Sunday 26 January 2020

O'Brien bags Perfect hat-trick at Navan

Trainer Aidan O'Brien's 9/1 shot Pretty Perfect sprung a surprise in the yesterday’s Salsabil Stakes at Navan. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile
Trainer Aidan O'Brien's 9/1 shot Pretty Perfect sprung a surprise in the yesterday’s Salsabil Stakes at Navan. Photo: Cody Glenn / Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Pretty Perfect made all under a canny ride from Colm O'Donoghue to spring a surprise in the yesterday's Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

The 9/1 shot was not the Aidan O'Brien stable first string but stuck on gamely to land the Listed spoils.

Glamorous Approach was the only rival to trouble the winner, but she was brushed aside in the final furlong and was beaten by three-and-a-half lengths.

O'Brien's other two runners, Best In The World and Kind Of Magic, never threatened and neither did the 6/4 favourite Queen Blossom.

"She's been working really nicely at home and has improved from two to three," O'Donoghue said. "Aidan said to ride her how I found her, and she picked up when they came to me. She's not short of speed and has a lot of class."

The Ballydoyle supremo was recording a 498/1 treble, initiated by Hyzenthlay (20/1) which had stunned punters with victory in the juvenile fillies maiden in the hands of daughter Ana.

The yard's first string and 15/8 market leader, Cuff, could only finish fourth, under Ryan Moore. The winner - which runs in the colours of the trainer's wife Ann Marie - has been in the care of the trainer's son Joseph at Piltown.

The third leg of the O'Brien hat-trick was completed by the facile success of 11/8 second favourite The Gurkha which made all for Moore in a nine-length rout of their rivals in the one-mile maiden.

Denise Foster enjoyed a notable big-race success as Lily's Rainbow won the Listed Heritage Stakes over a mile.

On a day where those racing prominently fared particularly well, Billy Lee's mount soon led, in company with Dragon Fei and Flight Risk close behind in third. The 16/1 chance held a clear advantage a furlong and a half out and stayed on strongly to score by three lengths from Brendan Brackan.

Foster, who currently has five horses in training, was recording her first win at Listed level.

"She's a completely different filly this year," she said. "She is so much more relaxed both at home and in the way she runs. I can't believe it, but the one thing she has is a huge heart and she kept finding more and more."

The prominently-ridden theme continued as Misty Millie powered away with the fillies maiden over a mile.

Another to hail from a small yard, this time Peter Cluskey, the daughter of Dylan Thomas took full advantage of the withdrawal of favourite Creme De La, which refused to go into the stalls.

Moore and the debutant Earring tried to make a race of it, but Colin Keane - who was earlier successful on the Ger Lyons-trained Spader - had matters in hand and the 16/1 outsider went clear in the final furlong.

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