Sacred Bridge justifies favouritism to hold off English raider Bosh at Nass

Sacred Bridge justifies favouritism to hold off English raider Bosh at Nass

Sacred Bridge & Colin Keane (pink cap) win the Ballyhane Stakes from Bosh & Pat Dobbs (Light Blue & Purple) at Naas. Photo: Healy Racing

Big-race favourite Sacred Bridge lived up to her billing as she landed the €300,000 Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane at Naas.

The Juddmonte-owned daughter of Bated Breath lined up as the winner of a maiden over this course and distance and a Tipperary Listed race a week later.

Those efforts saw her sent off the 15-8 favourite and she produced a willing display to defy a penalty for that Listed triumph last month.

In a race dominated by those drawn high, Sacred Bridge responded well to Colin Keane’s urgings to get home by half a length from the English raider Bosh.

“It was a tough enough ask under a penalty but this is a huge prize so we decided to come here and we’re thrilled to get it done,” said the trainer’s brother, Shane.

“Colin said she’s getting sharper with each run but five or six furlongs is fine for her and she’s in all the early closing races now so that is the route we will take with her and it will be Group races for her now,” added Lyons.

For the second year in a row Upton trainer John Murphy sent out the winner of the Silver Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes.

The €50,000 consolation race for horses who didn’t make the line up for the day’s feature witnessed a cracking effort from Murphy’s charge.

Robbie Colgan’s mount, who holds a National Stakes entry, stormed clear over the last furlong to defeat stablemate Arges by five lengths.

“He was just a bit green and silly the first day he ran and he got caught wide too but he is a very nice horse,” said the trainer’s son George.

“Robbie felt he will improve plenty from this and we’ll definitely be looking at pattern races with him now,” added Murphy.

The card began with a promising display from the Joseph O’Brien newcomer Albula in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The Declan McDonogh-ridden daughter of Galileo got the better of the once raced Dabana inside the last furlong and now looks set to take a significant step up in class.

Ulster Blackwater and Shane Crosse then made it an opening race double for O’Brien in the older fillies maiden over a mile.

The card concluded with another winner for in form trainer Tom Gibney whose Magic Chegaga made it two wins from three starts for the trainer in the 10-furlong handicap.

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