O'Brien runs into trouble on Easterby Raider as Great Minds strikes for Stack and Lordan
AN eventful feature event at Cork yesterday, the Listed Cork Stakes, produced a stewards' inquiry and a fine performance from the winner Great Minds from the Tommy Stack stable.
Joseph O'Brien never looked particularly happy on the visiting hot favourite, Aetna, here as last year's winner An Saighdiur cut out the pace in the six-furlong contest.
O'Brien, who suffered a fall at the last when riding over hurdles for his father Aidan at Fairyhouse on Sunday, went for a run on the rail on Mick Easterby's raider, inside the pacesetter, under two furlongs out.
Any space that was there soon closed and Aetna suffered bad interference in her bid for victory.
Meanwhile, it appeared the hood was a bit late coming off 2013 victor Bold Thady Quill in the stalls, and he missed the break.
Ken Condon's grand old campaigner eventually did stay on for the second spot, a short head up on An Saighdiur, but he was never threatening two-and-a-half-length scorer, the Terry Corden-owned, Stack-trained Great Minds, ridden by Wayne Lordan.
The successful chestnut travelled well throughout before assuming command a furlong and a half out on the way to a convincing win.
Aetna's trouble in running resulted in a stewards' inquiry but the placings remained unaltered.
Meanwhile, 25/1 chance Roryslittlesister landed the Cork Racecourse Handicap under Niall McCullagh.
In the familiar Eugene Kavanagh silks, McCullagh got the Shane Duffy-trained Captain Rio mare, equipped with a first-time tongue-strap, home by half a length from Enter The Red.
"She shows us bags of toe, and lots of ability at home, but she wasn't letting herself down at Dundalk," explained Duffy. "I ran her there to get experience as she was late in life being broken and getting to the races. Mentally she needed that. She is a progressive filly and it's onwards and upwards now."
Earlier, Athas An Bhean proved a pretty convincing winner of the opening Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden, beating her fellow trio of newcomers at Cork, in the hands of Fran Berry.
Chris Hayes didn't get an 'out' when he needed it aboard the favourite, Jealous Beauty, but in the end she went down by four lengths to Adrian Keatley's 4/1 victor.
"She had been working well at home. She'd worked well on horrible ground at the Curragh and was the right type for this time of year. She's small and strong and I thought she was the only one (of the four runners) that had come in her coat," revealed Keatley.
"She likes that ground, has a good attitude and we'll try to get black-type with her in the Marygate Stakes at York on May 15."