BERG BAHN, in the colours carried to Investec Oaks glory by Snow Fairy, proved a shock winner of the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse last night.
Trained by Ger Lyons and ridden by South African Keagan Latham, the Big Bad Bob filly, backed from 20/1 to 14/1 on-course, hit the front at the furlong-pole before proving a length and a quarter too good for 25/1 shot Velvet Flicker with game, in-foal, front-runner Miss Gorica third and well-backed favourite Sent From Heaven fourth.
Berg Bahn was a first Group winner for her sire Big Bad Bob and winning trainer Lyons enthused: “I’m falling in love with this sire. It’s great for Mrs Patino, a great supporter of ours, to have a first black-type win for Big Bad Bob. To be honest, this was a nice little surprise, like Christmas coming in June.
“She’s a typical Big Bad Bob, a lovely tough and honest filly. She came out of her race in Ascot very well and, although I wasn’t sure about the trip, I expected her to finish in the first three tonight. She won her maiden here and I’m a great believer in horses for courses. Don’t ask me where she’s going next.”
The word tough certainly came to mind later when La Chassotte, trained by Ger O’Leary for his wife, Dr. Eithne Murphy, completed a tremendous four-timer in the ‘Tote Trifecta Rollover’ Handicap, swooping late to collar favourite Accidental Outlaw before holding the late effort of Regresa A Mi by a half-length.
The winning trainer admitted: “I was more nervous the last day and accepted that she’d probably get beaten today but she’s tough and keeps improving. Her next run will be in the 60-80 three-year-old handicap over a mile and a half on the Monday of Galway.”
La Chassotte was a sixteenth winner of the season for in-form apprentice Ben Curtis.
Out of luck on Accidental Outlaw, Fran Berry ended the night with a winner, when Sindiyma, owned and bred by the Aga Khan and trained by John Oxx, outpointed Ballydoyle filly Dance On By in the Jamestown Park Maiden.
Berry said: “She’s not back in the yard long and I came here with more hope than confidence. She hit a bit of a flat-spot when Johnny (Murtagh) kicked but she picked up well and kept going. There wasn’t much pace in the race, so a truly run mile and a half, or a mile and six furlongs, would suit her. I’m sure she’ll go handicapping.”
The opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Median Auction Maiden produced a dead-heat as front-running debutant Zabaleta, medium of a substantial morning gamble and enterprisingly ridden by Declan McDonogh, was collared on the line by the experienced Isis Song, the mount of Wayne Lordan.
Zabaleta is trained by Ken Condon, who commented: “It’s grand to get the dead-heat. Declan felt the ground was plenty quick enough for him. He’s a nice colt and has shown plenty at home. There’s plenty of improvement in him. He seemed to get lonely in front and would have preferred a lead. We’ll probably try him in stakes company the next day.”
Isis Song is also set for a significant step-up in class, according to her trainer Joe Murphy: “We’ve been beaten in plenty of photo-finishes recently and it’s a relief to get half the loaf. This is a seven-furlong filly and she’s in both the Debutante and Moyglare. She’s improving and will, hopefully, make the grade at stakes level.”
A gamble (13/2 to 9/2) was landed in the Moulden Bridge Handicap when All In Clover, trained by David Marnane and ridden by apprentice Shane Foley, made all to beat Trotting Weasel.
Marnane declared: “It’s great that the horses are running so well and I’m delighted for this filly’s owner breeder John Foley. She might have another day, if the handicapper isn’t too hard on her.”
The Bansha-based trainer completed his first double (on the same card) when 12/1 Spirit Of Xaar swept through to take command inside the final furlong of the Pubs Of Trim Handicap, beating front-running Anam Chara decisively by a length and three quarters. Spirit Of Xaar was also the second leg of a double for Shane Foley.
Marnane explained: “He’s been a bit unlucky, getting there too soon in his races. The ground came up soft for him at Naas the last day. We’ll see what the handicapper does but Galway might suit him. We could ride him for luck there.”
Jessica Harrington is enjoying a good run with her flat performers and was on the mark again when Maybe Grace, backed from 7/1 to 5/1, landed the MIll Tree Park Handicap in good style, completing a double for Wayne Lordan and bringing his seasonal tally to 29. Mrs Harrington explained: “The big step-up in trip helped her a lot and she’s more confident in a small field. We’ll look for another similar handicap, preferably with only a few runners.”
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