Mullins scoops Oyster as 'Diamond' sparkles
Willie Mullins took the featured Flat contest at Galway last night as Diamond Hill recorded her third win at the track after a thrilling finish to the Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes.
The 5/2 market leader, which had won over hurdles at the Festival meeting, was held up in the early stages by Colin Keane took his time on the well-backed 5/2 favourite (5/1 this morning) before making ground on the outer turning for home. Main market rival Camphor got a nice split on the rail and the pair settled down for a duel inside the final furlong after brushing aside front-runner Warnaq.
There was little between the pair in the last 100 yards, but Diamond Hill responded gamely to Keane's urgings to prevail by a neck - giving her owner Annette Mee another Ballybrit winner.
Fresh from their Irish St Leger success, Dermot Weld and Chris Hayes were on the mark in the Donnellys Of Barna Rated Race as the Aga Khan's Bashiyr justified 6/4 favouritism with a length-and-a-half victory over the staying-on Zander.
Weld later doubled up when Shehreen (6/5) showed a very willing attitude under Oisin Orr to edge out even-money favourite Soineanta by a head in the maiden for juvenile fillies.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien and his jockey son Donnacha also notched a brace, which was initiated by the stylish success of Persia in the opening two-year-old maiden for colts - the 2/1 favourite making most of the running to run out a five-length victor from Alatar.
The Ballydoyle team had to wait until the last to complete their double as The Tooth Fairy (4/5) inflicted a four-length defeat on Tidal Action in the Sean Cleary Memorial Fillies Maiden.