Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Diamond delight for Carmody

Tommy Carmody's Royal Diamond, runner-up in the Ebor at York, stepped up to Group One level to claim the Gain Horse Feeds Irish St Leger in a pulsating finish at the Curragh.

Jamie Spencer set out to give Aidan O'Brien's Fame And Glory a positive ride from the front and was still right in the firing line a quarter of a mile from home.

He looked to have everything at it in behind but Royal Diamond (16/1) and Niall McCullagh had moved powerfully for a long way and he stayed on again best after Massiyn and British raider Aiken collared Fame And Glory.

It was only right on the nod that Royal Diamond got the verdict from Massiyn, with Tom Dascombe's Brown Panther third after coming home as well as anything.

Carmody, one of the finest jump jockeys around in his day, said: "This is fabulous, much better than riding them! When you ride them you just come in, say your piece and then you're gone but when you're training them you live and sleep with them. We have a great team at home and Niall rides out regularly along with Ben Curtis, and Johnny Murtagh comes in to ride work when he can. We have 17 in training at the moment and it's all down to Johnny that I got involved.

"They're all very well-bred horses, bred to win St Legers and the like and Andrew [Tinkler, owner] is a fantastic man to train for."

McCullagh was winning his first Irish Classic and said: "My initial plan was to get cover and sit fourth, but he ran keen and down the straight he came alive. I knew he'd finish well after riding him in the Ebor.

"He battled all the way to the line and he never flinched. I had an inkling that maybe I might have just got there and I was relieved when the result was called. I've ridden many Indian Classic winners but they're not like this one -- this one is special."

Ante-post 2000 Guineas favourite Dawn Approach made it five wins from five with an impressive success in the Vincent O'Brien Stakes at the Curragh. Stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time and also sporting the Godolphin blue, the Jim Bolger-trained colt passed his stablemate Leitir Mor a furlong and a half out and cut down early pacesetter Flying The Flag at the furlong marker.

The race -- registered as the National Stakes -- was over from there and despite wandering slightly, Kevin Manning's mount (2/5 favourite) streaked clear of the running-on Designs On Rome who ran a huge race in second. Leitir Mor was third.

Spinacre (3/1) claimed the Listed Flame of Tara European Breeders Fund Stakes.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained filly had won at the third time of asking at Roscommon and showed a taking turn of foot before readily holding Reglisse by two and a quarter lengths.

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