Off the track since winning her maiden in Navan back in April, the Kevin Prendergast-trained Bebhinn proved herself an exciting juvenile when winning the listed Blenheim 2-Y-0 Stakes in Fairyhouse yesterday.
Ridden by Chris Hayes, the Street Boss filly travelled sweetly before edging past the front-running Vitello two furlongs from home. She quickened two lengths clear but appeared to tire inside the final furlong before holding off joint-favourites Juliette Fair and Miss Katie Mae.
Winning trainer Prendergast was attending Goffs Orby Sale. But both Bebhinn’s owner Jeremy Harley and winning rider Chris Hayes were fully of praise for the Curragh trainer.
Hayes said: “She had a couple of small problems and has continued to grow. The boss deided to leave her off in a paddock for two months before bringing her back slowly. Pure genius.”
Asked about plans for Bebhinn, owner Harley explained: “Kevin has mentioned the Cornwallis in Newmarket in a couple of weeks, or there’s a listed race in Ascot at the end of the month. Or she might not run again this season. We’ll have to discuss it.”
Michael Halford has enjoyed plenty of success with his juveniles this season, many of them owned by Godolphin. And he struck in the opening two-year-old maiden with debutante Golden Pearl, who got the better of favourite and fellow newcomer Clear Cut by a short-head, the pair finishing almost four lengths clear of the third.
“She’s a nice, smart filly,” stated Halford. “She was quite backward and took time to come right and her owner Michael Enright has been very patient. Shane (Foley) said they went steady and then sprinted and that she got a bit unbalanced before the penny dropped. But she hit the line strong. She’ll be a lovely filly next season.”
Halford and Foley completed a 55/1 first and last race double when Chestnut Fire proved three-quarters of a length too strong for 50/1 shot The Eyes Have It in the concluding seven-furlong maiden.
“He was entitled to have a chance on his rating,” said Halford, “he’s been running well and seems to be improving. He’ll go handicapping and we might try him around Dundalk.”
Halford was out of luck with Glassatura which chased home the Thomond O’Mara-trained Hudson’s Bay in the Christmas Parties St Fairyhouse Handicap.
Hudson’s Bay, which scored by a length and three-quarters, was ridden by Wayne Lordan, who said: “Pat (Smullen) told me the ground was too deep for him the last day and the bit of nicer ground was a big help today.”
The Joe Murphy-trained Snowy Scene, ridden by Smullen, defied top-weight in the six-furlong nursery, booking his ticket to the Birdcatcher at Naas on October 18.
Having run respectably in a number of hot maidens, the grey Royal Applause colt forged clear to beat Berlios by three lengths.
Garvan Donnelly described the narrow victory of Lily’s Prince in the apprentice handicap as “almost a carbon copy of last year” as Gary Phillips’ mount, 8lb. higher than 12 months ago, got home by a head from Fast In The Wind to repeat his 2014 success.
“He was drawn one and lucky to get the breaks, but I felt he was coming back to form,” said Donnelly.
Saga Bolton, ridden for Tony Mullins by Kevin Manning, toughed it out to foil favourite Krissy’s Kisses by a half-length in the claimer, prompting his trainer to state: “He’s a good reliable 68 and he was mad-fit and right for today. He’ll probably make a nice hurdler.”
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