Only Mine, ridden for Joe Murphy by Gary Carroll, proved a shock winner of the featured, Group 3 Bar One Racing Lacken Stakes in Naas yesterday, beating even-money favourite Washington DC convincingly and preventing a Ballydoyle treble.
Always close up, the daughter of Pour Moi raced prominently and quickened clear in good style to beat the favourite by two and three-quarter lengths, with British raider Aclaim third.
“That was no surprise to us,” declared winning trainer Murphy.
“She’s a very good filly and the little ease in the ground helped her. Gary said she picked up really well.”
Outlining plans, he added: “If the ground stays right, she might go for the Ballyogan (at the Curragh next Saturday). But she’ll have a summer break.
“I think she’ll be a Group 1 filly in the second half of the season. She’ll probably go to France – the Maurice de Gheest would look an ideal race for her at this stage.”
Michael Halford provided a one-two in the listed Owenstown Stud Stakes as Anamba, a late defection from last week’s Tettersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas due to soft ground, made a successful debut under William Buick, winning convincingly by two lengths from battle-hardened stable-companion Hasanour.
Savouring his first success of the season on turf, Halford explained. “That was a nice start. She only came to hand recently and the ground made all, the difference – she did it well.
“William liked her and said she was professional and hit the line strong. She’ll go a mile, no problem.
“She’s in the Coronation (at Royal Ascot) and we’ll see how she comes forward from this before we make a decision. She picked up well today and will improve plenty for the run.”
Meanwhile, Hasanour, “working well and rock-solid” according to his trainer, will now target the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
Buick completed a double for his bosses, Godolphin, when Ariditiy, described by his trainer Willie McCreery as a ”big, raw, honest horse” opened his account with an emphatic, two and a half lengths win in the Follow Us On Facebook Handicap.
“A mile is his trip and he loves that ground,” added McCreery. “The trip was too far and the ground too soft the last day. But he came on a ton for the run.”
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore combined to win both listed two-year-old races on the card as Peace Envoy took full advantage of the absence of Psychedelic Funk in the Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes and Cuff proved a facile winner of the Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint.
Moore dictated the pace on Peace Envoy, which kept finding enough to beat Lundy (from O’Brien’s Owning team) and Donnacha O’Brien by a half-length, prompting his trainer to explain: “He’s still very green and has never gone from the front before. So he should learn a lot from today. He’s not short of pace and could go five or six furlongs in Royal Ascot.”
Cuff produced an impressive performance in the fillies event, booking her ticket to Royal Ascot with three lengths to spare over Dundalk winner Yulong Baobei.
“She’s improving and coming forward with every run,” said O’Brien. “She had a lovely run first time in Navan, but she was unbelievably green for Seamus the last day. She won well and is obviously progressing with racing. We’ll look at the Albany (six furlongs at Royal Ascot) now.”
Dermot Weld introduced a potential stakes performer, Hazmiyra, to win the opening seven-furlong fillies maiden in emphatic style under Pat Smullen.
Having tracked the leaders, the Pivotal filly quickened through a gap to seize the initiative and won readily by a length and three-quarters from form horse and market rival Cry Me A River.
“She’s a nice filly, one we’ve always liked, and that was a pleasing performance,” said the winning trainer. “She’s still a bit immature. But she’s a beautifully-bred filly and has never been away before today. She’ll always want some ease in the ground and I hope to get some black type for her.”
A step into premier handicaps is on the cards for Patrick Harney’s Johann Bach, which continued apprentice Gary Halpin’s run of success, in the New BBQ Evening Format Handicap.
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