Friday 26 May 2017

Frontier has final say as O'Brien scores in Navan

Frontier upstaged stablemate Thomasgainsborough to continue Aidan O'Brien's domination of the thetote.com/mobile Maiden at Navan yesterday.

The Ballydoyle trainer has won the corresponding contest over a mile with the likes of Fame And Glory in 2008 and Recital 12 months ago.

And Frontier (7/2) joined the band by opening his account in testing conditions with a neck verdict over Light Heavy, with Thomasgainsborough, the 5/4 favourite, two and a quarter lengths away in third.

Colm O'Donoghue was on the winner, who had finished sixth on his debut 10 days earlier, while Seamus Heffernan was on the beaten market leader.

O'Donoghue said: "He improved a lot for the run at the Curragh and he stuck at it well here. Hopefully he'll keep improving and be a nice horse next year."

Meanwhile, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, the young Qatari racing enthusiast behind Qipco's sponsorship of the British Champions Series, awoke yesterday to news that he owns the new favourite for the Melbourne Cup.

Dunaden, trained in France for him by Mikel Dezangles, had won the Geelong Cup after being launched on a run around the outside of the entire field by jockey Craig Williams. He is now expected to pick up a small penalty for his main objective -- a 1lb increase is expected -- but the manner of this victory suggested he is the one to beat at Flemington on November 1.

The Geelong Cup, run over a mile and a half at Port Phillip Bay, 45 miles from Melbourne, has served foreign raiders well in the past. Media Puzzle and Americain both won on their way to Melbourne Cup glory while the Luca Cumani-trained Bauer won it prior to being just touched off by Viewed in the 2008 running of the Cup.

l Dream Ahead has been retired to Ballylinch Stud following a wonderful year in which his won the July Cup and Prix de la Foret.

Irish Independent

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