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Lyons' grand plan eclipses Naas rivals


Trainer Ger Lyons. Photo: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Trainer Ger Lyons. Photo: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Trainer Ger Lyons. Photo: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Ecliptical produced a memorable performance to come from last to first as he pulled off a long-term plan in the valuable Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final to complete a Naas double for connections.

Title-chasing Colin Keane anchored Ger Lyons' well-backed 9/2 shot last of 15 in the valuable event. The jockey kept his composure and after pulling to the wide outside, he circled the field and ate up ground over the stiff finish.

The juvenile, unraced since winning his second career start on similarly testing ground in a Bellewstown maiden two months ago, proved his pace for this drop to seven furlongs - winning by a length and a quarter from 50/1 outsider The Blue Panther, with Vafortino a further half-length back in third.

The winning trainer's brother and assistant Shane Lyons said: "When he won in Bellewstown the plan was to go for this race. He wants a mile - but we thought with the bit of cut in the ground this would suit.

"He'll be a lovely horse next year, is all heart and showed there that he has a touch of class as well."

Parent's Prayer was another winner to strike from off the pace, capping a fine weekend for Archie Watson in the Listed Garnet Stakes. Lambourn trainer Watson, who 24 hours earlier had won his first Group One courtesy of Glen Shiel in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot, was travelling Parent's Prayer to Ireland for the second time in as many months - following her third in the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Gowran.

She went two places better this time, challenging down the middle and surging clear under Ben Coen to win by three lengths at 12/1 - with 80/1 outsider Stormy Belle and 8/1 shot Best On Stage dead-heating for second.

Listed honours were also on offer in the Bluebell Stakes, and Jessica Harrington's Barrington Court claimed them to give Keane's title rival Shane Foley a winner. JP McManus' former hurdler was having just her fourth start on the Flat, at the age of six, and won for the second time in this discipline - arriving on the scene in the straight and finishing a length and a half in front of Snapraeceps.

Harrington is already planning a swift return for the 15/8 market leader. "She may come back here for the Finale Stakes (November 7)," she explained. "I don't think she will go back over hurdles, because every time she runs she hurts herself."

Power Under Me (16/5) was a winning debutant in the opening Tifrums Irish EBF Maiden for Keane, Lyons and Ecliptical's owner Vincent Gaul. The gelding repelled favourite Coulthard in the final furlong to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths. Elizabethan (10/3)ran out an easy winner of the six-furlong fillies maiden for Aidan O'Brien and Seamie Heffernan. On her fourth start, she was not inconvenienced racing out on her own up the standside as she broke her duck.

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