Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fleece romp for Zoffany

Aidan O'Brien's Zoffany created a big impression yesterday in landing the feature Golden Fleece Stakes at Leopardstown.

Sixth in what looked a good renewal of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Strong Suit, the Dansili colt has a future of his own.

Seamie Heffernan went past long-time leader and British raider Stentorian at the furlong pole and was not at all pushed to come two lengths clear as the 4/7 favourite.

Heffernan said of his mount, who holds Group One engagements: "He's a good horse. He was a bit disappointing at Royal Ascot but he learned a lot from it. I think he'd stay a mile, no problem."

Favourite-backers had a fright in the opener as Kissable had to work hard to get the better of Palinode in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The well-backed Palinode went on two furlongs out but could not see off the Kevin Prendergast-trained winner, which dug deep to come out on top by a neck as the 8/11 market leader.

James Kelly, racing manager to winning owner Lady O'Reilly, said: "We're delighted with that win. Declan (McDonogh) thought the ground might have been a shade quick for her but Leopardstown always do such a terrific job with the ground; it's always safe.

"All going well, she'll run in the fillies Group Three at the Curragh on July 14 and if that goes well then maybe the Moyglare Stakes."

Invincible Ash only had to be nudged out to record a pillar-to-post success under Gary Carroll in the Clonkeen Fillies Race.

Turned out again quickly after dotting up at the Curragh on Sunday, Michael Halford's mare had no trouble justifying 6/5 favouritism.

Halford said: "We were a little concerned running her so quick, but we'll freshen her up now and aim her for the Listed fillies race at Naas."

Rising star Carroll doubled up on Inwood (9/2) in the Aslan Handicap for trainer Paul Magnier.

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