Thursday 23 October 2014

Carla tops it up to four

Published 31/08/2014 | 18:12

Carla Bianca holds on under Pat Smullen

Carla Bianca completed a four-timer with a hard-fought triumph in the Xtravision & HMV Supporting Irish Autism Action Dance Design Fillies Stakes at the Curragh.

The Dermot Weld-trained filly, wearing the Moyglare Stud colours carried to victory by Dance Design in the 1996 Irish Oaks, continued her progression to land Group Three honours over nine furlongs.

Alive Alive Oh led two furlongs out travelling sweetly, but the 5-4 favourite dug deep under Pat Smullen to assert in the closing stages, and then held Pearl Of Africa by a length.

Weld said: "That's four now back-to-back for this filly. She was slow in the spring to get going, but has progressed with every run and it was a nice performance today.

"The Blandford is a possibility for her and the faster the ground, the better for her.

"I thought nine furlongs was her correct trip, but the way she came home today pleased me most of all because she has a lot of pace. I liked the way she came home in the last half-furlong."

Sretaw ended a remarkable run of six seconds in terrific style by taking the 21-runner Irish Stallion Farms EBF Irish Cambridgeshire.

There were lots in with a chance as things changed rapidly in the final furlong in what proved a rough finish, but Wayne Lordan galvanised Gavin Cromwell's five-year-old (11-1) to land the premier handicap with a strong burst down the outside.

Vastonea (16-1) was half a length away in second with the 4-1 favourite Hasanour third and Maggie Dalton (25-1) fourth, while Warbird was the principal sufferer in scrimmaging down the centre of the track.

"We were very hopeful. She's been second six times in a row and deserved this," said owner Eamon Waters.

"She's been running to her handicap mark all the time and kept going up, but in fairness to her she kept improving.

"I bred her and bought the mare for small money. It's nearly like a dream and I'm afraid I'll wake up. She's entered at Leopardstown on September 14 but it's up to Gavin where she goes."

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