane's team, caused much more of a ripple at 66-1 in the Bet Epsom Oaks - Betdaq Handicap.

Dametime kicked off proceedings under a 6lb penalty for a victory at Chepstow last week and was commendably brave as she made all the running and held on by a neck under apprentice Andrea Atzeni.

"We've a fair strike rate over here this year - I think that's our fourth," said Loughnane, who has been training for five years and has around 27 horses at his base in Thurles.

"It was a seven-hour drive here and I have been on the ferry so much I feel like Popeye!

"She's on the improve this one. She should have won at Dundalk and at the Curragh too. She's had a couple of hard races now, so where we go next, I'm not sure."

There was much less to recommend about seven-year-old mare Newmarket Story, who had shown scant encouragement from four well spread out runs, but fairly bounded away for Nicky Mackay.

Austin's son Leslie explained: "She has had sore shins for a long time but dad only has eight or nine horses and fewer in this year so we decided to give her another go.

"Because of her rating she is disqualified out of Ireland and we had to come here for a run. Mark kindly let us board with him."

Set to operate at a vastly better level is Henry Cecil's Ribblesdale Stakes entry Flame Of Gibraltar.

The striking €900,000 purchase was second to stablemate Gripsholm Castle on her debut at Newmarket last month and never looked in any trouble as the 2-5 favourite for the Bet 1% In Running - Betdaq Maiden Fillies' Stakes.

"You had to be impressed - I don't know what she beat but she's certainly ready for a step up in class," said jockey Tom Queally.

"That's all up to the boss. I was careful with her around the bend and she probably wants a bit more juice in the ground."

Barry Hills' Swilly Ferry made up for an odds-on reversal at Chester's May meeting with a professional performance in the Henry Streeter Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

Third in the Brocklesby and then as a 4-7 favourite on the Roodee, he was soon in front under Hills' son Michael and coasted home by three and a half lengths as the 5-4 market leader.

Hills' other son, and his assistant trainer Charlie, said: "We were scratching our heads after Chester - he didn't finish the race off, although he did get a bump.

"We have always liked him and we'll probably go down the nursery route now."

Michael Hills was subsequently hit with a two-day careless riding ban (June 21-22) Lambourn trainer Julia Tooth enjoyed her first winner of the season and Straitjacket (8-1) the first of her career in the Felbridge Selling Stakes.

There was no bid for the winner, who is declared at Wolverhampton on Friday.

"I could still run her if she comes back OK tonight," said Tooth.

Ted Durcan and Screaming Brave (2-1 favourite) stole the closing Michael Wright Racing Handicap from the clutches of Matthew Cosham and Persian Tomcat.

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