Sunday 25 September 2016

Beresford record rounds off superb hat-trick for O'Brien

Thomas Kelly

Published 28/09/2015 | 02:30

The Manguard Plus Amateur Derby went the way of Willie Mullins as Katie Walsh booted Noble Inn clear for a comprehensive victory over Hurricane Sky
The Manguard Plus Amateur Derby went the way of Willie Mullins as Katie Walsh booted Noble Inn clear for a comprehensive victory over Hurricane Sky

Aidan O'Brien is determined to finish the season on a high, as evidenced by a superb 157/1 hat-trick which saw him equal Vincent O'Brien's record of 15 wins in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

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The Ballydoyle supremo fielded three runners in the feature in an attempt to emulate his predecessor's record and it was the least fancied of the trio - 14/1 shot Port Douglas - that got the job done in game fashion under Emmet McNamara.

An impressive winner on his Leopardstown debut but beaten twice since, Port Douglas was a 14/1 shot and looked booked for pacemaking duties after being rushed into an early lead.

The youngster looked set to give way when passed by Dermot Weld's 9/4 joint-favourite True Solitaire, but rallied strongly to get back up by a short-head.

The other market leader, the winner's stable companion Beacon Rock, came home with a rattle and was close behind in third place.

O'Brien reflected: "He's a tough horse and was a bit lazy last time so we put the blinkers on to keep him awake. He could go for the Racing Post Trophy and is a typical middle-distance horse.

"Beacon Rock ran well. He was a bit green but came home well, while I'd say Unicorn (seventh) is a bit weak and will be a better horse next year."

Port Douglas' success was the highlight of another fine afternoon for the champion trainer's team.

Coolmore (5/2) finished with a rattle under the son Joseph to claim the Group Three CL & MF Weld Park Stakes, reversing recent Leopardstown form with Mick Halford's runner-up Anamba.

A full-sister to Gleneagles, Coolmore was cut to 16/1 from 25/1 with RaceBets for the English 1,000 Guineas and also the Epsom Oaks.

"I'm delighted with that," said O'Brien. "I always thought she wanted to go a mile and she ran today to get more experience.

"She is crying out to go a mile this year. They went a good gallop and she came home well."

The Ballydoyle hat-trick was initiated by Hit It A Bomb (2/1 favourite), which made a winning debut in the seven-furlong maiden for juveniles under Ryan Moore who drove his mount to a neck victory over 50/1 long shot Agent Of Chaos.

Dermot Weld's Silwana denied Toe The Line a repeat of her 2014 victory in the Listed Loughbrown Stakes over two miles.

Pat Smullen's mount was sent off the 10/11 market leader to supplement her impressive handicap success on Irish Champions Weekend and ground out a gritty triumph, holding off Toe The Line by a neck after the latter had to wait for a gap to appear before making her challenge.

Lucrative

This completed a 33/1 double for the jockey who had earlier given Willie McCreery's Tylery Wonder (16/1) a fine ride to land the lucrative Joe McGrath Handicap over six furlongs.

The Manguard Plus Amateur Derby went the way of Willie Mullins as Katie Walsh booted Noble Inn (far left) clear for a comprehensive victory over Hurricane Sky. The 4/1 favourite was making his first competitive appearance since running over hurdles at the Punchestown Festival in May 2014.

The trainer's son Patrick Mullins said: "Katie gave him a good ride and was very cool. On his jumping form in Graded juvenile hurdles, he looked to have an attractive mark."

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