Rostropovich rallies to show his class
The Aidan O'Brien-trained juvenile Rostropovich bounced back from a disappointing debut to claim the opening seven-furlong maiden at Gowran Park yesterday.
The 5/6 favourite, which was only seventh at Leopardstown last month, raced much closer to the pace in this and although the son of Frankel took a while to pick up the front-running Medal Of Honour, he eventually got on top and scored by half a length.
Jockey Seamie Heffernan said: "Ryan (Moore) liked him the first day and Aidan said he'd come on plenty, so we were hoping for him to run well and he did.
"It wasn't a typical Irish race in that we went nice to halfway and then we were racing and I knew I had the better of the horse on my inside (Medal Of Honour).
"I don't think he has yet been asked if he's a speed horse or stayer so I'm not sure about his trip, but seven furlongs or a mile should be no problem to him."
The Ballydoyle supremo followed up when Spanish Steps destroyed his rivals in the maiden over nine and a half furlongs.
Donnacha O'Brien sent the 11/10 favourite to the front after travelling a couple of furlongs and had the opposition on the stretch almost half a mile from the finish before he strolled home 10 lengths ahead of Dawn Choir.
Joseph O'Brien got in on the act when Remember The Days (7/2) took the Follow Us On Facebook Handicap.
Donnacha O'Brien was again in the saddle and had to be at his strongest to see off Modern Approach by a head.The successful trainer said: "He had been running consistently well up until the last day when he was disappointing at Navan, but the trip and track suited him.
"He's a tough horse and we'll see what the handicapper does now as I hadn't thought further than today."
JJ Feane's Not A Bad Oul Day registered his third victory at the venue with an all-the-way win in the seven-furlongh handicap. The 9/2 chance was tasting success for the fourth time in his last five appearances, with the other run resulting in a solid second.
Tennessee Wildcat (11/4) ended a two-year drought in the Golf Societies Welcome Race, but only just.
Colin Keane crept quietly into contention on Ger Lyons' seven-year-old, who perhaps didn't find as much as expected as leader Sir Edwin Landseer stuck to his guns, but he found enough to prevail by a short head.