Listowel report: Lady Wannabe benefits from drop in class

The filly had run with credit in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on her previous start
Listowel report: Lady Wannabe benefits from drop in class

Deserted stands greet runners from the Feale Handicap, a race won by Angel Palanas and jockey Luke McAteer. Picture: Healy Racing

Lady Wannabe made the most of the drop back to listed class to take the featured Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes for Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes.

The filly was a winner at this level last year but highly tried in four previous runs this season.

Last time out, in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, she was never able to get competitive but certainly was not disgraced in finishing six and a half lengths behind Champers Elysees.

Settled just off the pace this time, she picked up well in the straight and got on top late to win well, with Keats staying on nicely into second place, just ahead of Flaming Moon.

“She had a good run the last day in superior company. I followed them around, and they went hard, and the ground was as quick as she would want it,” said Hayes.

“It was a drop back in class and the rain came, so it all worked a treat today. That is probably her trip: A mile and one. She probably didn’t get home over the mile and a quarter, and they were just going that bit too quick for her early over the mile. She was able to get into a rhythm around here.” 

There are a number of promising young riders seeking to make the breakthrough on the level right now, and Sam Ewing did his credentials no harm with a brilliant winning ride aboard the quirky but talented Master Matt in the Handicap.

Matthew Smith’s charge broke moderately but, without having to take his mount out of his comfort zone, Ewing managed to get him to the front before the first turn. From there he dictated matters and when Trading Point put down a serious challenge in the straight Ewing coaxed a little more from his mount to earn a short head success.

Matchless was easy to back prior to the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden but did just enough to get off the mark at the second time of asking. An eye-catching fourth behind Toshizhou on debut, he still showed signs of greenness but Seamie Heffernan set out to make all and his mount kept on well to do just that, at the expense of Laelaps.

Of the full brother to Delphi, Heffernan said: “He had a nice first run. I liked him, and I thought that if I got to make the running, he would win. He is still a little bit green, but he is a nice colt with a nice pedigree.” 

There was plenty of morning support for Angel Palanas prior to the start of the first division of the Feale Handicap and Pat Murphy’s horse showed just why. Brought to challenge early in the straight by Luke McAteer, who had a double on Monday evening in Fairyhouse, he ran on strongly to win by two lengths.

Jim Bolger’s stable has struck a rich vein of form and added two more to their tally when Sheer Bravado took the second division of the Feale Handicap and Agitare justified odds-on favouritism in the Jet & Peggy O’Carroll Memorial Maiden.

Sheer Bravado was well backed to take the seven-furlong race and did so in grand style. The gelding, stepping up on his recent handicap debut, ran on strongly to win by a wide margin.

Bolger’s ninth winner of the fortnight came when Agitare left all previous frustration behind with a comfortable win in the Jet & Peggy O’Carroll Memorial Maiden. Manning set out to make all aboard the 2-5 chance and, seeking to make it 12th time lucky, the gelding looked comfortable as he kept Knight Of Malta and Bluebeard’s Castle at bay.

In winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery, Magnanimous gave jockey Shane Crosse his first winner since his return after testing positive for Covid-19.

San Martino was in front early but the Joseph O’Brien-trained winner, given a patient ride by Crosse, challenged in the straight and stuck his neck out to gain a narrow success.

A fine gamble was landed in the finale, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Handicap, in which Best On Stage came late and fast to land the spoils for Billy Lee and Paddy Twomey.

Backed from a high of 14-1, the 9-2 favourite won this in good style and looks the type that could go on progressing for new connections. 

The aim, no doubt, will be to get more black type for the filly who was runner-up in a German listed race, and she should have little trouble doing so.

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