Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen shared a treble in rain-sodden Leopardstown as Tarafiyla, Hellenistic and Starlet recorded emphatic victories on a night when Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning doubled-up with News At Six and Teocht.
The impressive victory of 4/7 favourite Starlet in the concluding fillies maiden proved particularly poignant and emotional for the Master of Rosewell House as the filly carries the colours of his late mother, who died in April.
A daughter of Sea The Stars, Starlet built on the promise of her debut second at Navan, stretching clear to slam Ode To Psyche by five lengths, prompting Weld to comment: “This is special as she’s the first winner in those colours since my mother died. This is a very adaptable filly.
“She stays well and we’ll go looking for black type for her now. Pat said she wouldn’t mind dropping back to a mile and a quarter.”
Pat Smullen confirmed: “She’s nice and, on better ground, she’ll be better again.”
Another three-year-old filly which had shaped with plenty of promise on her debut, the Aga Khan-owned Tarafiyla, had initiated the Weld treble, which brought his tally for the season to 52, when justifying odds-on favouritism in the opening mile maiden, beating King Schultz readily by almost three lengths.
“She appreciated the ease in the ground and got through it well. It was a workmanlike performance,” stated Weld, who will see how the handicapper rates this Aga Khan-owned Azamour filly before making plans.
“Tonight was the night,” stated Weld after Hellenistic bolted up in the Leopardstown Summer Membership Handicap, referring to the fact that Brad Kelly of Calumet Farm, which owns the filly was present, along with his wife and daughter.
Hellenistic, which gave Weld his first winner for this new owner when she scored at Limerick, sprinted clear to beat Hannah’s Magic by six and a half lengths. Weld added: “She’s a progressive filly and did it well today. It’s nice to have a winner for Calumet when Mr Kelly is here -Calumet is one of the most famous farms in Americanand steeped in history. Hopefully this filly will progress to earn some black type later in the season.”
News At Six, raised a whopping 28lb. by the handicapper for recent wins at the Curragh and Fairyhouse, completed a hat-trick when producing a gutsy display to keep Nonchalant at bay by a half-length in the ten-furlong Peter Hook & The Light Race, the second leg of a double for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning.
The four-year-old son of New Approach edged ahead early in the straight and had to dig deep for Manning to land the spoils. In his post-race comments, Bolger suggested that the rain which had turned ground conditions to “soft” was “no big help”.
He was uncertain about immediate plans for News At Six, but confirmed that next Thursday’s €100,000 Nasrullah handicap over last night’s course and distance is a possible, but added: “He’ll have to earn his place on the team.”
The Bolger/Manning double had been initiated when Teocht captured the Leopardstown Handicap at the expense of Korbous, prompting Bolger to comment: “Now that we’ve found her right trip, she might go in again”
Trainer Gordon Elliott, at the July Sales in Newmarket, missed seeing Bayan have an ideal Galway ‘prep’ in the Leopardstown Club Membership Handicap.
The five-year-old Danehill Dancer gelding, in the colours of the Core Syndicate, looked an unlikely winner for most of the journey and was being scrubbed along by Luke Dempsey (now based with Elliott) a half-mile from home.
But he began to close early in the straight and, although only seventh approaching the furlong-pole, he stayed on dourly to foil Stocktons Wing which had taken over from front-running Strandfield Lady, by a length and a half.
Gary O’Brien of At The Races, a member of the Core Syndicate acknowledged that the easing in ground conditions was “a big help” and confirmed that the five-year-old, which was bouncing back from a poor run in Ripon last time, will now run in the Guinness Galway Hurdle.
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