Saturday 7 December 2019

Cape backers just in the Clear

There was nearly an almighty shock in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Fairyhouse with long odds-on favourite Cape Clear Island clinging on by a nose from Windsor Beach.

Aidan O'Brien's Cape Clear Island had been a beaten market leader twice already but that did not stop punters piling in, forcing his price into 1-5 at the off.

All looked to be going smoothly for Joseph O'Brien as he kicked clear well over a furlong out, but his mount proved awkward, first veering to his left and hampering Baldonnel, and then as Windsor Beach came with a rattling run from the rear Cape Clear Island edged towards him.

Favourite-backers initially had to endure a wait to hear if he was first past the post, which he was by a nose, and then a lengthy discussion by the stewards but the placings remained unaltered.

The John Oxx newcomer Looper made a highly encouraging debut in third.

Cape Clear Island is entered in the Phoenix and the National Stakes later in the season.

"I think he's better than he's showed so far. I'd get there later if I could do it again," said Joseph O'Brien of the winner.

He went on: "He just got beaten at the Curragh but the winner (Accepted) went on to win a Listed race at Tipperary yesterday and he is entitled to go up in class now."

The good run of form from the Ger Lyons stable continued as Greek Canyon battled back gamely to land the Lyrath Estate Hotel & Spa Summer Ladies Day Handicap.

Always up with the pace, he looked like being swallowed up a furlong out as Invincible Ridge and Kiss The Stars headed him.

Colin Keane refused to accept defeat on the five-year-old and to his credit he fought back to lead on the line to beat Kiss The Stars by a short head.

"He's fair genuine. He won four last year when we needed winners and that's our 30th this season," said Lyons.

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