Bahrain can Storm to glory
Family fun is the theme for the second stage of Killarney's August festival, with a trip to Disneyland Paris to be won by one young race-goer, while the focus on the track is on some well-known dual stars bidding for the featured Kingdom Gold Cup.
Struggling top weight Deutschland plus Bahrain Storm and Alpine Eagle, which have been prospering under both codes, take on penalised Galway scorers Admiral Barry and Easy Mate, as well as hat-trick seeker Prince Chaparral and Ballinrobe winner Myrine.
Myrine, a daughter of Sadler's Wells, goes into premier handicap company for this Tote promotion on a mark of 98 that might leave Jim Bolger's charge vulnerable to more battle-hardened performers such as Bahrain Storm, Alpine Eagle and Admiral Barry.
Admiral Barry, which overhauled top weight Mount Helicon as they dominated the big amateur handicap at Ballybrit, is closely matched here with Alpine Eagle, which pipped Tom Hogan's English import over tonight's route before they both obliged over obstacles at Sligo.
But marginal preference is for Bahrain Storm, which is weighted to reverse pre-Galway Curragh placings with Admiral Barry. He lost little caste in defeat to Overturn in the Guinness Hurdle at Ballybrit and is preferred to Prince Chaparral. Admiral Barry's smart apprentice pilot Joseph O'Brien will hardly leave the Kerry course empty-handed, as his father Aidan's Galileo-sired Luxurious is napped to recoup Curragh losses at the third time of asking in the opening juvenile fillies maiden.
Unable to match stable companion Spin for a finishing kick in the closing stages at headquarters, Luxurious won't be inconvenienced by the slightly longer distance now and can cope with Jim Bolger's Gowran Park debut third File And Paint.
Highly creditable second placings at Galway also highlight the chances tonight of Elusive Art in the Cork Bar & Catering Handicap and Armaramak -- just denied by a revitalised Beau Michael there -- when tackling a longer trip in the Jameson Novice Chase.
At Killarney last night, Aidan O'Brien's well-touted Steinbeck got back on track when recording his second career win by landing the Vincent O'Brien Ruby Stakes Listed Race in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.
The Ballydoyle colt took up the lead over a furlong and a half out and stayed on well to record a length-and-three-parts win over Ask Jack.
Winning jockey Heffernan said afterwards: "He deserved to win like that; he has been showing us plenty at home and hopefully that was a confidence booster for him."
Dermot Weld's well-bred Photo Opportunity justified favouritism by winning the opening maiden on his racecourse debut. Pat Smullen had the half-brother to Famous Name in front from over two furlongs out and the pair kept on well close home to hold off Swing Pattern by half a length.
Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan combined to take the EBF Nursery with Cambina, which recorded her second success at the track when edging out Act Of Love by half a length.
The Tracey Collins-trained Prince Jock followed up on his recent win at Ballinrobe when taking the Easy Clean Ltd Handicap under Pat Shanahan.