The Aidan O’Brien-trained Order Of St.George justified 1/5 favouritism in Her Majesty’s Plate, the finale on last night’s card in Down Royal.
The classy Galileo colt, narrowly beaten by stable-companion Bondi Beach in the Curragh Cup (Group 3) on his seasonal debut, dictated the pace under Joseph O’Brien and, pressed by Chapter Seven before the straight, Order Of St. George lengthened clear when shaken up by O’Brien, pulling away to triumph by five and a half lengths.
“It wasn’t ideal to make the running and he wasn’t doing much in front, but we knew he stays well,” said the winning rider.
“He’s a very nice colt and won snugly. He could develop into a very nice stayer. He might have another run before the St. Leger, in something like the Great Voltigeur, although it’s not a necessity.”
Ger Lyons and Colin Keane continued on their winning ways with debutant Roibeard, which readily brushed aside market rival Dodgybingo to make a winning debut and justify 5/2 favouritism in the two-year-old auction maiden.
The Big Bad Bob gelding scored by two and three-quarter lengths, to the satisfaction of Lyons: “He’s a typical Big Bad Bob. He’s a big, green baby and should improve buckets from today. The syndicate that owns him includes Peter and Ross Doyle.”
Chris Hayes is enjoying a tremendous season and took the riding honours with a 51.5/1 double on Mick Mulvany’s tough mare Annagh Haven and the Paul Deegan-trained Park Rebel.
Annagh Haven got up in the dying strides to deny front-running Oceania Queen (Tom Madden) in the Magners Irish Cider Fillies Handicap and might head for the mares handicap hurdle in Galway next week.
Hayes brought his seasonal tally to 32 when Park Rebel proved two lengths too strong for favourite Monolight in the Apple Orchard Handicap.
Winning rider Gary Carroll attributed the use of ear-plugs as a contributory factor in Peace Mission’s all-the-way win for trainer Tom Mullins in the seven-furlong fillies maiden.
The Alfred Nobel filly turned over well-backed favourite Gladly in emphatic style.
Meanwhile, in Wexford, Harry Kelly completed a 220/1 first and last race double, the first of his training career, with mares Theatre Sunset and Isnt Dat Right.
Kelly, due to get married next Saturday, was not present to see Sean Flanagan partner Theatre Sunset to victory in the www.wexfordraces.ie Maiden Hurdle or the Pa King-ridden Isnt Dat Right scrape home in a bunch finish to the mares bumper.
The Gavin Cromwell-trained As De Pique booked his ticket for next Friday’s Galway Blazers at the Galway Festival.
Sent off 2/1 favourite for the Saltees Islands Handicap Chase, Cromwell’s charge crept into contention under a confident Brien Kane and, ultimately, forged clear to slam El Grande by 10 lengths.
Kane was recording his sixth career success and a delighted Cromwell explained: “That should, get him into the Blazers next week. He’s been a great servant and Brien gave him a very cool and confident ride.”
Michael McCullagh savoured a welcome success when Slygufftou and Jack Kennedy proved a facile winner of the three-mile Seslkar Abbey Handicap Hurdle.
Amateur Paul Cawley, from Craughwell, County Galway, registered his first racecourse success when Denis Hogan’s Drive The Bus kept favourite Officer Cadet at bay in the beginners chase.
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