Bookies hit hard as big gambles landed

SECRETSUBSTITUTE and Dearest Girl landed substantial on-course gambles in the flat action at Roscommon last night.

Stepping-up on his seasonal debut run at Tipperary, Secretsubstitute scored a convincing win in the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden, getting the better of Sportsmaster and Minsk to the delight of those who backed him from 10/1 to 100/30.

A son of High Chaparral, and Wayne Lordan’s thirteenth winner of the season, Secretsubstitute is trained by Tommy Stack, whose son and assistant Fozzy explained: “He was a bit unlucky in Tipperary. He got into trouble but came home well. It was probably taking a chance dropping him in trip, but he has a gear. He stays well and will step-up in trip. We have no definite plan for him.”

In the following event, the first division of the Connolly’s Red Mills Horse Care Cubes Handicap, the Charles O’Brien trained Dearest Girl hit the bookies hard. Backed from 8/1 to 7/2, the Galileo filly travelled strongly throughout before coming through to beat Melodie D’Amour emphatically by a length and a half.

O’Brien admitted: “I don’t know how it took me so long to win with her. But she’s a big filly and took time to come to herself.

“She was going to run well in Dundalk the last day but was annihilated in the straight. She’ll go for another similar handicap.”

The tough mare Leah Claire provided owner-breeder Frank McNulty with a poignant success when landing the second division of the Connolly’s Red Mills Horse Care Cubes Handicap, challenging on the inside of longtime leader Takasima inside the final furlong to score by a half-length.

Trained by Matthieu Palusiere, Leah Claire was emulating her dam Kate Emily, which won on this track for McNulty and trainer Pat Flynn. The filly’s handler Palussiere commented: “She just keeps finding something all the time. I don’t know how long she can continue doing this. She’s a little mare but tries hard and got a lovely cool ride from Joseph (O’Brien).

“I’m delighted for her owner - he gets great pleasure from his horses. She’s entered again for Cork on Friday and might go there.”

Joseph O’Brien had earlier picked-up a one-day careless riding ban following his ride on Long Live The King in the ten-furlong maiden.


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