The Dandy Nicholls-trained Inxile made all to register back-to-back wins in the listed Abergwaun Stakes in Tipperary last night.
The seven-year-old gelding was recording his sixth listed success in Ireland and, significantly, his first win since his last visit to Tipperary 12 months ago.
Ridden by trainers’ son Adrian Nicholls, Inxile adopted his customary trail-blazing style of racing, bouncing from the stalls, leading his rivals a merry dance and keeping on under pressure to beat Nunthorpe Stakes-bound Nocturnal Affair (having his first run since Meydan in March) by a length and a half.
The winning rider said: “I though going down that he wouldn’t handle the ground. But he came back well. He’s been a great servant and it’s great that he’s won again.”
The other listed event on the card, the Coolmore Canford Cliffs 2-Y-0 Stakes produced a major shock as the Andy Oliver-trained 33/1 shot First Cornerstone got the better of front-running Orgilgo Bay as the pair stretched clear of their rivals in the closing stages, the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite King George River trailing in last of the seven runners.
Placed in an auction maiden on his debut at Down Royal, First Cornerstone, a Hurricane Run colt, delighted trainer Oliver, who explained: “He’s always shown a bit at home and Michael Cleere looked after him when he ran at Down Royal. The obvious thing to do was go for a maiden, but this looked a good opportunity and it has worked out well.
“He seemed to travel well today and Chris (Hayes) gave him a lovely ride. We’ll have to step him up into group class now. We must look at the options and consider supplementing him, if necessary.
“He should keep progressing — I think there’s a good deal more in him.”
Wayne Lordan completed a double, ploughing a lone furrow up the stands side to bring the David Wachman-trained Awakened Spirit home in front in the opening McGrath Oil 2-Y-0 Maiden (a first winner for his sire Fracas, which Wachman also trained) before getting the Willie McCreery-trained, odds-on favourite Colour Of Love up close home to foil Modern Romance in the three-runner Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Race.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved