Mendelssohn and Moore secure No 27 for Aidan O'Brien at $1m Breeders Cup
Aidan O'Brien brought his Group 1 world record to 27 as Ryan Moore and Mendelssohn combined brilliantly to land the $1m Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf last night at Del Mar in California.
Moore executed a perfect ride, holding a position on the rail behind Sands Of Mali before picking his moment to run clear in the final furlong to finish ahead of Untamed Domain.
"He's progressed with every run," said O'Brien. "We felt he was still a bit green, but he was learning and getting better all the time. He stepped up again today and it's marvellous."
Meanwhile, hopes are high the much-vaunted Melon can turn into a Champion Hurdle contender this season and he survived a final-flight scare to make a successful reappearance in the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal.
The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old was 2/5 favourite under Ruby Walsh to make a winning return to action in this two-mile Grade Two and was settled in behind his stablemate Coquin Mans and Wakea for much of the journey.
Wakea dropped away rounding the home turn, leaving the two Mullins inmates to fight it out and Melon was winning the argument when he pecked on landing after jumping the final flight. The mistake did not halt his momentum, and he galloped on four-and-a-half lengths clear.
John Kiely's Just Janice (9/2) claimed her second victory in the space of a week under Davy Russell in the Lough Construction Ltd EBF Mares Novice Hurdle.
The prolific Mystic Theatre was the 2/5 favourite to provide Mullins and Walsh with a fourth successive victory in the Grade 3 contest and appeared in control until crashing out two flights from the finish.