Caught set for bright future
Well Caught appears a filly bound for bigger and better things after justifying her trainer's faith by making a winning debut at Dundalk.
Paul Deegan, who has had enough good horses pass through his hands in recent years to know what one is, revealed after the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Auction Maiden that Well Caught had shown more than enough at home to suggest she was capable of making a winning start.
Sent off at 7-2 in the hands of Conor Hoban, the daughter of Zoffany was never too far off the speed and quickened up well in the last of five furlongs to score by a length and three-quarters from fellow newcomer Go Kart.
Deegan is not ruling out a tilt at the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh next weekend for his exciting youngster.
"She's always showed loads and we've always thought she was smart - one of the better ones," said the trainer.
"She's not just a five-furlong filly. She'll be better suited by six and maybe seven.
"The five today was a bit of a concern with the draw and her lack of experience, but Conor said it's a long time since he had one pick up as well.
"I was half tempted that if she ran well she would take her chance in the Debutante and things might not change. She might run."
Hoban completed a double in the most valuable event of the afternoon as the lightly-raced Intisari (12-1) ran away with the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund "Red God" Handicap.
The Ger Lyons-trained gelding arrived off the back of just two runs, including a last-time-out victory at Navan, and despite showing signs of his inexperience once hitting the front he was four lengths too good for the runner-up Royal Navy Ship.
Lyons said: "It was one of those calls, was I doing the right thing sending a boy to do a man's job? Thankfully he was up to it.
"That was Conor's first ever ride for me. The one thing I did say to him was to be careful about hitting the front too soon as he's as green as grass. I thought it was very impressive from a baby and I'm delighted.
"I won this with Saxo Jack (in 2013) and he's every bit as good as him. I'm not sure if he's quite as good as Fiery Lad (won in 2008) yet but he's earned the right to stay on the team.
"I would say that's him out of handicaps now after that performance."
French Blue made a smart introduction in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden.
Carrying the Godolphin silks, the 5-1 shot was four and a quarter lengths too strong for favourite Way To My Heart under Billy Lee.
Winning trainer Willie McCreery said: "She's a little bit leery at home so we stuck a hood on. She's a grand filly but is just very green at home.
"With the way the ground has been I hadn't the chance to get her away from home and was a bit worried about that, but Billy gave her a lovely kind ride.
"She's a little bit hot at home and the lads have done a good job with her. I'm delighted.
"Billy thought she'd stay a mile and she really quickened away from them there."
The Andrew Slattery-trained Sors got his season back on track in the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Rated Race.
The 15-2 chance had been largely disappointing since winning at Ireland's sole all-weather venue last September, but showed the ability is still there with a half-length victory over Prince Connoisseur.
Slattery said: " He got gelded earlier in the year and had a hard time. He's only recovering now.
"He was a bit wrong at the weights today. I'm beginning to think he's a sprinter. He doesn't work like a sprinter - he's lazy.
"He's back to somewhere near his best and hopefully there is more to come."
Balmont Mast was competing at Group One level last year and swooped late to land the Bar One Racing Mourne Handicap for trainer Edward Lynam and jockey Oisin Orr.
It was a fourth winner for the 17-year-old apprentice from Donegal.
He said: " He stuck at it well and he still had a bit in hand.
"He was just trying to lug in behind the other horse but he picked up well and won nicely."