Real Force gained the reward his consistency deserved when taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Race at Tipperary. Gerard O’Leary’s runner was quite easy to back in the face of strong support for Aztec Parade, but he built on his two previous runs this season to win with a bit to spare.
The favourite tried to make all but the winner had him in his crosshairs from the turn for home and when Chris Hayes asked him to take control of matters, he did so without having to have a hard race.
“His two runs this year had been brilliant, and he runs last year were very good as well,” said assistant trainer Adrian Joyce. “He’s a smart horse, and you’d be looking at a Group 3 for him at after that.
“Chris said he hated the ground, but he still did it well. He has loads of ability, is still learning, and is really relaxed in himself now and chilled out. He’s a very exciting horse to look forward to. Ger and I will sit down and think about where we’ll go now. We have an exciting team to look forward to.”
Mateo Cruz set the ball rolling with a nice display in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Maiden. After a promising debut effort in a Curragh maiden won by Admiral Nelson, he was bought out of Eddie Harty’s stable and sent to continue his career with Joseph O’Brien.
Although slowly away this time, he was able to pick his way through the field quite stylishly and was well on top at the finish.
“He was a little bit slowly away, but Shane (Crosse) said one thing about him is that he’s tough, he’s hardy and he’s genuine,” said assistant trainer Brendan Powell.
“He’s a lovely-looking horse and it’s a nice start for him, especially over that trip which I think is probably against him more than anything else. I think he will be better over six or even seven. It was a decent run at the Curragh, and it entitled him probably to be good enough today.
“What he’ll do after this I don’t know – that’ll be up to Joseph and the owner – but it’s nice to get his head in front. I spoke to Eddie Harty a couple of times about him and he always liked him.
“He’s got a nice bit of size about him, he’s a very relaxed horse and has done that well. Please God he’s got a nice future.”
Jim Bolger introduced a potentially smart sort in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden when Jack Duggan gave him a sixth individual winning two-year-old in a season which is building nicely for the Coolcullen trainer.
A grey gelding giving his American first-season sire a first runner in Europe, the 20-1 chance picked up really nicely despite obvious signs of greenness, and ran well to the line to beat Skilled Warrior and disappointing odds-on favourite Brazil, both of which had previous experience.
“He’s a lovely horse,” said winning rider Rory Cleary. “He travelled really well and strongly into the straight and brought me there nice and easy and picked up smartly. I think there’s a lot of improvement in him and hopefully he could be a good horse in the making.
“He has been working nicely at home and the boss man was very confident with him. He said to give him every chance. The boss man has the dam (Unbridled Treasure), so he’s a nice horse to have in the yard.”
Zephron appreciated the step up to seven and a half furlongs when winning the www.tipperaryraces.ie Maiden for trainer Denis Cullen and jockey Ross Coakley. Said Cullen: “I’m delighted with the way he did that, and I always thought when he stepped up in trip you’d see a better horse.
“There weren’t many races for him until now and he is very progressive and keeps improving.
We’ll look at a handicap or winners of one and it might be ambitious but I might look at a Listed race as well.”
Last month Kourvoisier, trained by Ross O’Sullivan, won a Sligo maiden at 80-1, and yesterday she brought her tally to two wins in just four starts when running away with the Tipperary Handicap, this time returning odds of 66-1.
Andy Oliver was full of praise for the young riders in the game after rising star Gavin Ryan gave his Danger Money a fine ride to take the Thanks To All The Frontline Workers From Tipperary Racecourse Maiden.
“It was Gavin’s first time riding for me and he gave him a super ride,” said Oliver. “The horse is improving, the penny is dropping and hopefully he will develop into a nice horse. He is very well bred and is entitled to be able to do it.
“We have a cracking bunch of young lads riding now,” Oliver added. “I’ve had a few of them ride for me and they’re great lads. They do all the right things on the track, and when you fire a question at them after a race they come back with jockey answers, not young lad answers. We’re very fortunate, they’re a great bunch.”
The evening’s action closed with Niamh Fahey riding Place Des Vosges, trained by her brother, Mark, to victory in the Racing Again August 16 Ladies’ Handicap. In a three-way finish, the 9-2 prevailed to give the winning rider the third winner of her career.