Lovelier was the only maiden in the listed Cairn Rouge stakes, but Aidan O’Brien’s filly is a maiden no more as she shed that status with a late dash to glory in the feature at Killarney, where Fozzy Stack continued his brilliant run with an early double, and Joseph O’Brien also added two more to his tally.
Well-backed favourite Celestial Object was to the fore from the outset in the big race and made a bold bid to fend off her rivals in the straight. The winner did not look an obvious contender when coming under pressure early in the straight, but she picked up really well under Wayne Lordan to collar the long-time leader in the las half furlong.
“She is a nice filly and had been working well,” said Lordan. “She ran well in Gowran for Seamie (Heffernan) and he came back in and said he liked her. I think he was further back that day than he wanted but today I travelled around well, and she stuck at it well.
“She is a very easy ride and doesn’t waste any energy and you can put her where you want. That was a nice performance and she might step forward again.”
Fozzy Stack called on two seven-pound claimers for his runners in the first two races and they both rewarded him with fine winning rides.
The evening began with Bubbles On Ice winning the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Race under Joey Sheridan. A filly of size and real potential, she broke well to track No Stopping Her through the early stages and her young rider remained cool when the leader opened up a five-length lead around the final bend.
With a strong run, Sheridan’s mount picked up the lead a furlong out and, despite greenness, kept on well to hold Snapraeterea by three parts of a length.
“She’s quite a smart filly,” said Stack, adamantly. “I didn’t think she’d be that green. With the two-year-olds we haven’t been able to get them away and they’ve been needing their first runs. She’s a May foal and will improve as time goes on, and fast ground would be no bother to her.
“It wouldn’t want to be any softer than it was today, though she got the best of it.” Of the winning rider, Stack added: “He’s never ridden for me before, but he certainly knows where the winning line is.”
Paddy Harnett was in the saddle aboard Stack’s hat-trick seeking Star Of Cashel in the MC Construction Handicap and he produced his mount with a perfectly timed run to overcome stall 15. It looked a hopeless case as he turned in wide and much nearer last than first, but Stack’s horses are in superb form and his colt picked up strongly and, with a sustained run, got up late to beat Zoom Zoom Babe by half a length. He became Stack’s eighth winner from his last 24 runners.
Thunder Kiss made it third time lucky with a smooth success in the fillies’ maiden over 11 furlongs. Ger Lyons’ runner moved best throughout and Colin Keane looked to have matters under control early in the straight, though runner-up Toora Loora stayed on well to run her to three parts of a length. “Colin was as kind as he possibly could, she doesn’t do an awful lot at home when she hits the front,” said Shane Lyons. “On form she was entitled to do that. We’ll take a breather with her now and look at an autumn campaign, the reason being she needs soft ground.”
Dermot Weld is another trainer in the winning groove, and he recorded a winner for the fourth consecutive day when Ebendi, ridden by Oisin Orr, upset favourite Pugin in the 11-furlong median auction for colts and geldings.
Joseph O’Brien saddled the first two home in the fillies’ handicap, with stable debutant Traisha, ridden by Declan McDonogh, getting on top late to beat favourite Mighty Blue. O’Brien trained the winner’s full sister, Baby Pink, to win a listed race and, with a little improvement, this filly could follow suit.
O’Brien doubled up when Hugh Horgan managed to get Dawn Over Owning up in the final strides of the second division of the Easyclean Ltd Handicap.
In the first division of the handicap, Gordon Elliott added to his two afternoon winners in Roscommon with The Abbey, ridden by Leigh Roche, carrying top weight to the narrowest of victories over Nudge The Judge.