Saturday 25 November 2017

Ambassadorial debut takes the eye

'Michael Halford’s Ambassadorial left a lasting impression.' Photo: Sportsfile
'Michael Halford’s Ambassadorial left a lasting impression.' Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

On a rather mundane card at Dundalk, the impressive debut of Michael Halford's Ambassadorial left a lasting impression as the 10/1 shot defied a lack of market support to walk away with two-year-old maiden over seven furlongs.

The Godolphin-owned son of Elusive Quality was niggled along briefly early on, before Shane Foley got him back on the bridle turning into the straight.

The pair quickened up to lead at the furlong pole and the colt sprinted away from Thomas O'Malley to score by two and a half lengths.

The winning jockey believes there's much more to come. "He's still quite raw today, and was really only ready to start," said Foley. "The penny only dropped inside the final furlong."

Representing Godolphin, Jimmy Hyland of Kildangan Stud said: "He's a very green horse and Mick liked him at home. Fingers crossed he has a big future, and he could be a Classic contender for next year if he goes the right way. He'll probably want a mile."

Foley went on to complete a 43/1 double courtesy of a fifth course success for Shane Duffy's War Room, which ran away with the first division of the one-mile handicap.

Having travelled well just behind the leaders for much of the contest, the 3/1 joint-favourite quickened to the front approaching to beat Matriarch by four-and-a-quarter lengths.

The second division was also won by a course specialist as Six Silver Lane bounced back to form on his return to the all-weather venue to record his fifth win at the track.

The John Feane-trained charge battled it out with 4/1 favourite Reddot Express for much of the home straight, before Pat Smullen got Six Silver Lane's head in front inside the final half-furlong to record a half-length victory from the staying-on Specific Gravity which edged out Reddot Express for the runner-up spot.

There was a father and son success in the apprentice maiden over seven furlongs as Aidan and Donnacha O'Brien teamed up to land the spoils with Cenotaph which brushed aside his rivals with ease.

Sent off a well-supported even-money favourite, the War Front colt raced in mid-division before gradually making progress up the straight and hitting the front a furlong out to win by three and quarter lengths from Flowerhill Nova.

Irish Independent

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