Light Heavy gave Jim Bolger a third Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial success when again displaying commendable tenacity to beat pacemaking Ballydoyle second string Tower Rock by a neck in Leopardstown yesterday.
A son of former stable star Teofilo, Light Heavy edged ahead soon after the two furlong pole but was made battle all the way to the line to land the Grade 2 trial in a tight finish, with odds-on favourite Wrote and Ryan Moore a distant third, beaten a further seven and a half lengths.
Bolger, who previously won the race with St. Jovite and Perfect Imposter, stated: “I’m very glad to win. He got the job done, and that’s important.
“He’s not the same horse on that ground. He ran on it in a maiden in Navan last year but is a far better horse on fast ground.”
Bolger, who confirmed his Dewhurst Stakes winner Parish Hall on target for the Irish 2000 Guineas, unless the ground is soft, commented: “This horse is on his way to the Curragh (for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby) and I’ll be hoping for fast ground.”
When quizzed by members of the British press present about the prospect of Light Heavy going for the Investec Derby at Epsom, for which he would have to be supplemented, he replied, “He won’t be going there. I represent the poor in racing.”
Bolger completed a double when stable apprentice Ronan Whelan registered his first win of the turf season on board all-the-way winner Whipless in the Horse Racing Ireland Pensioners Handicap.
In typical fashion, the trainer quipped: “Little fish are sweet!” before adding: “A mile is a minimum for this horse and gets ten furlongs well. He’s for sale and available for jumping. I’m delighted for Ronan. He’s a very good rider and deserved a change of luck after riding a number of seconds.”
Training honours on the day went to Dermot Weld who shared a spectacular treble with stable jockey Pat Smullen, thanks to the victories of course specialist Famous Name, Yellow Rosebud and Show Court.
Yellow Rosebud made a successful return to action and booked her place in the Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas on May 27 when winning he Derrinstown Stud Irish 1000 Guineas Trial.
The Jeremy filly battled well in the closjng stages to beat Devotion by a length with Coral Wave a short-head away third and longtime leader Duntle a close fourth.
“She’s a beautiful filly,” stated a delighted Dermot Weld. “She got a bit tired in the last hundred yards. And the run should set her up nicely for the Irish 1000 Guineas in two weeks time.”
Earlier, Famous Name extended his remarkable record at Loepardstown when completing a hat-trick in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes over a mile.
Ridden again by Smullen, the seven-year-old swept into the lead at the two furlong pole and, soon in command, ran on to slam Sweet Lightning by four and a half lengths, justifying 1/5 favouritism.
Famous Name was recording his eleventh win at Leopardstown, as trainer Weld acknowledged: “It must be a record — he has won 11 times here, all at stakes level. I have said it before — he’s an amazing horse, a wonderful horse to train. He loves being a racehorse and has his own set routine.”
“He’s in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and that is a distinct possibility. He’ll have to travel as the year progresses and the German Group 1, in which he was second last year, will definitely be part of his programme. And I’m sure he’ll come back here for the Irish Champion Stakes in September.”
The Weld/Smullen treble was completed in impressive style in the concluding Live At Leopardstown Maiden when Show Court, in the colours of the trainer’s son Kris, slammed favourite Allowed by six and a half lengths, confirming the form of their recent debuts at the Curragh.
With no early pace, Smullen soon dashed the Vinnie Roe gelding into the lead, dictated the pace and, when tackled by Allowed and Johnny Murtagh early in the straight, soon asserted and stretched clear for an emphatic win.
David Wachman, in Longchamp for Fire Lily’s French 1000 Guineas bid, continued his excellent strike-rate when the well-backed Cougar Ridge (2/1 to 11/10) landed the Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Auction Maiden in facile style.
Ridden by Billy Lee, the Johannesburg colt got the better of Angela’s Dream approaching the furlong-pole before stretching clear to triumph by two and three-quarter lengths.
The Paul Deegan-trained Sharalam, runner-up to Ansaab on his handicap debut at the Curragh last time, proved a convincing winner of the Hairspray.ie Hair & Beauty Handicap, beating Leah Claire and Mdnight Music emphatically.
Ridden by Chris Hayes the Alamshar gelding, which Deegan trains for his wife Kate, is clearly on the upgrade, as his trainer suggested: “He’s very progressive. And the outcome today was never in doubt.
“He has always shown plenty at home and learned a lot from his run at the Curragh, his first proper race. Chris said he quickened well and idled a bit in front. He’s versatile trip-wise, and will cope with everything from a mile to a mile and a half.”
“We’ll see what the handicapper does to him. He could run in the valuable mile-and-a-half handicap at the Curragh on Guineas weekend.
“But I think he’s s stakes-class horse and will consider races like the Martin Molony (listed event at Limerick on June 22) or the Silver Stakes (at the Curragh on June 10) for him.”
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