Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 8 December 2016

Curtis cashes in on missing Murtagh

Published 05/06/2011 | 05:00

Alayir and Dimona provided John Oxx and Ben Curtis with a short-priced double at Tramore in the colours of the Aga Khan.

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With usual pilot Johnny Murtagh in action at Epsom, Curtis was taking no chances on Alayir in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, going straight to the front and hugging the rail on the tight circuit.

The gelding, sent off the 4-6 favourite, was clear in the final furlong and won by three and a half lengths in untroubled fashion.

Dimona brought the best form into the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden after a promising second at Gowran last time, and she appreciated the step up to a mile and a half.

Pure Greed attempted to lead all the way, Ben Curtis swept past on the 4-9 favourite on the final bend and surged clear to win by five and a half lengths.

Willie Mullins has won a bumper and a maiden hurdle with Apt Manor (9-2) and he added a success on the level when the six-year-old took the Waterford & Tramore Directors Ladies Maiden.

Benefit Of Porter looked to have claimed a winning lead when driven clear, but she could not cope with Apt Manor's change of gear as a cool Ashling O'Brien delivered a late challenge to snatch the prize by a length and a quarter.

Bay Swallow repeated last year's victory in the August Festival 11th-14th Fillies Handicap with a battling triumph under Danny Grant. Pat Flynn's five-year-old, sent off a 7-1 chance, wore down Fammi Sognare in the final furlong to lead close home for a three-quarters of a length verdict.

Grant doubled up when Eoin Doyle's Beliar (5-2 favourite) led inside the final furlong in the www.tramore-racecourse.com Handicap and then dug deep to hold Fleeting Moment at bay by a head. The in-form Doyle also made it a double when Grand Cru (9-2) took the 'Tote Trifecta Rollover' Handicap under Billy Lee.

Meanwhile, the 'Dash' handicap on the Derby undercard at Epsom saw CaptainDunne (13/2) just last home. Narrowly beaten in this race two years ago and having missed the break 12 months ago, he pinged the stalls this time.

Making virtually all the running over the flying five furlongs, Tim Easterby's sprinter defied top weight in a blanket finish. The six-year-old was all out in the hands of David Allan as he hung on by a neck from his stable companion Confessional, with La Fortunatua a short head third.

"He's an extremely quick horse and this course just plays to his strengths. He's got so much speed you can't really fight him," said Allan. "I was gutted when he just got beaten at Longchamp the other week and it's about time he won a big one."

Sunday Indo Sport

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