Easter, ridden by Seamus Heffernan, captured the listed Hurry Harriet Stakes in Gowran Park last night, completing a double for Aidan O’Brien.
Consistent in stakes company in recent starts, the blinkered Galileo filly hit the front before the furlong-pole and kept on strongly to beat Stellra Glow by two lengths with My Titania in third.
Aidan O’Brien commented: “She ran over a mile and a half in Cork the last day and was coming to win but got tired so the shorter trip today suited her. I’d say a mile and a quarter is probably her perfect trip.
“She has been coming along nicely and should keep progressing. She deserves another crack at a Group 3 and might go for something like the Dance Design (at the Curragh on August 30).”
The O’Brien double was initiated, thanks to the Gowran Park Stewards, when Dancing On Air, wearing cheekpieces for the first time and ridden by O’Brien’s daughter Ana, was awarded the nursery on the disqualification of the Jim Bolger-trained Bobailin (Kevin Manning), which edged left under pressure inside the final furlong, hampering her rival, before holding the fast-finisher by a head.
The O’Briens, Aidan and Ana, were denied further success when Udogo was unable to contain the strong challenge of Johann Bach, a fifth winner for Dylan Hogan, in the Golf Membership At Gowran Park Apprentice Handicap. The winner is trained in Rhode, County Offaly by Patrick Harney.
The versatile Macnicholson, hampered at the final flight in the recent Galway Hurdle, made his breakthrough on the flat for Jessica Harrington and Fran Berry in the McEnery Cup, a traditional feature of Gowran’s season. overcoming a tardy start before proving too strong for Breenainthemycra and He’s Our Man.
“The blinkers were a big help,” explained Berry. “Jessie felt that a mile and a half was his minimum trip and told me to make plenty of use of him.” Macnicholson, a six-year old, has won twice over hurdles and had two outings over fences this summer.
“She’s a nice filly and has been working well, so I’m not surprised she won,” stated John Oxx after 40/1 debutante Enjoy Yourself (Declan McDonogh) landed the opening two-year-old maiden, beating Al Mohalhal and odds-on favourite London. Oxx added: “Gowran is not the easiest for newcomers, but she was quite professional and she’ll probably go for a listed race at the Curragh at the end of the month (the Flame Of Tara Stakes on August 30).”
It was a day to remember for the Linehan brothers, Eddie and Denis, who struck when Aurelia Cotta made all to land the Irish Stallion farms Fillies Handicap. The four-year-old Holy Roman Emperor filly was a first winner for Eddie (23), Ireland’s youngest trainer, who is based in Glantane, near Mallow, and a second for 10lb. claimer Denis.
Odds-on players had to sweat before the Michael Halford-trained 4/11 hot-pot Ebayya landed the odds in the concluding fillies maiden as the daughter of Azamour hung left inside the final furlong making life difficult to Shane Foley, before beating promising debutante Posing by a half-length.
“She was having a good look around, but Shane felt she was always doing enough to win,” said a relieved Halford.”
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