Saturday 26 May 2018

Only Mine springs Naas surprise for Murphy

O’Brien: Double up at Naas. Photo: Sportsfile
O’Brien: Double up at Naas. Photo: Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

Only mine put a dent in some big reputations when Joseph Murphy's filly claimed a shock victory in the Lacken Stakes at Naas.

Aidan O'Brien's Washington DC was the even-money favourite to claim a fifth career win in the Bar One Racing-sponsored Group Three feature, while the Jim Bolger-trained Smash Williams and Martyn Meade's unbeaten British challenger Aclaim added strength in depth.

Having finished third behind Washington DC at Navan a fortnight ago, Only Mine looked to have her work cut out and was a 16/1 surprise for Murphy and jockey Gary Carroll.

There did not appear to be any fluke about the performance, with Carroll positioning his mount close to the speed throughout.

The challengers were queuing up a furlong down, but Only Mine found another gear, careering away to score by two and three-quarter lengths.

Washington DC made late inroads for second, with Aclaim coming out on top in a bunched finish for third.

"The little ease in the ground helped her a lot and she worked very well during the week. She's a very genuine filly," said Murphy.

"She may run in the Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday. She will probably go to France later in the year and the Prix Maurice de Gheest is a race that could suit her."

O'Brien enjoyed better fortune earlier on the card when his Cuff completed a 10/1 double after proving too good for her opponents in the Coolmore Stud Fillies' Sprint Stakes.

A promising fourth on her Navan debut before opening her account over this course and distance, the Galileo filly was installed 11/4 market leader on her step-up to Listed class.

Ryan Moore cut a confident figure in the saddle throughout the six-furlong journey and once given her head, Cuff sealed the deal in a matter of strides. Dundalk scorer Yulong Baobei finished strongly to fill the runner-up spot, but was three lengths behind the impressive winner, who looks bound for bigger and better things.

The Ballydoyle supremo recorded the first half of his brace in the Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes in which his Peace Envoy held off Lundy. Both horses are officially trained by O'Brien but the runner-up is looked after by O'Brien's son, Joseph, at his Piltown yard.

In a Listed contest rendered far less competitive by the withdrawal of the dual course winner Psychedelic Funk, Peace Envoy was 15/8 second favourite to bounce back from a short-priced defeat.

Moore rode a positive race, sending Peace Envoy straight to the lead, closely pursued by Lundy.

The pair raised the pace heading inside the final furlong and settled down to fight it out, with Moore's mount winning the day by half a length.

Richard Hannon's British challenger, 11/8 favourite Hakeem, finished last of the five runners.

Mick Halford's exciting filly ­Anamba made an excellent start to her season in the Owenstown Stud Stakes. The daughter of ­Shamardal ­narrowly beat the high-class ­Coolmore on her racecourse debut at ­Leopardstown last September before being touched off by the same filly in the Group Three Park Stakes at the Curragh a couple of weeks later.

Anamba has not been seen in competitive action since then and was pitched in against the boys for her comeback at Listed level.

The 3/1 joint-favourite went the shortest way throughout, with William Buick bagging the rail, but she looked to be under pressure before the home turn.

However, Anamba responded to her rider's urgings and picked up well to come through and beat stablemate Hasanour by two lengths.

Irish Independent

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