Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 17 December 2017

Murtagh steers Zanughan to Oyster victory

Johnny Murtagh produced Zanughan to perfection to claim the Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes at Galway yesterday.

Sat well off the early pace set by Spin, Murtagh's mount -- not seen since disappointing in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial in May -- took closer order rounding the home turn.

Spin proved game in front for Seamie Heffernan but the John Oxx-trained Zanughan (7/2) asserted inside the final furlong, going on to score by two lengths.

"He ran in the Derby Trial but things weren't right for him. He had a little issue that we had corrected. He should come on from this. He had a hard enough race," Oxx said. "He might go for the Finale Stakes at The Curragh next."

Meanwhile, Brian Meehan has enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend across the Irish Sea more than most and ended it in style with the victory of Gerfalcon in the Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy.

After the impressive victory of Most Improved at Newmarket last Friday and Mehdi in the valuable sales race at the same track on Saturday, Meehan would have been feeling pretty content.

And in Gerfalcon he has another juvenile which looks capable of competing in some of the leading two-year-old races later in the season.

Apparently undone by the draw at York last time out, he raced keen for Martin Dwyer early before looking outpaced at halfway.

Godolphin's previously unbeaten Gold City was still on the bridle when he hit the front but Gerfalcon, the 4/1 joint-favourite, came home to good effect to win by half a length.

Irish Independent

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