Monday 20 January 2020

Glen shows Curragh sparkle

Gleneagles saw his Classic odds tumble after a smart turn of foot sealed the Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh on a day when Aidan O'Brien landed a four-timer.

Winner of the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last time out, Joseph O'Brien's mount stepped up to Group Two level with the minimum of fuss and was cut to 16-1 from 25-1 for the 2000 Guineas and Derby by Paddy Power.

Settled in third as Convergence cut out the running, O'Brien got a lovely gap on the rail two furlongs from home and the response from the 8-13 favourite was taking as he shot through it to put the race to bed, although Vert De Grece ran on well for the Joe Murphy stable to take second, three-quarters of a length back.

O'Brien snr said: "I'm delighted with that. He quickened up really well, but didn't do much in front. He had to move when the gap opened on the rail.

"He could possibly come back here for the National Stakes, but he has plenty of options. He has plenty of speed.

"He's a brother to Marvellous and a mile won't be a problem. He's able to change gears. He quickened up there and went two or three lengths up easily, but then started to idle."

The winning rider added: "When he gets there he just has a look, it wasn't ideal getting there so soon, but when I got a little split I had to go."

Raydara ran out a convincing winner of the Group Two Debutante Stakes for Mick Halford and Shane Foley in the familiar colours of the Aga Khan.

The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar had last been seen finishing fourth to Jack Naylor in the Silver Flash Stakes, with the reopposing Qualify in third.

Qualify hit the front two out on this occasion as Run The Red Light gave way, and the once-raced joint-favourite Lucida immediately gave chase, but she was soon joined by Raydara (11-1), who quickened in eyecatching fashion on the outside of the pack before scoring by half a length.

Halford said: "I'm thrilled with her. When she won her maiden she made the running after finding herself in front, but I thought we made a little bit too much use of her the last day. We're only learning about her.

"She got a break to freshen her up after that. We took her away to the Curragh the other day and she worked very well.

"Shane said she went up through the gears pretty good and he was delighted. She's a very smart filly. Today was a big test and she came through it well.

"I'll talk to Pat (Downes, stud manager for the Aga Khan) now and he'll discuss plans with his Highness. The Moyglare is the obvious target, but she does love it fast and she might have had enough for this year. She's had her four runs and this is the time of the season that fillies can start to go off."

PA Media

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