Shareen clings on in Gowran battle
Shareen showed plenty of guts to defy the late thrust of She's Our Mark in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes at Gowran yesterday.
Narrowly denied by Obama Rule in a Curragh Group Three last month, John Oxx's three-year-old secured her first success at that level with a gutsy performance. Always prominent under Niall McCullagh, the 9/1 shot traded early blows with Miss Laa Di Da before making a break for home at the top of the straight.
Although she drifted across the track, Shareen kept finding a little extra to account for her long-time rival, but She's Our Mark was determined to have her say. The 7/4 favourite made a late lunge inside the distance but she just could not edge out the game Shareen, which clung on by a short head.
"Niall only gets himself off the cold list on Group or Listed winners for the Aga Khan! He rode Karasiyra to win the Lenebane Stakes at Roscommon in July," Slim O'Neill, representing Oxx, said. "We were worried about the ground but she is very very tough and consistent. That was the plan so I don't know what's in the future for her but it is great to win a Group race with her."
Out of luck at Ascot, Aidan O'Brien had better luck with Pirateer at the Co Kilkenny venue. Pirateer beat the unlucky-in-running Treasure Beach (third in the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at Ascot earlier in the day behind the most impressive Frankel) at Listowel but there was no disputing his authority in the I.T.B.A. (South East Region) European Breeders Fund Nursery.
Joseph O'Brien always had the top-weight on the gallop and he battled tenaciously to see off Defining Year by three parts of a length.
At Navan, meanwhile, there was a double for Ruby Walsh but Davy Condon went one better with a hat-trick of wins.
In the day's feature, the Le Grande Steeplechase, Chicago Grey showed his quality to pip longtime leader Sarteano. Sarteano made a bold bid from the front to make all and it looked like he still had plenty in the tank at the business end of the race but Condon conjured a great finish from Chicago Grey to capture the valuable prize.
"He has to go left handed. I am looking at Tipperary or Cheltenham next for him. That was a good winner for Davy who rides out for us," said trainer Gordon Elliott.
Condon was also on the mark in the opener Oneeightofamile landed the opening 30 runner maiden hurdle at Navan in good style for Kiely.
The five-year-old gelding came with a tremendous run after the last to collar leader Meitheamh and won by three lengths going away.
The Plan Zee Syndicate confirmed that the horse was fancied and had been backed though they had missed the early 20/1 about the 10/1 winner. The 9/10 favourite Drumfire was a length back in third.
Condon completed his treble when 2/1 joint favourite Realt Dubh won the Kells Beginners' Chase.
Ruby Walsh proved the master of timing once again as he reeled in long-time leaders Casey Top and Lucy Stone to win by four lengths on board Sivota, the 5/2 second favourite in the Albany Hurdle.
Earlier, Kiely saw his hot favourite Araucaria (4/5) win the mares maiden hurdle as Walsh also swooped late to pip Model County Lass by three parts of a length.