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Kissed displays Oaks potential in Navan romp

Aidan O'Brien's Kissed looks like she has the ability to back up her illustrious pedigree after routing the field in yesterday's EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

The daughter of Galileo is a three-parts sister to last year's Epsom Derby hero Pour Moi and she's a live Oaks candidate judged on this runaway victory.

Having made a winning debut at the track last October, the three-year-old, sent off the 2/5 favourite, stepped up in distance and class for her comeback and she could not have been more impressive.

The trainer's son Joseph O'Brien was happy to give his mount her head from the off in the testing conditions, and she had her opponents in trouble rounding the home bend.

The jockey barely had to move a muscle as Kissed breezed further and further clear to register an eight-and-a-half-length triumph over Aaraas.

Paddy Power cut the winner to 5/1 from 8/1 for the Oaks at Epsom on June 1, making her clear second in the ante-post betting behind her stablemate Maybe, which is heading for next weekend's 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The winning rider said: "She's very uncomplicated and she's a lovely big scopey mare. She's got a great attitude too.

"You'd have to be delighted with her performance as she jumped and travelled and never looked like she was going to get in trouble.

"It's a long way away and it would be premature to say if anything was going to Epsom or not. With natural improvement, you'd like to think she could become that kind of a filly."

The father and son combination enjoyed further success as 4/6 favourite Athens also made all the running in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race.

Johnny Murtagh, Tommy Stack and Wayne Lordan all enjoyed a fine afternoon with doubles on the card.

Murtagh got punters off to a great start as the Ger Lyons-trained 15/8 favourite Watsdachances confirmed the promise of her debut third with a six-length win in the opening fillies' two-year-old maiden.

The trainer's brother, Shane, said: "She could go for something like the Marble Hill Stakes now. She galloped all the way to the line."

Murtagh struck later for his boss the Aga Khan and trainer John Oxx as the well-backed Karatash made a fine start to his career in the Dunderry Maiden.

Following a couple of good runs in defeat, Stack's Atacx made it third time lucky in the six-furlong maiden.

The 9/10 favourite picked up well for Lordan to beat Legal Peace by a length and a quarter, with a yawning gap of 15 lengths back to the remainder.

"He's not a horse that does a whole pile in front at home," said Stack's son and assistant Fozzy. "He's had three quick runs so we'll give him a month or so off."

Stack and Lordan completed their brace as 9/2 favourite Equity Swap landed the 10-furlong handicap.

Kieran Cotter's Little Village took the six-furlong handicap, while Dermot Weld's Unaccompanied again showed her versatility in the closing 13-furlong contest as she beat Rising Wind by a length and three-quarters under Pat Smullen.

"She did it well, I'd have been disappointed if she'd been beaten today," said Smullen. "The step up in trip helped her and she feels as if she's strengthened up over the winter."

Irish Independent