Thursday 29 September 2016

Zannda stars in Smullen treble

Thomas Kelly

Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30

Pat Smullen was the man to follow at Cork where the in-form rider landed an 11/1 treble
Pat Smullen was the man to follow at Cork where the in-form rider landed an 11/1 treble

Pat Smullen was the man to follow at Cork where the in-form rider landed an 11/1 treble, spearheaded by Zannda's gutsy victory for Dermot Weld in the featured Give Thanks Stakes.

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It needed all of Smullen's strength to get the most out of Zannda as the 11/4 co-favourite fought off a renewed effort from Altesse in an exciting finish to the Group Three over a mile and a half.

Altesse had galloped into a commanding lead at the top of the home straight but the Aga Khan-owned filly came with a storming run in the final furlong and battled well to get the verdict by a head.

Kris Weld, the trainer's son and assistant, said: "We were hoping for more rain for Zannda but she handled it nicely and Pat was very happy with her. She'll go for the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend."

Smullen added: "We got there sooner than ideal and while she wouldn't want the ground any quicker, the step to a mile and a half was ideal.

"She's like a lot of the Aga Khan horses and put her head down and battled and tries hard - that's what you need."

Earlier, Eshera struck for the Weld team in the Listed Platinum stakes and Smullen believes she could develop into a Group-race horse after she held off Wychwood Warrior by a head.

"The lack of experience against older horses nearly got her beat but the penny did drop and her raw ability came out in the last 100 yards," Smullen said of the 5/4 favourite.

"I think she'll progress and hopefully will step up to Group Three now and another furlong might not go astray."

Smullen was also on the mark in the opening juvenile maiden for Joseph Murphy as 2/5 hotpot Only Mine made all the running to comfortably justify her place at the head of the market.

The jockey was denied a four-timer in the finale when Colin Keane got Garrett Power's Annadiamond up in the final strides to beat Glendaars Best.

Irish Independent

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