Blackstairmountain to go west
SMART jumper Blackstairmountain will head next to the Galway Plate after making a successful return to the Flat at Bellewstown last night for the father and son team of Willie and Patrick Mullins.
The seven-year-old -- which won his maiden at Ballybrit back in July 2009 -- is better known for his exploits over hurdles and fences, and the 4/9 hotpot had no problem landing the spoils in the Meath Farm Machinery Race for Qualified Riders.
Held up in the early stages, the market leader didn't let down his supporters as he took up the running over a furlong out and cruised clear to win easily by 10 lengths from Asiya.
Winning rider Patrick Mullins said afterwards: "He is just a class above. He is very consistent. He goes for the Galway Plate now, which has been a lucky race for the owners (who won it last year with Blazing Tempo) and he will take a bit of beating there."
Earlier, favourite backers got off to the perfect start as Scream Blue Murder struck for Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan in the opening juvenile maiden over five furlongs.
The daughter of Oratorio, which was second on her debut at Navan in May behind the smart Cristoforo Colombo, made all the running and was pushed clear inside the final furlong to record a comfortable four-and-three-parts-of-a-length success over Desert Of Dreams.
Assistant trainer Fozzy Stack said afterwards: "We always thought a lot of her and she could run in a Listed race at Tipperary next week."
The other two-year-old race, over a mile, saw veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast get a belated birthday present as his Lucked Out battled well under Declan McDonogh to land the spoils.
Prendergast, who was 80 on Thursday, had a few anxious moments as Fontana De Trevi attempted to make all, but Lucked Out passed that rival with a furlong left and kept on well to score by two and a half lengths. "The step up in trip suited him," explained McDonogh. "We were very worried about the ground. He didn't handle the track last time out (at Down Royal)."
Despite drifting in the betting, Aidan O'Brien's 5/2 joint favourite I Have A Dream stayed on strongly to take the 12-furlong maiden.
With son Joseph at the helm, the son of Galileo -- which opened up at 2/1 -- hit the front under a furlong out before going on to score by three and three parts of a length from Benash.
The James McCabe-trained Statue Of Dreams was another favourite to oblige as he took the Heineken Inter Vintners Pub Challenge Race Nite Handicap in the hands of Chris Hayes, grinding down Drinmoy Lad to score by a neck.
• With Wexford called off yesterday and more rain forecast overnight, Bellewstown are to hold a precautionary inspection at 7.30 this morning ahead of the second of a scheduled three-day fixture.