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Zoff's safe hands fasten O'Brien's grip on Tyros

Zoffany gave Ballydoyle maestro Aidan O'Brien a third successive Korean Racing Authority Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown yesterday evening.

The seven-furlong event has a rich recent tradition following on from Teofilo in 2006 and New Approach in 2007, then O'Brien's Rip Van Winkle in 2008 and stablemate Cape Blanco 12 months ago.

Johnny Murtagh had an armchair ride on the 1/7 favourite, tracking pacemaker High Ruler on a tight rein before striding easily on a furlong out for a two-length verdict over his stablemate.

Whether the Dansili colt can emulate the exploits of his Tyros predecessors is a matter for debate, but there is no doubting the once-beaten two-year-old is going the right way after his sixth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

William Hill left Zoffany unchanged at 25/1 for next year's 2000 Guineas.

Murtagh said: "He travelled very well, the ground wasn't ideal but he got through it and he's a smart horse."

Course specialist Famous Name revelled in the ease underfoot as he gave a stone and a beating to Steinbeck in the Jockey Club of Turkey Meld Stakes.

Dermot Weld's five-year-old always looked to have matters in hand under Pat Smullen and asserted after the turn for home before stretching two and a half lengths ahead of the O'Brien runner, the pair well clear of the third.

The 4/6 favourite was winning for the fifth time at Leopardstown.

Weld said: "He's probably the most consistent Group-performing horse in Europe, that's his ninth win and he remains unbeaten this year.

"He's an absolute joy to train and the ground conditions were ideal for him, and when conditions are right he is extremely hard to beat.

"He's better than ever and Pat said the same, he's better as a five-year-old.

"He's a very high class horse and we'll discuss plans with Lord Grimthorpe (owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager).

"We'll keep an open mind and look at races in France, in particular the Prix Jacques le Marois. We'll also look at the Arlington Million. Ground conditions are important, he needs an ease in the ground."


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