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Kissed shows Classic claims

KISSED was a major mover in the ante-post markets for the Investec Oaks after an easy win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

Having made a winning debut at the track last October, the three-year-old was sent off 2-5 favourite when stepped up in distance and class for her comeback and could not have been more impressive.

The trainer's son Joseph O'Brien (pictured) was happy to give his mount her head from the off in the testing conditions and she had her opponents in trouble rounding the home bend.

The jockey barely had to move a muscle as Kissed breezed further and further clear to register an eight-and-a -half-length triumph over Aaraas.

Paddy Power and Stan James cut the winner to 5-1 from 8-1 for the Investec Oaks at Epsom on June 1, making her a clear second in the ante-post betting behind her stablemate Maybe, who is heading for next weekend's 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The winning rider said: "She's very uncomplicated and she's a lovely, big, scopey mare. She's got a great attitude too.

"You'd have to be delighted with her performance as she jumped and travelled and never looked like she was going to get in trouble. It was slow ground out there and she got a little bit tired, so hopefully she can improve. Her brother won the Derby last year, so you'd have to be hopeful she would handle the track (if she went to Epsom).

"It would be premature to say if anything was going to Epsom or not. With natural improvement, you'd like to think she could become that kind of a filly.

"Until she runs on faster ground we won't really know if she'll act on it."

The father-and-son combination enjoyed further success as 4-6 favourite Athens also made all the running in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race.

Johnny Murtagh, Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan all enjoyed a fine afternoon with doubles on the card.

Murtagh got punters off to a great start as Ger Lyons-trained 15-8 favourite Watsdachances confirmed her promise with a six-length win in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The trainer's brother Shane Lyons said: "She's improved no end from her run at Cork and she's a tough filly.

"Johnny was very impressed. He thought beforehand that she could be Listed placed but now he thinks that she could win a Listed race.

"She could go for something like the Marble Hill Stakes now and she had to do it the hard way from the front there. She galloped all the way to the line, though."

Murtagh struck later for his boss the Aga Khan and trainer John Oxx as Karatash (100-30) made a fine start to his career in the Dunderry Maiden.

Oxx's representative, Jimmy O'Neill, said: "Johnny said the track woke him up as he's quite lazy and laid-back at home. He'll go on better ground and we'll stick at this trip with him."

Following a couple of good runs in defeat, Stack's Atacx made it third time lucky in the Irish Racing Calendar Maiden. The 9-10 favourite picked up well for Lordan to beat Legal Peace by a length and a quarter.

Stack and Lordan completed their brace as 9-2 favourite Equity Swap landed the Family Day Handicap.

Unaccompanied (9-10 favourite) once again showed her versatility in the closing navanracecourse.ie Race.


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