Saturday 18 August 2018

Curragh double for O'Brien as Magical weaves her spell

Magical ridden by Ryan Moore (left) wins The Kilboy Estate Stakes during day two of the Darley Irish Oaks Weekend at Curragh Racecourse yesterday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
Magical ridden by Ryan Moore (left) wins The Kilboy Estate Stakes during day two of the Darley Irish Oaks Weekend at Curragh Racecourse yesterday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Thomas Kelly

Out of luck in Saturday's Oaks with Forever Together, Aidan O'Brien bounced back to land yesterday's feature as Magical belatedly opened her account for the season when making all in the Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes.

Winner of the Debutante Stakes at this level on this course last summer, the Ballydoyle filly had been well-beaten on heavy ground on her only previous start in 2018, but got back on track with a solid display.

Ryan Moore made his intentions clear from the start by taking Magical to the front from the outset and the 5-4 favourite found extra when tackled by the elder I'm So Fancy in the final furlong to score by two and three-quarter lengths. The winner's stable companion Broadway was two lengths away in third while September finished last on her seasonal debut for the team after being slow away.

"It was nice to get one for the weekend," said O'Brien. "We had her ready to run in the Oaks (at Epsom), it was the plan to run her, but she just knocked the inside of her joint and then it just took a long time for the swelling to go down and the soreness to go out, so she got held up.

"We had her in the Oaks yesterday, but we were afraid to run her as we were afraid she wasn't fit enough.

"She's a lovely filly - how far she'll stay, I'm not sure. We'll see how she is but we could have a look at the Yorkshire Oaks with her. The whole rest of the season is in front of her if she's OK."

O'Brien and Moore went on to complete a double as Cliffs Of Dooneen (5-4) maintained his unbeaten record by proving a length too good for She's A Star in the two-mile handicap.


Earlier, the raiders plundered the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes as the Karl Burke-trained Havana Grey led home a British clean sweep.

A Group 3 winner as a youngster, Havana Grey (10-1) had failed to trouble the judge in his two previous runs this season but got his act together in this five-furlong dash.

Last year's winner Caspian Prince made the running in the centre of the course with Havana Grey prominent towards the far side.

Taking a definite lead under PJ McDonald, Havana Grey kept on strongly to beat the Mick Appleby-trained Caspian Prince by a length with Michael Dods' Mabs Cross back in third.

Colm O'Donoghue was another in double-winning form, booting home Chocolate Music in the opening juvenile fillies' maiden as the pair finished late and fast to take the spoils.

Third at Fairyhouse on her debut, the Jessica Harrington-trained 8-1 shot had to dig deep to see off Foxtrot Liv by a nose at the line. "She's in the Moyglare and she's in the Lowther as well. She has a few entries and might easily go for the Lowther."

O'Donoghue completed his brace aboard the Michael Halford-trained Terzetto (7-2) which narrowly defeated stablemate Surrounding in the fillies' handicap over a mile. The rider dropped his reins momentarily passing the furlong pole as his mount came to challenge, but soon recovered and Terzetto claimed a neck victory.

Kevin Manning drove home Jim Bolger's Park Bloom by a length and a quarter from Vivianite as the 7-4 market leader claimed the one-mile fillies' maiden.

Irish Independent

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