Monday 19 February 2018

La Collina shock for Power

OUTSIDER La Collina caused a shock by edging out Power in yesterday's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh.

Declan McDonogh brought Kevin Prendergast's 33/1 shot with a devastating burst past Aidan O'Brien's runner in the last 50 yards. Tough As Nails was third and Lilbourne Lad fourth.

David Brown's strongly-fancied Frederick Engels lost all chance when badly hampered by Parish Hall, ridden by Kevin Manning, as he tried to make his bid about a furlong out.

Power looked like taking his 100pc record to four when he went into the lead, but La Collina managed to find an extra gear and grab the Group One spoils by a neck. Prendergast said: "I'm delighted with that; she was working well at home. She will go for the Moyglare Stud Stakes next (The Curragh, August 28)."

La Collina is set to meet Maybe in the Moyglare as O'Brien also named that race as her target after her win in the Keeneland Debutante Stakes.

Maybe (5/4 favourite) comfortably stretched her unbeaten record to four as she came home unchallenged by two and a half lengths. O'Brien said: "Joseph (O'Brien) was very happy with her at Leopardstown, even though she only won by half a length.

"I was afraid of that soft ground before going to Royal Ascot, so she obviously has no problem with it."

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien were completing a double, having earlier won with the highly promising Was.

She lived up to her lofty price-tag when making a pleasing winning debut in the opening fillies maiden. The daughter of Galileo, a 1.2m guineas yearling purchase and closely related to 2008 Derby victor New Approach, scored quite cosily by two and a half lengths from her stablemate Cabin.

Banimpire (4/5 favourite) gained handsome consolation for an agonising defeat in the Irish Oaks with a solid Group Two success in the Keeneland Royal Whip Stakes. Coming with a sweeping run on the outside from last place, Jim Bolger's filly soon put the race to bed as she powered past the battling Dunboyne Express.

These two pulled clear of the remainder as Banimpire won by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Manning.

Deacon Blues won the Patrick P O'Leary Memorial Phoenix Sprint Stakes with consummate ease to give trainer James Fanshawe compensation for Society Rock's second place in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

The four-year-old, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, romped home by seven lengths from Empowering to give Murtagh a double after his win on Sharisse in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap.

Irish Independent

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