Tuesday 26 September 2017

Idaho enters Derby picture after stylish Curragh debut

Aidan O'Brien's son of Galileo is a full brother to stablemate and Secretariat Stakes winner Highland Reel and looks to possess plenty of his sibling's ability
Aidan O'Brien's son of Galileo is a full brother to stablemate and Secretariat Stakes winner Highland Reel and looks to possess plenty of his sibling's ability

Thomas Kelly

Well-bred Ballydoyle colt Idaho was given a quote of 25/1 for the Epsom Derby after making an impressive debut in a juvenile maiden over a mile at the Curragh.

Aidan O'Brien's son of Galileo is a full brother to stablemate and Secretariat Stakes winner Highland Reel and looks to possess plenty of his sibling's ability.

Sent off 4/1 yesterday against several rivals which had the benefit of experience, the result was never in doubt once Joseph O'Brien asked him for an effort entering the final furlong. The debutant drew impressively clear, beating Theodorico by three-and-a-half lengths, with the odds-on favourite Munaashid third.

Impressive

"We thought he'd come on nicely for the run but he was impressive," said O'Brien Jnr. "You'd imagine he should stay (over further). The ground was lovely and he's a very nice colt

"They went a nice, even pace for a maiden and I always felt I had them covered - he found plenty for pressure. He's a very nice colt and doesn't need to run again this season."

O'Brien Snr added: "We thought he was ready to run and he's been there a while. Obviously it was his first time away. He's in the Racing Post and the two Group Ones in Saint Cloud.

"We'll see how things go and see how he progresses.

"It looks like he'll make a nice middle-distance horse next year."

Champion-elect Pat Smullen left the track with a 44/1 double, though the in-form rider was helped by the stewards.

The Offaly native's first success was for his 'boss' Dermot Weld in the opening fillies maiden over seven furlongs, in which Raymonda (4/1) showed a good attitude on her debut.

A half-sister to Brooch and Caponata, the Khalid Abdullah-owned filly overcame a wide draw to take up the running over a furlong out and beat Twin Falls by almost three lengths.

Smullen's brace was completed in the sprint handicap aboard David Marnane's Oliveraie (8/1) which finished a half-length behind original winner Clear Focus.

However, the latter carried Oliveraie to the left and gave it a bump, so it was no surprise when the placing were reversed by the stewards.

The action at headquarters concluded for the season with the Pat Flynn-trained Mademoiselle Penny (16/1) beating 26 other rivals under Leigh Roche in the closing 12-furlong handicap.

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