Diplomat strikes gold in Kingdom

The Dermot Weld-trained Diplomat popped up at 10-1 in the www.thetote.com Kingdom Gold Cup at Killarney last night.

The gallant Inis Meain made a brave attempt from the front, but going up 36lbs for winning three races so far this season just found him out.

For most of the straight he looked the likely winner, but Pat Smullen produced Diplomat between Inis Meain and Princeton Plains inside the furlong pole and the Kitten’s Joy gelding was nicely on top close home.

Said Smullen: “That’s a little bit of a surprise, but was a very good performance from a three-year-old on that ground. The step up in trip was a help.”

It is worth noting that Weld won this race in 1992 with Melbourne Cup hero Vintage Crop, when it was run as the Carling Gold Cup at Tralee.

Aidan O’Brien’s Soon, a remote sixth of seven behind stable companion Up at the Curragh on Sunday, took the Listed Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes.

A whole wall of horses had a chance approaching the furlong pole, but she stayed on towards the outside to beat Alla Speranza by three parts of a length.

“I’ve ridden her a heap of times and just got it right today,” reported winning rider Seamie Heffernan.

O’Brien completed a double when his son, Joseph, guided Greek Goddess to success in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden.

The youngster put up 2lbs overweight, but it made no difference, at least on this occasion.

He quickly had the daughter of Galileo swinging along in front and she found plenty in the straight to beat Dermot Weld’s promising newcomer Salhooda.

Commented Joseph: “It is very testing out there and she saw the trip out well.”

John Murphy has long had a fine record at this track and he did it again when Benalex Park took the Murphy’s Inter Vintners’ Handicap.

Partnered by Shane Foley, he stayed on strongly in the closing stages to beat top weight, Pepparpot.

Said Murphy: “He loves soft ground and the further he goes the better he is. He’s a grand big horse and will make a lovely hurdler.”

The National Hunt part of the programme produced two really impressive winners in Jacksonslady and Go All The Way.

Jacksonslady toyed with the opposition on her way to landing the Diarmuid Cronin Electrical Mares’ Beginners Chase.

Confidently handled by Barry Geraghty, she never left second gear and was in complete control in the straight to easily beat Our Girl Lucy.

Trainer Philip Dempsey reported: “I was afraid of the ground, but Barry said her class got get through.

“She has black type over hurdles and we will be looking for more of the same over fences.”

Jim Dreaper’s Go All The Way totally outclassed his rivals in the Ross Golf Course Novice Chase.

Backed from 4-5 to 1-2, he eased ahead for Davy Russell before the second last to beat Fair Dilemma by 13 lengths.

Said Dreaper: “He has had two pelvis fractures and needs to go left-handed. This was the first suitable race for him in Ireland, since he won here in July, and will now go to Listowel.”

Ted Walsh’s Bishop’s Lane added to recent Tramore gains by landing the Malton Handicap Chase.

Powered ahead by Rob Jones going to two out, he found plenty to hold Sherika by a length and a half.

“I’d like to find another race like that for him,” quipped Walsh.

The Bumper saw Darkestbeforedawn and Pat King hold on for dear life, as Oscar Zulu closed all the way to the line.

lThe all-flat Killarney meeting, which was cancelled on Wednesday due to waterlogging, has been rescheduled for next Tuesday. The first race is scheduled for 1.45pm.


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