Bebhinn shines for Prendergast on way to Fairyhouse feature
IT is easy to see why veteran Curragh trainer Kevin Prendergast holds Bebhinn in such high esteem after the talented juvenile filly defied a long absence to claim yesterday's Blenheim Stakes at Fairyhouse.
Second in an early-season maiden behind the ill-fated State Of Emergency, she made no mistake next time out at Navan afterwards.
Despite being off the track since April she showed no rustiness, travelling sweetly throughout for Chris Hayes just behind the leaders.
Kicked into a clear advantage well over a furlong out, Bebhinn started to tire close home - allowing Juliette Fair to close the gap to half a length but her superiority over the rest was far more clear-cut.
"That's why the boss is who he is," said Hayes of the 8/1 winner. "This has been the plan for the last six weeks. He could have been tempted with something higher.
"He told me to keep it simple and straightforward. She travelled with such ease and when I gave her a squeeze she blew up a furlong and a half out. Her class got her home.
"I don't know where she'll go but she's very exciting It's some training performance after that length of a break."
The in-form Mick Halford took the training honours as he teamed up with stable jockey Shane Foley for a first-and-last-race double.
The pair's 55/1 brace was initiated by the success of the promising Golden Pearl (7/1) which edged out fellow newcomer Clear Cut by a short head in the six-furlong maiden for juveniles.
Palavicini Run cut out the early running before being challenged by Aldo Raine early in the home straight, but this pair were overtaken by Clear Cut and Golden Pearl inside the final furlong. It proved a ding-dong tussle, but the latter just prevailed at the finish.
The Halford-Foley double was completed in the closing maiden by Chestnut Fire (6/1) which broke his duck at the fifth attempt - beating The Eyes Have It by three-parts of a length.