Measure Of Magic has the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot as her next destination after she proved far too good for her rivals in the listed Goffs Irish EBF Polonia Stakes, the feature on a good card in Cork.
Johnny Murtagh’s filly had returned with a listed win in Navan, and this was another step forward for the daughter of Kodi Bear. Fourth early, as Ben Coen gave her cover, she moved up with a couple of furlongs to go and quickened from the furlong marker to put three and a quarter lengths between herself and Russian River, with Teresa Mendoza making a satisfactory return to action in third.
“She came out of the Navan race very well,” said Murtagh. “Ben was very happy with her and Jamie, who rides her every day, said she has really come forward, so I think we’ll give a go in the Commonwealth Cup. It’s a big race for three-year-old sprinters, Ben said she has really learned how to sprint now, and she deserves a shot at a big one.”
The inaugural running of the Mallow Handicap, worth €80,000, attracted a classy field and, fittingly, resulted in an exciting finish. Dermot Weld landed the spoils with Hightimeyouwon, ridden by Mikey Sheehy. The 10-1 chance raced prominently in the stands’ side group, was in front over a furlong out and kept going to the line to deny outsider Fil The Power and Real Appeal.
Ken Condon and Billy Lee combined to take the Cork Maiden with Quarantine Dreams. Gelded since disappointing on debut, in March, he was a different proposition this time as he quickened up stylishly to lead inside the final furlong.
“We had a bit of a trust breakdown after he disappointed on debut, but he was gelded in the interim and we fitted him with blinkers today, so didn’t leave anything to chance,” said Condon. “He won the way he has been working, so I’m very pleased with that. He has a nice bit of ability, and he will stay an extra furlong, for sure.”
Jim Bolger won the Irish EBF Median Sires Maiden with Strapped. A brother to Stylistic Approach, who won his maiden last month, the well-built colt was in front rank throughout and despite some greenness, raced home clear of Amalfi Coast and Harmony Rose.
David Marnane’s Jm Barrie ran into some traffic problems in the Follow Us On Instagram Handicaps but Oisin Orr got him out on time to make a telling run which succeeded by a short head from Navorrosse,
Hale Bopp, who won one of his three outings last term, made a successful handicap debut in the Racing Again Tomorrow Apprentice Handicap. Sam Ewing delivered Ger Lyons’ horse to lead a furlong out and he quickened up well to race home clear of the fast-finishing Overheer.
“He’s after filling out well and is a nice horse,” said Shane Lyons. “He’s a horse that wants good ground but, being a big horse, we didn’t want it good to firm. He was going away at the end and will have learned a lot from that.”
Paddy Twomey introduced a smart-looking sort in the shape of Castletownbere, who didn’t have the best of luck in running in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden but showed an attitude to match his obvious ability when getting up on the line to deny the experienced HMS Seahorse by the minimum.
“He’s a lovely horse,” said Twomey. “He’s the first horse I’ve trained for Louis Walshe. He bred him, he’s a very well bred horse by Ajaya, and I’m thrilled to win today. I was hoping he’d run a good race. We had a horse won in Limerick (Corps Des Pages) that was third when he (runner-up HMS Seahorse) was second, so we had a bit of a line on him.”