Sruthan too strong in Gladness
Published 13/04/2014 | 18:47
The JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury is a potential next port of call for Sruthan after he made a winning return to action in the Big Bad Bob Gladness Stakes at the Curragh.
Paul Deegan's four-year-old was the 9-4 favourite to secure his second Group Three prize, having signed off his 2013 campaign with victory in Tipperary's Concorde Stakes in early October.
Custom Cut and Cristoforo Colombo took the field along, with Sruthan always handily placed in the hands of Chris Hayes.
Wearing a hood for the first time, Deegan's charge pulled clear in the closing stages to win by a length and a half from Custom Cut, with Wannabe Better only a nose away in third.
"He did it well. I always thought he was going to be a better horse this year," said Deegan.
"We'll stick to in and around a mile and he'll improve from that. He could go for a Group Two in France and there's the Lockinge as well.
"We'll see how he is. I haven't killed him for today as it's a long season."
Deegan and Hayes completed a double when Sruthan's half-brother Srucahan (4-1 favourite) lifted the Cunninghams Of Kildare Handicap.
Inis Meain (8-1) made all the running as he went one better than 12 months ago in the Irish Field Alleged Stakes.
The Denis Hogan-trained seven-year-old was last seen winning a handicap hurdle at Navan in February and transferred that form to the level with a gutsy performance.
Danny Mullins set out to make it a true test on Barry Connell's gelding, who kept pulling out more in the closing stages to hold Tarana by two and a half lengths, with last year's winner Parish Hall a never nearer third.
Hogan said: "He was fit from hurdling although the worry was the trip was a bit sharp today. You'd expect him to be a bit better over a longer distance.
"It was a last-minute decision to come here and the original plan was to go for a two-mile-six-furlong handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse.
"He'll still get an entry for that, but it may come a bit quick and he could go instead for a three-mile handicap hurdle at Punchestown."
Royal Ascot could be on the horizon for Newsletter (100-30) after she made successful debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Shane Foley brought Ken Condon's daughter of Sir Percy through to score by two and a three-quarter lengths from Splashtop.
"She's just been on grass once and has only done five half speeds, but she's been a natural from the start," said Condon.
"She's got a very good attitude and Royal Ascot is on the agenda.
"The plan is to go for the Listed race at Naas before that.
"She's smart and hopefully she can keep progressing."
David Wachman's Booker (9-4 joint-favourite), runner-up on her only start last season, went one better with a cosy success under Fran Berry in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
"We liked her last year but didn't get to run her again as she pulled muscles. We'll look at Stakes races with her now," said Wachman.
Berry completed a quickfire double when forcing the Tony Martin-trained Thomas Edison (7-2) up in the last stride to pip Little Rocky by a nose in the War Horse At The Curragh Raceday Handicap.
Martin said: "He's been knocking on the door for quite a while.
"We'll see how he comes out of this and we'll find another handicap.
"It could be over hurdles or on the Flat."
Sinkal (2-1) made a winning debut for the formidable combination of Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen in the concluding Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.