The Jessica Harrington-trained Millisle powered clear to land the Group 3 Yeomanstown Stud Ballyogan Stakes, feature of last night’s action in Naas.
The daughter of Starspangledbanner, winner of the Group 1 Cheveley Park last season, was having her third run in competitive sprints and bolted-up by four lengths from Pronouncement, giving the season’s leading rider Shane Foley his fortieth success of the campaign.
“She’s back on track,” declared a delighted Jessica Harrington. “She’s only learning how to sprint and was very good tonight. Shane got her rolling, enjoying herself, and she quickened up well.
“She had a penalty to carry and did her job very well. It’s not easy to find races for her as there are very few fillies races. But she has already won a Group 1, a listed race and, now, a Group 3. She’s a very well-bred filly and we’re in bonus territory with her. We might look at another Group 3 for her now, the Phoenix Sprint (at the Curragh on August 9).”
Ken Condon, who completed a superb Group 2 double at the Curragh last Saturday, struck again when Could Be King mastered front-running Geological and favourite Jassaar in a three-way photo-finish to the seven-furlong Naas Race.
“He had good form for his two previous trainers, but has had a few issues,” explained Condon, “We’re delighted with this win and, hopefully, he’ll build on it. He has a high rating, so he’s not easy to place. We might look at something like the Concorde (at Tipperary) for him.”
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby third Dawn Patrol was sent off a red-hot 1/8 favourite for the finale, the Naas Maiden in the absence of similarly-rated stable-companion Order Of Australia and gave his supporters a few anxious moments before seeing off Daylight Come.
Wayne Lordan made most of the running on the Galileo colt and, from the two-furlong pole, had to keep him up to his work to land the odds. He looks set for a further step-up in trip.
Dermot Weld won the Naas Fillies Maiden, not with 15/8 favourite Shamiyna but with 4/1 shot Tasalka, ridden, in the colours of the Aga Khan, by in-form Chris Hayes.
The daughter of Lope De Vega had a length and a half to spare over Tashi, prompting Weld to explain, “Chris rode her in all her races last year and knows her well. She’s a lovely, consistent filly and was the highest-rated in the race. Chris was impressed by her.”
Well-supported in the market, recent Breeze-Up acquisition Steel Bull, ridden for Michael O’Callaghan by Leigh Roche, made an excellent start to his career when seeing off odds-on favourite Dense Star in the Foran Equine Auction 2-Y-0 Maiden.
Earlier, Wexford rider Sean O’Keeffe took the riding honours at Ballinrobe’s first National Hunt meeting of 2020, completing a double on a pair of 25/1 shots, the Paddy Hassett-trained Our Nancy in a division of the Supermacs Handicap Hurdle and Paul McEnery’s Famous Escape, who romped to a fifteen lengths win in the Sheridan Electric Mares Maiden Hurdle.
Rachael Blackmore bounced back from a first flight fall from favourite Ashton Court earlier to partner Kilganer Queen to victory in the Monroe’s Live Mares Handicap Hurdle, providing a 64th birthday present for trainer Tom Cleary.
Successful at Tramore on Saturday, Imperial Choice (Cathal Landers) followed-up for Charles Byrnes in the McGrath Limestone Works Handicap Hurdle.
Patrick Mullins made the journey west for one ride, the Stephen Ryan-trained Rambling Rose in the bumper, the Tim Kelly Group Mares Flat Race.
And the trip proved worthwhile as the Mahler mare came from off the pace before getting involved in a prolonged tussle with The Sliding Rock (Jamie Codd), prevailing by a half-length.