Curragh trainer Darren Bunyan is enjoying a fine strike-rate with his small string and introduced a promising filly — Enchanteresse — to land a significant gamble in the median auction maiden in Fairyhouse last night.
As big as 33/1 in the morning and sent off at 7/2, the Clodovil filly, a half-sister to stable-companion Grey Danube, came from off the pace before getting the better of odds-on favourite Chenega Bay by three-quarters of a length, after winning rider Leigh Roche dropped his whip at the furlong-pole.
“She’s a very smart filly, a black type filly,” stated a delighted Bunyan in the winner’s enclosure. “She showed us a lot of early last year, but was weak and needed time. Her half-brother Grey Danube won six for us, but he’s barely a lead horse for her at home.
“The plan is to go for the seven-furlong premier handicap for fillies on Derby weekend and, all going well, we’ll go for some black type after that.”
Another well-backed filly to triumph was the John Oxx-trained Blue Paraiba, a daughter of Sea The Stars, carrying the familiar Sunderland Holdings Inc. (Tsui) colours, which battled well for Declan McDonogh to get the better of Duchessofflorence in the ten-furlong fillies maiden. “The ground is fast enough for her, because she bends her knee,” explained Oxx. “She was quite green in Navan and, on this evidence, didn’t learn a lot. But today should teach her a bit more and she’ll step up to a mile and a half.
“Hopefully, she’ll improve. She has a good, staying pedigree and we’ll try her in a listed race at some stage.”
Beaten with two favourites earlier, Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combined to win the finale, the jogforjockeys.ie Rated Race with outsider-of-three Buenos Y Bobos, which returned to the scene of his maiden win as a juvenilee to make all and beat Postulation and disappointing odds-on favourite Sandro Botticelli.
Lyons commented: “I was planning on winning this race with a different horse, but the plan changed. I knew he needed the longer trip. I liked the way he lengthened and quickened and loved the fast ground. We’ll have to sit down and make plans for him now.”
Morselle, trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen, followed-up he recent maiden win in Dundalk when outbattling front-runner Zunera in the six-furlong rated race.
The daughter of Showcasing won with a little in hand, if only by a neck and Smullen admitted: “The drop back in trip (from seven to six furlongs) was a bit of a gamble, but she outstayed the other filly. She’s tough and genuine and, realistically, needs seven furlongs. Long-term, it would be nice to think we could get some black type for her.”
Trainer Andy Oliver savoured his first success of the 2015 turf season when 33/1 shot Fashion Forward, ridden by Billy Lee, captured the Rockathon Returns To Fairyhouse Handicap in convincing style, despite looking around when she hit the front.
Oliver admitted: “We’ve had a dreadful start to the season. There were a few issues, which have been sorted, and the horses are looking and running better.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved