Monday 20 November 2017

Misty heroics open Oaks door

Thomas Kelly

Midday suffered a shock reverse when she was firmly put in her place by Epsom Oaks disappointment Misty For Me in the Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh on Saturday.

The Irish 1,000 Guineas winner bounced back with a super all-the-way win from Henry Cecil's multiple Group One scorer.

Seamie Heffernan soon had the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly dictating affairs and the 100/30 chance pulled right away to trot up six lengths from the 1/3 favourite, which in turn was four and a half lengths clear of Chrysanthemum.

O'Brien said: "It's very possible that she could go for the Irish Oaks now, but we also have Wonder Of Wonders for that.

"Misty For Me would have no problem sticking at 10 furlongs and we'll have to go home and talk about it."

O'Brien and Heffernan were completing a double after David Livingston (2/1 favourite) was a comfortable three-length scorer in the Barronstown Stud EBF Maiden.

O'Brien then made it a treble when Freedom (5/2 joint-favourite) got the better of Forever Glory in the hands of his son, Joseph, in the Kilsaran International Maiden.

Many racegoers at Newcastle on Saturday would not have even been born when trainer Reg Hollinshead first took out a licence, but he showed he still has what it takes after Tominator landed a 25/1 surprise in the John Smith's Northumberland Plate.

The 87-year-old first started training in 1948 and while he was not at Newcastle to see the four-year-old win by a length and three-quarters, he was represented by his son, Andrew.

Mick Channon's Montaff chased him home, with Deauville Flyer third and Petara Bay fourth. Last year's winner Overturn, running off a 13lb higher mark, finished a gallant sixth under jumps jockey Henry Brooke.

Meanwhile, Sarafina strengthened her claims for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with a fine success in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud yesterday.

The Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained 4/9 favourite again showed a beguiling turn of foot to take this Group One over a mile and a half -- despite refusing to settle early on.

With Cirrus Des Aigles having set a lackadaisical pace, Christophe Lemaire's mount only got going at the death, but the response was as swift as it was decisive.

Indian Days, trained in Lincolnshire by James Given, finished last of the five runners. Sarafina, owned by the Aga Khan and third in the Arc in 2010, was left unchanged at 12/1 for the Longchamp feature in October.

Earlier on the card, the winning post came just in time for Pascal Bary's Testosterone in the Abu Dhabi Prix de Malleret.

Irish Independent

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