Choice on course for Leger

Galileo’s Choice justified 9/4 favouritism in the Ballyroan Stakes in Leopardstown last night, recording his second win at Group 3 level and confirming himself on course for the Irish St. Leger next month, with the Melbourne Cup looming as another possible target.

The main protagonists were spread across the Foxrock track as they turned for home, before Galileo’s Choice and Pat Smullen got the better of front-running Bible Belt and the held three-year-old Massiyn by a length and a half.

“That was a very good performance in an excellent renewal of the race,” stated a delighted Weld. “The race was full of Derby winners and horses placed in a Derby.”

He added: “I’ve always intended to run him in the Irish St. Leger and that remains the plan. He’ll be entered for the Melbourne Cup, although we won’t make a decision until after the Curragh.”

Globe-trotter Treasure Beach, representing Ballydoyle, filled fourth spot in his first outing on home soil since winning last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.

Galileo’s Choice was the second leg of a Leopardstown double for Weld and Pat Smullen, initiated when Stuccodor, narrowly beaten in Galway last week, got the better of Love Nest in the Leopardstown.com Handicap.

Earlier, the Aga Khan-owned Zariyna, ridden for Michael Halford by Johnny Murtagh, foiled Cheval Rouge (a winner in Sligo on Wednesday) in the fillies handicap and will now attempt to earn some black type. She holds an entry in a listed event in Gowran Park next Wednesday.

Apprentice Ross Coakley got the Ken Condon-trained Dream Applause home a narrow winner over favourite Via Ballycroy in the opening fillies maiden while Kevin Manning, fully recovered from a virus, was seen at his strongest on Something Graceful, conqueror of Lebron in the Ryan Sheridan Maiden.

Niall Moran, who trains in Strandhill, savoured the success of Don’t Bother Me (Rory Cleary) in the two-year-old maiden, the Dark Angel colt was making it third time lucky after a couple of creditable placed efforts. Moran plans a trip to England for Eric Browne’s colt.


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