Ballyogan glee for Ainippe
Published 07/06/2015 | 17:36
Ainippe came out on top in a thrilling finish to the feature TRM Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh.
The Ger Lyons-trained winner was given a patient ride by Colin Keane on the rail in the Group Three contest, tracking the pace set by Stormfly and Steip Amach, but she looked to have it to do when Newsletter got first run and hit the front at the furlong pole.
The latter went for home under Shane Foley, but Ainippe gave chase and found another gear to get up in the last few yards, scoring by half a length from her fellow 9-4 joint-favourite.
Lyons said: "I thought she was going to be an unlucky loser. She's not big, but she's all heart. She has plenty of speed and loved the good ground. We've always felt she will get seven furlongs. She's a good, honest filly.
"We took the view that we didn't want to take on Anthem Alexander in the Lacken and I don't think she's good enough for the Commonwealth Cup. Hopefully we can find a Group Two for her.
"That was the plan this year, to win a Group Three with her, and we'll have to sit down and make a plan now for the rest of the year."
Postulation lunged late to take gold in the TRI Equestrian Silver Stakes at the Curragh.
Pat Smullen's mount had raced at the rear of the field for much of the journey in company with odds-on favourite Parish Hall, who improved on the outside with a quarter of a mile to run before leading approaching a furlong out.
H e was followed by Postulation and as the pair battled it out it was Dermot Weld's three-year-old (7-1) who took Listed honours by a neck.
There was a minor moment of drama when Parish Hall looked like he attempted to bite the winning rider.
Weld said: "Those were the tactics and it worked out well. It was a lovely ride by Pat, and his biggest worry was when the other horse moved towards him near the line!
"He's been a model of consistency and has never been out of the first three. That's his ideal trip and, with that win under his belt, we might travel with him now."
Smullen added: "We had a plan going out to follow Kevin (Manning, on Parish Hall) all the way, have one go and thankfully it paid off. To be fair to my horse he stepped up. The boss said to take your time and have one go and sometimes it works out perfectly."
Rockaway Valley ran out a most impressive winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
The Jessica Harrington-trained youngster had shown plenty of ability when second on his debut to Aidan O'Brien's Air Force Blue in a race that is starting to work out very well, with the third Tonkinese having won on Friday night.
Sent off as the 6-4 favourite, Shane Foley's mount stretched readily clear through the final furlong, having four and a quarter lengths to spare over newcomer Juliette Fair.
Harrington said: "He was good and came on a lot from his first run. Shane said he jumped well, always travelled and lengthened when he asked him. He went right away. He has plenty of fancy entries, and will probably come back here for the Railway Stakes. He's also in the National Stakes. Good ground is perfect for him."
Eddie Lynam's Fort Del Oro took the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Maiden with some authority, having been s econd on her first run on much softer ground.
Billy Lee's mount travelled strongly and came between horses to lead with a furlong and a half to run, quickly going clear for a four-and-a-quarter-length success from the always prominent Creggs Pipe.
Lynam said of the 7-4 favourite: "She did it well. We like her and think she might be good. She did that well today after a good first run. We'll see what sort of a mark she gets and that will tell us where we are going. Dreaming aloud, she could be good."