Deegan's Soprano on Haydock stage
CURRAGH trainer Paul Deegan will be on his travels this weekend as he heads to Haydock with stable star Midnight Soprano.
The six-year-old – which won five times during a brilliant 2012 season – is entered in Saturday's Lancashire Oaks, a race which no Irish trainer has won since Jim Bolger took the prize with Park Express in 1986.
However, Deegan's mare is still progressing – as was evidenced by her first success at Pattern level in last month's Group Three Noblesse Stakes at Cork.
She is set for another step up in class on Merseyside this weekend, but Deegan is confident his charge is up to the task.
"We thought she'd definitely improved and strengthened up through the winter," said the trainer. "It was great to see her come back and win first time out. She has definitely come on for that run, she's a Group Three winner now and a Group Two is the obvious next step."
Meanwhile, Marco Botti is in no rush to make future plans for Sugar Boy after the Newmarket-based Italian was confirmed as the colt's new trainer. The son of Authorized – purchased by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum last week – had his final run for Patrick Prendergast on Saturday when trailing home last in the Irish Derby.
Prendergast reported the colt "very sore" on Sunday morning and Botti is keen to assess his well-being before identifying targets for the rest of the campaign.
At Gowran Park last night, Aidan and Joseph O'Brien were the trainer/jockey partnership to follow as they left the Kilkenny venue with a 6/1 double.
First up was the success of One True Love, which broke her maiden tag on her 11th attempt by edging out Harpist in the opening contest.
Despite being drawn on the wide outside, the 11/4 second favourite sat just off the pace and O'Brien Jnr produced the filly to lead two furlongs out before edging Harpist by a neck.
The Ballydoyle double was completed in impressive fashion as Indian Maharaja ran away with the mile maiden for juveniles.
The odds-on favourite was always travelling well and quickened clear in the straight to win by over six lengths. However, the son of Galileo unseated his rider after the finish line, and ran loose before being caught.
Another O'Brien, but no relation, Charles, sent out Edith Cowan to claim the featured Gowran Gathering Wednesday August 14th Handicap.
The daughter of Galileo was held up during the early stages and just as Brog Deas looked sure to collect, Fran Berry delivered Edith Cowan with a telling burst up the middle of the track to snatch the spoils by a head.