'Fame' has to work for Navan triumph
Fame And Glory had to work a shade harder than might have been expected when emerging victorious in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.
Despite his 2/9 starting price, Aidan O'Brien's four-time Group One winner needed plenty of encouragement to secure Listed honours for new jockey Jamie Spencer.
Tackling this one-mile-five-furlong trip for the first time, Fame And Glory only got on top of Fictional Account inside the final 500 yards -- after which Nebula Storm came with a late rattle under Johnny Murtagh.
O'Brien's entire still held on by a fast-diminishing half a length.
Now running in the colours of Fitri Hay, Fame And Glory follows in the hoofprints of the O'Brien-trained Yeats, which won this race in 2007 and 2008.
O'Brien was, however, perfectly satisfied, and earmarked three possible races for the son of Montjeu.
"I'm happy with that and he'll come on plenty from it," he said.
"There are three races we're looking at for him -- the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh over 10 furlongs, the Coronation Cup (at Epsom) over a mile and a half, and the Saval Beg (at Leopardstown) over a mile and three-quarters. Depending on which one he goes for, it will dictate what his plans are for the year."
Jessica Harrington's Siren's Song (5/1) then hit full throttle in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes.
With Ballydoyle pacemaker Spin having set off at a furious gallop, the Jessica Harrington-trained filly slowly cranked up the gears along the outside of the field.
Runner-up Asheerah led passing the one-furlong marker, but Fran Berry's mount picked up pleasingly to win by a length and a half.
O'Brien's Gemstone was disappointing, while Kirinda, the 6/4 favourite, finished third.
Siren's Song was graduating from a humble maiden at Leopardstown in which she finished second.
"She's entered in the English and Irish Oaks and we'll look for another 10-furlong race for her next," Harrington said.
Positive tactics gained handsome dividends for Chris Hayes when Lechevalier Choisi claimed the opener.
Hayes did a fine job in bustling his partner towards the head of affairs of the Irish Racing Calendar Maiden, and seldom looked like being overtaken.
The 5/1 shot lengthened his advantage inside the final furlong and had four lengths in reserve over Still Point at the line.
Trainer Jim McCabe said: "He's a good horse and looks a nice sprinter.
"We'll look at a Listed event next, but we'll see what the handicapper does."
Maarek then relished a drop in distance to justify 5/1 favouritism in the Navan Chairman Handicap.
David Nagle's four-year-old was in his element over this five and a half furlongs, having previously been campaigned over a mile at Limerick.
The breaks came at the right time for Wayne Lordan's mount, which glided into the lead approaching the final furlong to score convincingly.
Lordan made a swift return to the winner's enclosure when Fire Lily (5/2) recorded a pleasing debut success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
The Michael Tabor-owned filly bisected Danziger and An Ghalanta inside the final 50 yards to win an informative heat by a length and a quarter for trainer David Wachman.
Kevin Prendergast's Spirit Of Cuba (8/1) defied top weight in the Family Day Handicap, while the John Oxx-trained Zanughan (2/5 fav) eased home in the concluding Dunderry Maiden.
Oxx, who also saddled the runner-up, Wakhan, said of the impressive winner: "I'll probably put him in a good race now and see where I stand with him."
- Willie Twiston-Davies faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg at Stratford yesterday.
The young jockey fell from Battlecry when the 10-year-old gelding slipped up in the Bet totepool At totesport.com Hunters' Chase.