Avenue Gabriel rewarded the patience of her connections with a win in the Listed Clodovil E.B.F. Garnet Stakes on a mixed card at Naas yesterday.
Paul Deegan’s filly finished fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas earlier in the season but had not been seen since struggling over 10 furlongs in the Pretty Polly over 100 days previously.
Sent off a 5-1 chance back down in class, Lady O’Reilly’s daughter of Champs Elysees had to work hard to see off Fastnet Mist in the final furlong but she prevailed by three-quarters of a length.
“That’s great. I’m delighted for James (Kelly, racing manager) and Lady O’Reilly (owner) and their patience has been rewarded,” said Deegan.
“Her best form was always on fast ground and we’ve always said she was better on it but it started to catch up with her.
“It took her a long time to get over the Pretty Polly as she came back not herself.
“That’s a nice race to win before the winter and she’ll go home for a holiday now. We won’t be tempted to run on quick ground again.
“She’ll be a good mare next year and could be a filly for something like the Matron. Her Guineas run was no fluke.
“We thought she might stretch out a bit more but probably a true run mile is what she wants.”
Endless Drama earned a quote of 33-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas with Boylesports after making a impressive debut in the Tifrums EBF (C&G) Maiden.
The Ger Lyons-trained colt, sent off a well-backed 6-1 shot, hit the front just under two furlongs from home and bounded five and a half lengths clear of Cenotaph.
Lyons said: “He’s a nice horse and we’ve always liked him. He’s as big a horse as we’ve had come into the yard and we took our time with him.
“Coming from the camp he did, they know their stuff. He didn’t make the breeze-ups for one reason or another but they told me he was as good as they’ve had.
“That’s the way we were hoping he’d run but you don’t expect it. He’s a very, very smart horse.
“That’ll be it for the season. He holds an entry for the Killavullan but that wouldn’t be my style to run them back like that. We’ll look forward to next season.
“I had him entered over seven but I like starting mine over shorter. Next year we’ll start him over seven and step up quietly.
“Hopefully he’s the right horse.”
Eddie Lynam’s Byzantium opened her account at the second time of asking but her odds-on supporters were made to fret.
Third in Listed company on her debut, a maiden should have been a formality but the 9-10 favourite scrambled home by a short head from Sharaasa in the Bungle Inthejungle EBF Fillies Maiden.
“On first viewing I thought ’oh dear we’re beat’ but she got home and won,” said Lynam.
“Maybe I over-rated her but I thought she was very good. Pat (Smullen) still thinks she could be but she’d have to improve a bit from that.
“He said she’s still very green but I like to see it in the form book. Lets hope she’s very good but it looks at the moment likes she’s just good.
“We’ll see what she’s like next year. She was well bought anyway – she wasn’t expensive.”
The Killavullan Stakes may be on the agenda for Captain My Captain after his win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Birdcatcher Nursery.
John Murphy’s charge had run well in a sales race previously and is the trainer’s first two-year-old winner of the season.
“He’s a lovely big horse and was unlucky in the Curragh when he was drawn very wide,” said Murphy.
“He loves good ground and we were a bit worried that it might be a bit dead.
“He should excel over seven or a mile next year and will maybe even get further. He’s a real nice horse and has always worked like it.
“Our two-year-olds have been very backward this year and that’s my first two-year-old winner.
“There was talk of the Killavullan this morning and we are dying to try him over seven. The further he goes the better. He has a good cruising speed and loves his job.”
Slippers Madden rode his first winner since December on Noel Meade’s Harvey Logan (6-4 favourite) in the Profile Systems Kommerling Handicap Hurdle.
Madden has been out injured with a broken leg and returned to action last month.
Rocky Bleir (20-1) came from last to first to win the Woodlands 100 Club October Handicap for trainer Bill Farrell and jockey Billy Lee.
“He got a bit jarred up in the spring. We waited for his shins to settle and for an ease in the ground,” said Farrell.
“He’s on an upward curve. He’s in the sales but won’t go now.”
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