Tuesday 23 January 2018

O'Brien's Beethoven pulls off pitch-perfect performance

Beethoven winner of the Group Three Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown. Photo: Getty Images
Beethoven winner of the Group Three Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown. Photo: Getty Images

Thomas Kelly

Beethoven gave his confidence a boost when winning the Group Three Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown's final evening meeting of the season.

Aidan O'Brien's colt landed the Dewhurst last year, but has only been seen twice this term after a trip to the Breeders' Cup took its toll.

Ridden by the trainer's son, Joseph, who had been on board for both his previous starts this season, he was giving the young pilot his first Pattern-race success.

Dandy Boy came out of the pack to chase, but went down by three-quarters of a length. The winning jockey said: "He travelled well and quickened up well. He was the class horse of the race. I never had to use my stick and the ground can't be fast enough for him."

The young O'Brien had earlier struck on board Why (11/8 favourite) for his father in the Tattersalls Ireland Ltd EBF Fillies' Maiden.

The daughter of Galileo just held off the fast-finishing Eva's Time by the narrowest of margins.

There was a lot to like about the winning debut of David Marnane's Fred Archer in the Tattersalls EBF Maiden.

Running in the rarely seen silks these days of Sheikh Mohammed, the Iffraaj colt won by three-quarters of a length under Colm O'Donoghue. Incidentally, the brilliant Sea The Stars won the corresponding race two years ago. "I have two horses in training for Sheikh Mohammed and he was a great owner to get," said Marnane, just out of luck with Dandy Boy.

"I think the horse was very impressive today and he quickened up very well. His sire Iffraaj is having some season and they generally improve from their first run."

O'Donoghue did, however, pick up a one-day ban for careless riding.

Dermot Weld struck when Endless Expanse responded to Pat Smullen's every call in the Racing Rocks At Leopardstown Handicap.

"She got a nice ride from Pat and she battled well," said Weld. "We'll look for another handicap now."

Irish Independent

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