Amazing victory for O'Meara
Published 11/07/2015 | 02:30
David O'Meara re-affirmed his status as one of the training ranks' rising stars by plundering his third Group One success with Amazing Maria in yesterday's Qipco Falmouth Stakes.
For the third time in succession, Jim Bolger's Lucida was beaten in frustrating circumstances, with Kevin Manning's mount enduring traffic problems in a slowly-run edition of Newmarket's mile feature.
When the Godolphin filly did get out, she kept on well to finish sixth in a bunched finish.
Only cigarette papers separated the five that followed Amazing Maria home, but O'Meara's grey crossed the line a length to the good thanks to an enterprising ride by the excellent James Doyle, who shares the Godolphin job with William Buick.
With Arabian Queen setting only a sedate pace in front, in a deliberate manoeuvre Doyle brought Amazing Maria from joint-last to sit on the heels of the leaders just after halfway.
It was an alert piece of horsemanship that put his mount in a prime position to challenge, and had the added effect of putting Lucida in an unholy pocket.
After her shock 25/1 Group Two triumph at Royal Ascot, Amazing Maria, which completely lost her form for Ed Dunlop last year, again returned an easy-to-back 17/2.
Her win was resounding confirmation that her royal coup was no fluke, and that there are few better than Yorkshire-based Cork-man O'Meara at rejuvenating other people's cast-offs.
The former jump jockey saddles a similar sort in today's July Cup in G Force.
"It is probably the most special moment," O'Meara conceded coyly when asked if the success amounted to the highlight of his five-year career.
"She was a wonderful filly at two for Ed Dunlop. Ed rang me up and said she was a Group One filly. She's a proper filly and has got a Group One today, which is brilliant."
O'Meara has booked Joseph O'Brien for G Force, although the Ballydoyle rider may be reclaimed by his father Aidan for Due Diligence, after Ryan Moore suffered a neck injury during an incident in the stalls at the July Festival on Thursday.
The results of scans are being awaited before the extent of his injury becomes clear.
On a weekend that jump jockey Brian Toomey returns after a near-death trauma, Moore's predicament is another reminder that Flat racing can be as dangerous as its sister sport.
Connor Beasley, who was airlifted to hospital after a horror fall at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, was yesterday reported by the Injured Jockeys Fund to have been removed from intensive care. Beasley fractured his skull and spine, as well as a sustaining a serious laceration around his ear.
"He had an operation on his skull and plates have been inserted," the IJF statement read of the 20-year-old.
"This fracture had caused a clot to his brain which has been removed. He also had successful plastic surgery to repair damage to his ear. It is hoped that his spine and neck injury will heal without further surgery.
"He is likely to remain in the Royal Stoke University Hospital for the next seven to 10 days." Toomey, a cousin of JT and Robbie McNamara, who have both suffered paralysis as a result of injuries sustained in falls, has defied the odds by being granted a licence again.
This time two years ago, the 26-year-old Manister, Co Limerick native spent two weeks in an induced coma and 157 nights in hospital, having been described by the paramedics who attended him as being dead for six seconds after a fall at Perth.
He incurred serious head injuries, requiring part of his skull to be removed and a titanium plate be inserted in his head.
At Southwell tomorrow, Toomey, whose comeback has been described as something of a miracle, returns in a selling hurdle aboard Kings Grey for Philip Kirby. As a likely odds-on shot, the 11-year-old might well win, but a safe conveyance is all any sane-minded spectator will be hoping for in light of Toomey's courageous recovery.
The Irish team in the July Cup is completed by Eddie Lynam's beaten Royal Ascot duo, Anthem Alexander and Sole Power.
"I have not done much with either since Ascot and have just tried to freshen them up, but they both seem very well," Lynam reported.
"Sole Power ran well in a very good July Cup two years ago, and though he has never won over six furlongs, he has finished in the frame in a Haydock Sprint Cup and been second in a Group One in Hong Kong over this trip.
"Anthem Alexander is trying to become the first three-year-old filly to win this since Habibti (1983), so it's a big ask for her and it looks hard for her to reverse Ascot form with Muhaarar. But she has twice been placed at Group One level so we felt that this is the right race for her."