Ostatnia continued trainer Willie McCreery’s rich vein of form when foiling trail-blazing top-weight Chiclet in the five-furlong Follow Tipperary On Facebook Handicap in Tipperary yesterday.
Having pressed the leader throughout, the four-year-old half-sister to Osterhase forged clear close home, under Billy Lee, to triumph by a length and a quarter, cloaking a speedy 57 seconds in the process..
McCreery explained: “She probably needed her first two runs and the race worked out perfectly for her. Chiclet went flat to the boards and gave her a lovely lead into the race. The faster the ground the better.”
Reappearing just four days after making an eye-catching debut at the Curragh (finished fifth behind Van Der Decken), Pedestal showed plenty of speed and signs of inexperience in landing the opening, five-furlong Irish Stallion farms 2-Y-0 Maiden, first leg of a double for Aidan O’Brien.
Ridden by Seamus Heffernan, the Invincible Spirit colt showed good speed all the way and, despite edging right, won readily by a length and three-quarters from Mayleaf Shine.
“He’s a nice horse and came on for his experience at the Curragh,” said Joseph O’Brien, “there should be more to come from him. His class got him through tonight.”
Joseph O’Brien was back in the winner’s enclosure after Arya Tara, a member of the team he trains in Owning, won the Follow @TipperaryRaces On Twitter Median Auction Maiden in convincing style from front-runner Lambeau Field.
The 75-rated winner is a home-bred daughter of Dylan Thomas and was ridden by Ana O’Brien to triumph by three and a half lengths.
Joseph said: “She came home sick after a bad run in Dundalk but ran well in Wexford the last day. The step-up in trip helped, because she stays well.”
John Kiely has trained horses for the Polmeier family for close to 30 years and won the 1998 Galway Hurdle for them with Black Queen. And Henry’s Girl proved the latest winner for the combination when forging clear under Niall McCullagh to win the Tipperary BBQ Evening Handicap.
The biggest reception of the evening greeted the victory of Miss Eyecatcher, trained for the Connery Family Syndicate by Roger McGrath, in the Tipperary Mares Pro-Am Flat Race.
Winner of a point-to-point bumper here last time, the King’s Theatre mare stayed on strongly under a cool ride by Finny Maguire, to beat Glendine River with Katy P a close third.
McGrath said: “She’s a good mare and deserves a summer’s grass. She’ll come back in the autumn over hurdles, when there’s an ease in the ground. She jumps fences really well and we have a lot to look forward to. The syndicate has been lucky — they’ve owned four horses and they’ve all won.”
The Tony Martin-trained Heartbreak City came from off the pace under Jack Kennedy to justify 4/7 favouritism in the first division of the maiden hurdle.
The outcome was sealed at the final flight where front-running Mai Fitzs Jack was hesitant and lost momentum, allowing the winner to close and, ultimately, edge ahead to score by a head.
The second division of this event went to Jessica Harrington’s Weather Watch (Mark Bolger) who appeared to be mastering front-runner Beau Mome when that rival crashed at the final flight — he had to be put down later.
Weather Watch was left clear to win by eight and a half lengths.
Harrington said: “He had leg trouble and it took time to get him going again. He’ll be a dual-purpose horse for the summer.”
The handicap hurdle went to Pilgrim Way, ridden by Sean Flanagan, who got the better of Plain Talking by a length and a half.
Trainer Mark Cahill said: “He wants that good ground, but not firm. And we’ll keep him going for the summer. We’ll try to win anotjer over hurdles before he goes chasing.”
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