Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Condon eyes Epsom option as Days shines in Derby Trial

Success Days ridden by Shane Foley on the way to winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes during Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Day at Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)
Success Days ridden by Shane Foley on the way to winning the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes during Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Day at Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA Wire)

Martin Kelly

Success Days could be supplemented for the Investec Derby at Epsom after he once again relished the testing conditions to claim an emphatic win in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

Surprise winner of the Ballysax Stakes four weeks earlier, flooring the well-touted John F Kennedy in the process, Ken Condon's admirable grey got his own way in front.

The 8/13 favourite never looked like being caught after he took several lengths from his three rivals on the turn for home and Shane Foley rode him out as he pulled 10 lengths clear of Summaya in second. The Group Three heat lost some of its gloss when Aidan O'Brien's intended runner Order Of St George was a late withdrawal.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby remains the big target for Success Days, but he could be supplemented if the ground is soft at Epsom.

"I've always said he's an undemonstrative colt but he's improving away quickly," Condon said. "He's very relaxed and has the temperament to keep improving. He obviously needs to, but he keeps delivering.

"The Irish Derby is on the agenda. We'll see how the Dante works out and, if it came up soft, we would have to give serious consideration to supplementing him for Epsom. If it doesn't I'd be happy to sit and wait for the Irish Derby."

There was a second victory for Foley when top-weight Lean And Keen displayed plenty of guts to take the John R Fitzpatrick Agricultural Contractor Handicap by half a length from strong-finishing favourite Beau Satchel.

The Sean Byrne-trained 5/1 shot looked ready to slip back through the field in the closing stages, but instead rallied to catch Bobby Jean and then held on as the post arrived.

Kissed By Angels put her case for a Classic bid with an impressive success in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial. Seamie Heffernan was happy to sit just off the pace set through the early stages by Red Ivy, but took closer order rounding the home turn and his filly quickened impressively.

Taking a couple of lengths out of the field, Aidan O'Brien's regally bred daughter of Galileo scored by three-and-a-half lengths from Devonshire, with favourite Stormfly unable to get in a blow in third. With O'Brien in France, Heffernan said of the 13/2 winner: "She travelled and quickened. The last day she didn't know what to do. Hopefully she'll keep making progress from each run."

RaceBets quote Kissed By Angels at 16/1 from 25s for the Investec Oaks, with Paddy Power 14/1 from 33/1.

Onenightidreamed stepped up on his Irish Lincolnshire success to take the Group Three Ard Glen Amethyst Stakes. Tommy Stack's lightly-raced four-year-old justified strong support that saw his price contract to 15/8 favourite as he held on from Sruthan in a desperately tight finish in the hands of Wayne Lordan.

William Knight's raider Fire Ship made a gallant attempt to make all the running under James Doyle and held the lead until deep inside the final furlong, eventually finishing a close third.

Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, said: "He needs soft ground. He's a tough horse and was the first off the bridle, but he kept going. He'll be aimed at Listed and Group races, but it's totally ground-dependent where he goes."


At Killarney, meanwhile, a change in ground conditions following heavy rain led to the withdrawal of Nicky Henderson's former Champion Chase winner Finian's Rainbow from the Leane's Tool Hire and Lawnmowers Chase which was won by Letter Of Credit.

Jimmy Mangan's charge went off at 6/1 from a morning price of 20s and defeated even-money favourite Baily Green by seven-and-a-half lengths for Davy Russell in a four-runner affair.

Earlier, Waxies Dargle returned to form in the featured Ladbrokes Ireland Handicap Hurdle. Noel Meade's six-year-old gelding saw off Mrs Mac Veale by two-and-a-half lengths in the hands of Paul Townend.

The winner was returned the 9/2 joint favourite. "Ground was a huge factor as he wants it soft and I was wondering this morning whether or not it was worth sending him down here but the forecast was bad," said Meade.

Mark Walsh was stood down for the rest of the day after taking a fall from Henry Higgins at the third last. The jockey was reported to be 'sore'.

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