Down-in-class Twirl in a hurry

Unplaced in both the Irish and English Oaks and taking a significant drop in class, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Twirl made all to land the listed Hurry Harriet Stakes in Gowran Park yesterday, beating stable-companion Soon by a length and a half.

The Galileo filly stayed on stoutly up the straight to score emphatically, to the delight of her rider Colm O’Donoghue. “She travelled and picked up well and galloped to the line. It was a good performance and she’s far from finished for the season.”

Joseph O’Brien, who opted to ride Devotion (finished sixth) in the Hurry Harriet, had earlier initiated a Ballydoyle double when partnering the once-raced Battle Of Marengo (also by Galileo) to an impressive eleven lengths win over Flameseeker in the opening two-year-old maiden.

O’Brien commented: “He came on nicely from his first run and won well. I was a bit worried about the ground, but he handled it well enough. And he’ll be a better horse when he gets better ground.”

Jim Bolger matched Aidan O’Brien’s double, scoring with Einsteins Folly in the Panoramic Restaurant Nursery and Livia Galilei in the McEnery Cup, a lucky race for the Coolcullen trainer in recent years.

Einsteins Folly, busy in recent weeks, defied top weight in the nursery, under another inspired ride by the season’s leading apprentice Ronan Whelan (his 17th win of the campaign), proving too strong for well-backed favourite Horizon Sky.

And Livia Galilei, a winner twice under Rory Cleary, provided Bolger with his sixth McEnery Cup in 11 years when battling to hard-earned victory, beating Amira’s Prince by the minimum margin, a nose.

Ger Lyons and former champion apprentice Emmet McNamara, in double form at Dundalk on Sunday, struck again when Fluidity trounced his four rivals in the Follow Gowran On Facebook Handicap, slamming Brog Deas by six lengths and relishing the ‘summer soft ground’, according to the trainer’s brother and assistant Shane.

Out of luck at Gowran, Fran Berry made his trip to Sligo worthwhile when completing a double on his only two rides at the north-west track, Ted Veale and Stocktons Wing.

Bouncing back from a disappointing effort over hurdles at Galway, the Tony Martin-trained Ted Veale, backed from 9/4 to 7/4 favouritism, landed the Sponsor A Race At Sligo 2013 in convincing style, under a confident ride from Berry.

Produced to challenge off the home-turn, the five-year-old hit the front early in the final furlong before beating Brassbound more easily than the official verdict (threequarters of a length) might suggest.

The winning trainer commented: “He’s a horse I’ve always liked. He’s not too bad and couldn’t cope with the ground in Galway. He’s only five and should make a nice handicap horse in all codes. He should give the lads a lot of fun and will go for a maiden hurdle next.”

Berry also oozed confidence on the Charles O’Brien-trained Stocktons Wing (also 7/4 favourite) in the Sligo Handicap as the JP McManus-owned gelding, stepping up to a mile and a quarter, came from off the pace to beat front-running Shabra Emperor convincingly.

The winning rider said: “A friend of mine drove me from Gowran. It took three hours and it has worked out great. This little horse loves that ground and enjoyed the step-up in trip. He might make a nice dual-purpose horse in time.”

Noel Kelly, who trains in Co Derry has a near 50% strike-rate in Sligo and was on the mark again when Mia’s Vic, “a bit unlucky in Perth last time,” according to his trainer, landed the RSS Document Storage Sligo Maiden Hurdle under 7lb. claimer Derek Fox.

And Lady Olwyn, in foal to Montjeu’s half-brother Gold Well, followed-up Saturday’s win in Tramore when justifying 9/4 favouritism for trainer John McConnell and Barry Geraghty in the Follow Us On Facebook Handicap Hurdle.


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