Saturday 26 May 2018

All smiles as Happy strikes

The Happy Prince isn't for catching at Naas
The Happy Prince isn't for catching at Naas

The Happy Prince turned in an admirable effort as he defied top weight in the Woodlands 100 Club Handicap at Naas.

Given a no-nonsense ride by Joseph O'Brien after assuming control from an early stage, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt answered every call in seeing off the persistent challenge of Penny Pepper by half a length.

The stable won the six-furlong affair 12 months ago with the high-class Due Diligence, who went on to be second to Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A son of Rip Van Winkle, The Happy Prince holds an assortment of Group One engagements.

"I wasn't sure about coming back to six furlongs, but he has plenty of speed," said the winning trainer of the 7-4 favourite.

"He's a little funny when he gets there. It was the same in Limerick as he swerved when he got there. Six or seven is probably his trip."

O'Brien snr followed up when the Seamie Heffernan-ridden Outstanding proved much too strong in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

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