Sunday 17 December 2017

Livingston holds on in Beresford stamina test

Thomas Kelly

John Oxx's highly regarded Akeed Mofeed went down narrowly to the Aidan O'Brien-trained David Livingston in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at The Curragh.

The 5/6 favourite gamely tried to wear down his more experienced rival, but could not quite make up the deficit in the very testing conditions.

Seamie Heffernan had National Stakes third David Livingston in front from the start, while Akeed Mofeed was untidy from the stalls. He soon recovered to sit third, but floundered as he got into a barging match when asked for his effort.

Once on an even keel, Akeed Mofeed made up ground hand over fist for Johnny Murtagh but could not quite get to the leader and was still half a length down at the line in a race won three years ago by Sea The Stars.

O'Brien said of the winner: "He's a hardy horse. It was a good performance on soft ground to lead all the way and he quickened up well. We'll look at the Racing Post Trophy and the French races. I'd say he'll stay next year and he might be a horse that starts off in the trials. He'll love a mile and a quarter."

Akeed Mofeed is unlikely to run again this season, but could also be seen in a trial next spring. Bruce Raymond, racing manager to owner Jaber Abdullah, said: "The ground was a bit too heavy and he just couldn't get a blow in at the leader. He's a potentially good horse."

Paddy Power left Akeed Mofeed unchanged at 20/1 for the Epsom Derby and introduced David Livingston into the betting at 33/1.

O'Brien had earlier struck with Nephrite, which looked a smart prospect in foiling a gamble on Bird's Eye View in the opening juvenile maiden. There was a massive plunge on the Tommy Stack-trained Bird's Eye View, with JP McManus' filly backed down from 20/1 to 11/2 favourite.


However, she did not get a clear run through and had to settle for third place as Joseph O'Brien enjoyed a dream passage on fellow newcomer Nephrite on the stands rail to win by four lengths from Big Blue Spirit.

"He was just ready to start and was working nicely at home. He could be a horse for something like the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown at the end of October," said O'Brien.

The Ballydoyle maestro made it a treble when Harrison's Cave (5/1), also ridden by his son, took the 10-furlong maiden for three-year-olds.

Patrick Prendergast believes Coral Wave could be an Irish Oaks candidate next year after she put up a gritty display to take the CL Weld Park Stakes.

Declan McDonogh asked the 4/1 shot to go on two furlongs out and she battled bravely in the ground to hold on by a neck from Homecoming Queen.

"She loves that ground. She's changed a lot as she was a little bit free in the spring on her second run," said Prendergast, celebrating his first Group winner. "Next year over a mile and a half, she might not need it soft as her stamina will come into play more. I'm thinking of the Irish Oaks for her."

David Nagle's Maarek ploughed through the ground to land the spoils in the Joe McGrath EBF Handicap by a length from Kevin Ryan's invader Murura, the 7/1 favourite.

Well-backed 9/4 favourite Rock And Roll Kid, trained by Tony Mullins and ridden by his son Danny, just denied Bay Knight by a short head in the Irish Pony Club Raceday Trophy.

Trainer Dessie Hughes is more renowned for his jumpers but he enjoyed success with 11/2 favourite Sun Disc in the Derek O'Sullivan Memorial Apprentice Handicap.

•Richard Hughes enjoyed a fine afternoon at Epsom yesterday, bagging a 48/1 four-timer at the Surrey track. The rider scored aboard Producer (evens), Mister Music (10/11), Sure Route (7/2) and Valencha (15/8).

Irish Independent

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