BORDERLESCOTT, winner of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at Newmarket, justified odds-on favouritism in the listed Mercury Stakes at Dundalk last night.
Backed down to 4/5 favouritism, the six-year-old had to battle hard for victory, beating Invincible Ash by a neck with the Dandy Nicholls-trained pair Masta Plasta and Peace Offering close in third and fourth.
Borderlescott was ridden by Irishman Pat Cosgrave, having his first ride on the new Dundalk track.
“I learned my trade over here, you know, with Paddy Sleator. And it’s nice to come back with a winner,” declared winning trainer Robin Bastiman. “He’s only a little horse and he had to work hard out there under 10-3. But he’s tough and genuine. And his heart is in the right place.”
“He’s been on the go all season. But it was nice to get this opportunity to finish up after he ran two races in France! He’ll probably start back in the Temple Stakes next year and head on to Royal Ascot for the King's Stand.”
Fran Berry reduced Pat Smulen’s lead in the Jockeys Championship to three when Jalmira, trained by Charlie Swan, made it 13th time lucky for the season in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Race.
Swan was not present, but commented, by phone: “I’m delighted she got her head in front. I thought Fran gave her a great ride in a tactical race. And she'll go back to Dundalk for a listed race in a few weeks.”
Berry was recording his 78th win of the season and trails Smullen (81) by three with Johnny Murtagh on the 77-winner mark.
First-time blinkers made a big difference to top-weight Leandros, which bolted-up under Keagan Latham in the Cumiskey Real Estates Handicap, stretching clear inside the final furlongs to score by three lengths from He’s Got Rhythm.
Leandros was recording his third win at Dundalk for the track’s leading trainer Ger Lyons, whose brother Shane commented: “Keagan said the blinkers improved him five lengths. He’s due to be sold at the Newmarket Sales next Monday and is a tough and progressive horse.”
Lyons and Latham completed a quickfire double when Cosmic Breeze, in the colours of Annamoine Limited, long-standing supporters of the Lyons yard, landed the European Mortgages Nursery by a half-length from Light It Up.
Shane Lyons said: “I’m delighted for the owners. They’ve been with us a long time and we’ve managed to have a winner for them every season.
“This filly has been running well in maidens and deserved top get her head in front. I suppose she did well to win from a bad draw. And she’ll probably come back here for another nursery.”
The Pat Flynn-trained Luzdeluna, as big as 6/1 in the morning and sent off 9/4 favourite, landed a tidy gamble under Danny Grant in the Anthony Duffy Construction Ltd. Handicap. storming clear inside the final furlong to triumph for the Drinkers & Gamblers Syndicate.
Apprentice Steven Hunter notched his third win in a week and the fifth of his career when Desert Eagle, trained by his boss Aidan O’Brien proved best in the two-year-old median auction maiden, holding the persistent challenge of Way West by a half length.
Matjar, ridden by Chris Geoghegan, prevailed at the expense of Titus Academy in the opening European Mortgages Apprentice Handicap, recording his second success of the season for Co Clare trainer Joe Quinn.
And the Peter Casey-trained Inch Rebel, ridden by his son and namesake, swooped late to spring a 50/1 shock in the bumper, getting up close home to foil the Nina Carberry-ridden favourite Lifes Star.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved