Tuesday 12 November 2019

Exogenesis shows class as O'Brien draws blank

Aidan O'Brien and son Joesphn O'Brien were in double-winning form at Fairyhouse
Aidan O'Brien and son Joesphn O'Brien were in double-winning form at Fairyhouse

Press Association

Aidan O'Brien suffered double disappointment with two short-priced favourites at Leopardstown.

The Ballydoyle supremo and son Joseph were expected to claim the two Group 3 prizes up for grabs, but both market leaders were turned over.

The first setback came in the Tyros Stakes, for which O'Brien's Sir John Hawkins was sent off the 11/10 favourite.

However, it was the 11/8 second favourite Exogenesis which carried the day for the in-form Ger Lyons team.

Gary Carroll had him handy throughout, sitting on the heels of the front-running Home School before switching out to challenge and getting on top by half a length.

"He's what I thought he was and he's going the right way," said Lyons. "It's not often we refuse good money for a horse and we were offered very good money for him after his last run, but we said no. If we're going where we want to go, we need to be brave with some of these horses.

"He's in the Group Two at Doncaster (Champagne Stakes) and I wouldn't want to go shorter than seven furlongs with him again. I think he will make a nice three-year-old and could be a horse for something like the Jersey Stakes."

Not long after, Jim Bolger's Scintillula (6/1) turned in a gutsy performance to defeat O'Brien's hot favourite Mars in the Meld Stakes.

Mars was stepping down in class after being campaigned at the highest level this term, claiming fourth in the Eclipse at Sandown last time as well as finishing sixth in the Derby.

He was sent off the 8/11 favourite for this nine-furlong heat and still looked to be travelling well on the heels of the pace-setting Scintillula. However, when O'Brien Jnr gave him the signal to push on, Scintillula went with him and battled gamely on the rail for Kevin Manning.

Mars soon dropped away and that allowed Scintillula, which was making a swift reappearance having finished a close-up fourth in last weekend's Irish Oaks, to triumph by two and three-quarter lengths.

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