Aidan O’Brien, who won the Musidora at York with Snowfall, introduced a promising sort, Yet, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden, the first race at Dundalk.
A two-year-old filly by War Front out of a half-sister to Giant’s Causeway and to You’resothrilling, who is the dam of Gleneagles, she was easy to back on this her debut and perhaps that is down to the five-furlong trip being on the sharp side.
The well-backed Orinoco River, from the yard of Donnacha O’Brien, travelled sweetly into the straight and, consequently, traded at 1-25 in running. However, she could never quite get the better of her rival and eventually went down by a neck but, to be fair to her, she pulled seven and a half lengths clear of the third. She was just beaten by a particularly smart prospect, one with loads of scope.
Winning rider Seamie Heffernan later doubled up aboard Donal Commins’ Drish Hero, who caused a 40-1 upset in the Virtual Ladies’ Day July 12 Handicap. The four-year-old, who made his debut in March, stayed on well for pressure to see off Brother In Law with three parts of a length to spare.
Handicap debutant The Highway Rat carried top weight in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk Handicap, and Andy Oliver’s horse proved different league to his rivals as he stretched seven lengths clear under Ronan Whelan.
The rider doubled up aboard Baron Zee, who built on his debut promise with a particularly likeable performance in the Follow Us On Social Media Maiden. Third to Dublin Journal and Moktaffy on his previous outing, Michael Halford’s Zoffany colt showed the benefit of that run with a smooth success here and looks a smart sort in the making.
Denis Hogan and Joey Sheridan teamed up to take the claimer with Rocky Dreams, who proved comfortably too good for favourite War Hero.
International Lady followed up a recent Cork success with a hard-fought win in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap. Winning rider Colin Keane felt Kevin Smith’s runner didn’t enjoy the kickback, but she showed a good attitude to get on top late.