Success Days is set to challenge for Classic honours as he once again relished the testing conditions with an emphatic victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown yesterday.
Surprise winner of the Ballysax Stakes over the course and distance four weeks earlier, Ken Condon’s admirable grey landed the odds this time after the late withdrawal of Aidan O’Brien’s Order Of St George.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, for which he would have to be added to the entries, remains the big target. However, Condon admits he would also have to consider supplementing Success Days for the Investec Derby if the ground was soft at Epsom.
He is certainly smart colt given his conditions. Getting his own way in front, Success Days (8-13 favourite) never looked like being caught after he took several lengths from his three rivals on the turn for home.
He went further ahead under Shane Foley and pulled 10 lengths clear of Summaya.
“I’ve always said he’s an undemonstrative colt, but he’s improving away quickly,” said Condon.
“He’s very relaxed and has the temperament to keep improving. He obviously needs to, but he keeps delivering.
“The Irish Derby is on the agenda. We’ll see how the Dante works out and, if it came up soft, we would have to give serious consideration to supplementing him for Epsom.
“If it doesn’t I’d be happy to sit and wait for the Irish Derby.”
Foley doubled up on top-weight Lean And Keen (5-1) for trainer Sean Byrne in the John R Fitzpatrick Agricultural Contractor Handicap.
“He handles the ground but with that weight I’d say he wants better ground,” said Byrne.
“It was a good, honest performance. He’ll mix it between the flat and hurdles.”
Kissed By Angels (13-2) put her case for a Classic bid with an impressive success in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.
Seamie Heffernan was happy to sit just off the pace set through the early stages by Red Ivy, but took closer order rounding the home turn and quickened impressively when asked in the straight.
Taking a couple of lengths out of the field, Aidan O’Brien’s regally-bred daughter of Galileo stayed on strongly to score by three and a half lengths from Devonshire, with favourite Stormfly third.
With O’Brien in France, Heffernan said: “She’s made good progress and improved a lot from her first run. I was a bit disappointed with her at Limerick.
“She travelled and quickened. The last day she didn’t know what to do. Hopefully she’ll keep making progress from each run.”
RaceBets quote Kissed By Angels at 16-1 from 25s for the Investec Oaks, with Paddy Power 14-1 from 33-1.
O’Brien and Heffernan followed up with newcomer Bondi Beach (7-1), who edged out stablemate and odds-on favourite Bantry Bay by a short head in the Irish Catholic Newspaper Maiden.
OnenightIdreamed (15-8 favourite) stepped up on his Irish Lincolnshire success to take the Group Three Ard Glen Amethyst Stakes.
Tommy Stack’s lightly-raced four-year-old justified strong market support that saw his price contract to 15-8 favourite as he held on by a nose from Sruthan.
Stack’s son and assistant, Fozzy, said: “He needs soft ground. He’s a tough horse and was the first off the bridle but he kept going.
“He’ll be aimed at Listed and Group races but it’s totally ground dependent where he goes.”
Joseph O’Brien, who partnered the last home Geoffrey Chaucer, was banned for one day for using his whip with excessive force.
Jim Bolger has Royal Ascot in kind for Ard San Aer (5-2) after the youngster went one better than on his debut to open his account in the Golden Ball EBF Auction Maiden.
Bolger said: “I was not sure if he’d handle the ground, as he’s a real top of the ground horse. You probably won’t see him again until the Norfolk Stakes.”
Pat Fahy’s Ballybacka Queen (25-1), wearing a hood for the first time, landed the Fitzpatrick Gallagher McEvoy Solicitors Handicap under 7lb claimer Donnacha O’Brien.
“That’s her first run in a handicap. All the good races are early closing and her handicap mark was dropping, so we decided to go back to basics. She stuck at it well in front,” said Fahy.
“She’ll be rated about 100 after this so will probably go back to Listed company. She’s very ground dependent and likes it here.”
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