Thursday 8 December 2016

Smullen and Mullins take Gowran prize with Laviniad

Thomas Kelly

Published 22/06/2015 | 02:30

Snow Sky powers clear under Pat Smullen at Royal Ascot on Saturday
Snow Sky powers clear under Pat Smullen at Royal Ascot on Saturday

Fresh from gracing the winner's enclosure at Royal Ascot on Tuesday, Willie Mullins rounded off yet another successful week by sending out his Laviniad to claim the featured seven-furlong handicap at Gowran Park.

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The Closutton supremo landed the two-and-a-half-mile handicap on Ascot's opening day after an inspired ride from Ryan Moore aboard Clondaw Warrior, and yesterday teamed up with another from the Ascot weigh-room Smullen.

Dermot Weld's stable jockey rode some of his illustrious rivals ragged on Saturday when giving the Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky a brilliant ride from the front to land the Hardwicke Stakes, and while he didn't have to be on top of his game aboard Laviniad, Smullen did all the simple things right.

The Offaly native had the 9/4 in the box-seat from the minute the stalls opened as he positioned Laviniad immediately behind leader Hes Our Music. Pat Flynn's frontrunner tried to kick for home at the two-furlong pole, but Smullen's mount soon quickened past and asserted close home for a two-and-a-half-length victory.

Smullen had to settle for the runner-up berth in the opening juvenile maiden as Hoppala had no answer to the pace of Aidan O'Brien's heavily-backed 1 /4 hotpot Air Vice Marshal which was barely out of second gear

Having kept on for third on his debut at the Curragh, Joseph O'Brien's mount relished the step up to seven furlongs and proved much too strong in the closing stages to record a two-and-a-half-length success.

O'Brien decided to withdraw Royal Navy Ship from closing conditions event over an extended nine furlongs and this handed the Ger Lyons-trained Lat Hawill with the perfect opportunity to return to winning ways.

Formerly in the care of Marco Botti, the Qatar Racing-owned four-year-old was installed even-money favourite to defeat his two rivals and the son of Invincible Spirit showed a good attitude to fend off the challenge of Clonard Street by three parts of a length after hitting the front a furlong out.

However, it was David Wachman who took the training honours courtesy of a 11/1 double which was initiated by the victory of the JP McManus-owned Gussy Goose (3/1) in the seven-furlong maiden.

Enough Is Enough set a strong early pace but early in the straight the leader was overtaken by Frozen Lake, before Fran Berry unleashed Wachman's filly at the furlong pole and Gussy Goose quickened smartly to pull three lengths clear.

Wachman completed his quick-fire brace just half an hour later when Wardell powered home under Wayne Lordan to justify 2/1 favouritism in the BBQ Evening August 12th Handicap - sprinting two-and-a-quarter lengths clear of The Fairy.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained Social Climber (2/1) gave in-form jockey Chris Hayes another winner when getting up late to get the better of Brown Bee by two-and-a-quarter lengths in extended nine-furlong handicap, Kevin Manning guided Jim Gorman's Snap Click (9/2fav) to a length-and-a-quarter verdict over Dixie Highway in the one-mile handicap.

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