Thursday 22 February 2018

Pale Mimosa blooms for Weld

Pale MIMOSA gave trainer Dermot Weld his eighth win in the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes with a gutsy display at Leopardstown.

The lightly-raced filly had not run since October, but she knuckled down really well to outpoint Missunited in the final furlong and put herself in the frame for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained El Salvador set a strong pace and still led as they turned for home, but was soon overtaken by Pale Mimosa and Missunited and Pat Smullen kept the 5/4 favourite up to her work to finish two and a half lengths clear.

"It was a very pleasing introductory run," said Weld. "She has been slow coming into her coat, so we took our time with her.

"She is entered in the Gold Cup, but, obviously, she is in the same ownership as Rite Of Passage. He is in very good form and he will run in it unless the ground comes up firm, in which case she will run in it."

Dibayani (7/2) came with a powerful run to claim the King George V Cup under a strong drive by jockey Declan McDonogh. The O'Brien-trained Count Of Limonade looked like taking these Listed spoils when he hit the front in the straight under Joseph O'Brien after Fighter Squadron had made the running.

McDonogh had other ideas, though, as he forced Michael Halford's charge through on the far side to go on inside the final furlong and score by three-quarters of a length.

Frankie Dettori had to settle for only a second place from two rides.

The Italian rode the Tom Taaffe-trained Defence Of Duress, the 11/2 favourite into the runner-up spot behind Jim Bolger's Cul Baire (8/1), ridden by Kevin Manning, in the RSM Farrell Grant Sparks Handicap.

His other mount Napa Star was tailed off last behind Fionnuar (13/2), also for the Bolger/Manning combination, in the William Fry Handicap after being prominent in the early stages.

Irish Independent

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