Wildcat bears his claws to land Leopardstown heat for Lyons
Tennessee Wildcat battled on gamely to land the Copper Face Jacks Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown last night.
All eyes were on John Oxx's My Titania, which had run so well in last year's Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, but she ruined her chance by refusing to settle in the early stages of the race.
Captain Joy made a bold bid from the front under Pat Smullen but the Ger Lyons-trained Tennessee Wildcat, the outsider of the field at 7/1, reeled him him to win by three-quarters of a length under Colin Keane.
Brendan Brackan, a stablemate of the winner, was third.
"Colin gave him a peach of a ride - he's riding out of his skin," said Lyons.
"Since we've stepped him up to a mile he hasn't looked back. He's in great order and loved the ground.
"It's great for Sean (Jones, owner) and great to be involved in these kind of races.
"We brought him to the sales and couldn't get 70,000. Since we've stepped him up he's paid us back and is a lovely horse to have now.
"It wasn't ideal for Brendan (Brackan). We didn't want to make the pace as he was pacemaker in Newmarket and was a bit free the last time.
"We decided to drop him in and the way Andrea (Atzeni) rode him will set him up for something nice at the end of the year on a bit juicier ground."
Smullen went on better on Dermot Weld's newcomer Tanaza (2/1 favourite) which looked very smart in winning the opening fillies maiden over seven furlongs - beating Minding by two and a half lengths.
"She was just a little immature and green in the early stages. When she got the hang of things she came home extremely well," said Weld.
"We ran today as it set her up nicely for the Silver Flash next month.
"The Group Three is the logical way to go. She has plenty of stamina in her pedigree but is not short of pace either.