Sport Horse Racing

Monday 19 March 2018

Fame can't find winning thread

Damien McElroy

Last year's Irish Derby hero Fame And Glory is still awaiting another visit to the winner's enclosure after failing to land the odds in the Alleged Stakes on sticky ground at the Curragh yesterday.

Tightened up in the ring from 1/2 to 2/5, the Montjeu colt was unable to raise his game when English import Popmurphy struck for home early in the straight, with She's Our Mark also closing on the leader.

Paul Deegan's Popmurphy -- with Jim Crowley making the best of their advantage -- still looked the likely victor until She's Our Mark, rather than Fame And Glory, got into top gear in earnest for Danny Grant.

"She's an unreal mare -- Danny says she's better than ever this year. She was tanking the whole way there," said trainer Pat Flynn, who will bring his 12/1 scorer back to headquarters for the Mooresbridge Stakes.

Champion trainer Aidan O'Brien was not unduly perturbed by Fame And Glory's defeat, remarking: "Don't be disappointed with him. Johnny said he was happy and the horse just got tired -- it's tough going out there and we needed to get him back racing, although he might not go to France for the Prix Ganay now."

Though believing his yard lacks another outstanding three-year-old this term, John Oxx has his second-season horses well forward, as Keredari demonstrated when landing the Loughbrown Stakes. Making just his third appearance, the Aga Khan's Oasis Dream colt was sent to the front from the outset by Fran Berry and their seven rivals only had a rear view of them during the Tote Sports Lounge promotion.

Steadily increasing the tempo from halfway, the 4/1 chance had this listed prize in safe-keeping in the closing stages as only hat-trick seeker Jamaayel could get within striking distance of Berry's mount.

"He had been working well and it was a decent enough performance in that ground. We will bring him back here for the Irish Guineas and he could run into a place -- there's no need for another run beforehand," Oxx commented.


Stable companion Rayeni, a well-backed favourite to double up in the Tote-sponsored Gladness Stakes, was unable to do the business after a keen duel with former Oxx inmate Kargali.

Trained by Luke Comer for his wife Margaret, the 10/1 chance was produced late on the far side of Rayeni by Johnny Murtagh and the principals collided inside the final furlong leading to a stewards enquiry.

Ultimately there was no change to the result of a Group Three contest where the proven fitness of Kargali -- fresh from outings on Dundalk's all-weather in February and then at headquarters last month -- was the deciding factor.

Imposing juvenile Samuel Morse had the distinction of becoming the first winner of the new campaign on turf for Ballydoyle when surging through from the back of the field in the opening maiden.

Given plenty of time to get into a rhythm by Seamus Heffernan, who was also scoring for the first time this year, the strongly built Danehill Dancer colt got a lovely run up the stands rail to spring a 7/1 surprise.

After better-fancied stable companion Oracle had finished fifth, having tracked the leaders throughout, O'Brien remarked: "Neither of them had been on grass before. There's not much else in the next few weeks for them, but I wouldn't mind stepping Samuel Morse up to six furlongs."

Irish Independent

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