Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 18 January 2018

Dank and Whozthecat plunder Curragh spoils

Thomas Kelly

ANOTHER good day for the raiding party at the Curragh as the two main prizes on the card went back across the Irish Sea.

First big pot for export was the featured Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes which saw Michael Stoute's Dank being rewarded following a fine effort behind Duntle at Royal Ascot.

The dual Group Three scorer had finished a close third to David Wachman's classy filly in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes and went two places better under a canny Ryan Moore ride.

Moore had the 5/4 favourite poised to challenge in the straight and got first run on the opposition as he forged past Aloof under two furlongs out.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Say came from out of the pack, but was a never-nearer length and three-quarters down at the line. Caponata was third.

"I spoke to Michael on the phone and he's absolutely delighted," explained Stoute's partner Coral Pritchard-Gordon. "She is improving and loves the ground. All went right for her once she got the gap and she has a great temperament."

The other lucrative prize to go east was the €100,000 Rockingham Handicap which went to Yorkshire trainer Irish native Declan Carroll who secured the spoils when Whozthecat sprinted home.

The six-year-old was always to the fore under 10lb claimer Luke Leadbitter and kept fellow raider Nafa – trained by Mark Loughnane – at bay by a neck to go one better after finishing second in a similar contest over a furlong farther at the track on Irish Derby weekend.

Carroll, who used to train on the Curragh before heading to England, said of his 8/1 winner: "I wasn't worried about coming back to five furlongs as he's done most of his winning over five furlongs."

There was a nasty incident in the closing stages of this contest when Bubbly Bellini clipped heels and unseated Ian Brennan.

The impeccably-bred O'Brien-trained Tapestry (7/1) came fast and late to make a winning debut in the two-year-old fillies maiden. The daughter of 2001 Derby hero Galileo out of dual Group One winner Rumplestiltskin produced a decisive turn of foot in the final half-furlong to overhaul Chroussa.

Jockey Seamie Heffernan had bided his time on the reputed O'Brien second string as stablemate Snow, the mount of Joseph O'Brien, was to the fore along with Chroussa.

But once Heffernan let Tapestry go, the response was impressive as she ran out a half-length winner.

"She's obviously a lovely filly and has a great pedigree," said the Ballydoyle supremo. We'll probably look at something like the Debutante Stakes (Curragh, August 11)."


Italian Jessica Marcialis struck on Ado McGuinness' veteran Beau Michael (10/1) in the Ladies Qualified Riders Association Fegentri World Championship Handicap.

David Wachman's Fly To The Moon (5/1) stepped up considerably on her three previous starts to land the Nursery Handicap under Wayne Lordan, while the Kevin Prendergast-trained Coquette Noire (5/2) hung on grimly for Chris Hayes in the closing fillies maiden.

Emmet McNamara steered the Ger Lyons-trained Toccata Blue (11/4 joint-favourite) to take the Irish Field Grey Horse Handicap by a length from Susiescot.

Irish Independent

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