Harrington filly takes Navan prize
Published 18/04/2015 | 19:01
Jessica Harrington looks to have a decent filly on her hands after Bocca Baciata took the feature Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.
Sent off the 5-2 joint-favourite for the Listed contest after winning a maiden at the same track on her final start as a juvenile, she was given a patient ride by Fran Berry, who held her up towards the rear but was plenty close enough and travelling strongly at the top of the straight.
Pleascach hit the front briefly, but Bocca Baciata was clearly going best and she put the race to bed when urged into the lead going to the furlong pole, lengthening away to score by a length and a half, with market rival Diamondsandrubies close up in third.
Harrington said: "She's been pleasing me at home this spring. It's amazing she did as much as a two-year-old as she did.
"She may come back in trip for the Irish Guineas, as she's not a slow filly. Fran said she was getting a little bit tired in the last 50 yards, but she was entitled to on her first run of the year. She seems to go on any ground, and is a lovely filly."
Berry doubled up when the Christy Roche-trained Madeira Classic (7-2 joint-favourite), who hasn't done much racing in the last few years, dug deep to beat Annagh Haven by a length and a quarter in the Seamus McCarville 20th Anniversary Memorial Handicap.
Aidan O'Brien introduced a potentially smart three-year-old in the 20 Euros Family Ticket For May 17th Family Day Fillies Maiden in the shape of Fluff, a full-sister to the Ballydoyle-trained Group One winner Maybe.
Seamie Heffernan had her well placed to strike approaching the furlong pole and when he popped the question, the 2-1 shot displayed a nice turn of foot to go four and three-quarter lengths clear.
The jockey said: "Joseph (O'Brien) said she'd be hard to beat if she wasn't green. The odd one of ours is green, but she wasn't. She has a great pedigree and couldn't have won any easier - it was easy."
John Oxx's newcomer In My Pocket (8-1) quickened up well from the furlong pole when asked by Declan McDonogh and took the Kilberry (C&G) Maiden by two and a quarter lengths from the O'Brien-trained favourite Cenotaph.
Oxx said: "He's always been a nice horse at home. He's not too big, but is a good sort. I'm not surprised he's won first time out, although Declan said he was a bit green.
"He's a well-bred colt being a half-brother to two Group Two winners. It's hard to know where we will go next. I doubt if he'll go back in trip for the Tetrarch and he may go 10 furlongs in time."
Kevin Prendergast's juvenile Bebhinn (11-8 favourite) stepped up on her debut second to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden with complete authority, streaking clear going to the final furlong under Chris Hayes and scoring by four and a half lengths.
The handler said: "She ran very green on debut but has a very good attitude. We've entered her for the Marble Hill Stakes and her long-term target is the Heinz (Phoenix Stakes) at the Curragh. La Collina was our most recent winner of that and she measures up to her.
" I'm hoping to find one close to her but by far she's one of the better ones we have at the moment."
There was a thrilling finish to the Navan Welcomes Owners Today Handicap as Battleroftheboyne was collared on either side late on by Mr Bounty (14-1) and Lady Ranger, with Shane Kelly getting the former home by a nose for Michael O'Callaghan.