Dropped back to five furlongs for the first time, Fort Del Oro stamped herself as another potentially high-class sprinter from Eddie Lynam’s yard in County Meath when proving an emphatic winner of the listed Woodlands Stakes in Naas last evening.
Ridden by Billy Lee, the 13/8 favourite came from off the pace to lead inside the final furlong and beat British raider Monsieur Joe by a length with Abstraction a close third.
“She’s obviously a six-furlong filly and we took a chance coming back in trip,” stated Lynam. “But it’s good to get her started and it was a good, professional performance.”
He added: “I think she’s very talented and we’ll try to win a Group race with her now, probably over six, although she’ll be given entries at five. And, unless I mess up, she should win one.”
Lynam had earlier initiated a double when apprentice Oisín Orr, riding with great confidence, brought 15/8 favourite Louis Leroy with a well-timed late challenge to land the six-furlong apprentice handicap at the expense of Shinyhappyjohn.
“Oisín’s a very good rider, a cool kid, and got there in the end,” said Lynam.
Two-year-old races in Naas are always informative. And last night’s maidens were no exception.
Ger Lyons landed the opening six-furlong maiden with the well-backed Choisir colt Psychedelic Funk, who got the better of the Jim Bolger-trained, odds-on favourite Bean Feasa by a half-length as two exciting newcomers stretched six lengths clear of the rest.
“I told Colin (Keane) — if you don’t win, you’ll be beaten by a good one,” stated a delighted Lyons.
“I like his sire (Choisir) and he’s a colt with a good temperament. He’ll go for a winners’ race and, if he’s the real deal, we’ll look at the Coventry at Royal Ascot.”
The five-furlong fillies event went to the Seamnus Heffernan-ridden Roly Poly, one of three Ballydoyle debutantes in the field, sent off at 10/1.
The daughter of War Front and Misty For Me came through inside the final furlong to beat Gone To Russia by a short-head.
Aidan O’Brien said: “Seamus nursed her along and gave her a brilliant ride — he gave her just one backhand slap. She’s a lovely filly and you’d have to be delighted with her. Hopefully, she’ll progress nicely from this first run. She could be an Ascot filly.”
O’Brien completed a double when Credit The Giver, trained in Owning by Joseph and ridden by Donnacha, defied top-weight in the Punchestown Preview Evening Handicap, scoring convincingly by three and a quarter lengths.
And the bang-in-for combination of Lyons and Keane completed a double when Elusive Heights, a gelded son of Elusive Pimpernel, came through strongly to collar Freeman in the concluding mile maiden, with uneasy favourite Footbridge a well-beaten third.
Lyons said: “He’s a smart, scopey horse and had plenty when Colin asked him for an effort. He should progress from here.”
Following a double in Limerick on Saturday and a listed success with Bocca Baciata in Gowran on Sunday, Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue struck again, on the double, with St Brelades Bay and Marshall Jennings in the handicap action.
St Brelades Bay, sent to the front at half-way, proved too strong for Fast In The Wind (rider Killian Leonard got a three-day whip ban) and Mr Right in the six-furlong handicap while Marshall Jennings fought off the challenge of Canary Row in the Tote Quick Pick Now Available Handicap.
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