Recital fluffs his Derby lines
Recital's Derby hopes were dealt a blow at Leopardstown as he suffered a shock odds-on reverse in the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes.
The Montjeu colt had swept towards the head of the ante-post betting for the Epsom showpiece when rounding off his juvenile campaign with a Group One triumph in France.
He was bidding to follow in the hoofprints of a number of trainer Aidan O'Brien's former stars, with Derby winners Galileo and High Chaparral both landing this Group Three en route to Classic glory.
Sent off the 8/13 favourite, Recital pulled for his head in the early stages and jockey Ryan Moore soon had his mount anchored at the rear of the field.
Jim Bolger's Banimpire (14/1) and Kevin Manning were always up with the pace and showed a determined attitude to repel the sustained challenge of Regent Street by half a length.
Recital made eye-catching ground in the straight but it was all too late, and he passed the post in third position.
"That wasn't a big surprise as she had run a very good race at The Curragh the last day and we always felt she would stay this trip," said Bolger.
"We've a few options to start thinking about now, but the Guineas is a definite option."
It was a similar story in the opening two-year-old maiden with Bolger's 4/1 shot Parish Hall -- the first runner for sire Teofilo which was forced to retire unbeaten five years ago -- coming out on top.
O'Brien's Raphael Santi (5/6 favourite) found his stride late on for Moore, but Parish Hall held him off for a three-quarters of a length success.
O'Brien and Moore did find the target in the 10-furlong maiden with 13/8 market leader Quest For Peace.
Dermot Weld's Famous Name secured his seventh course victory by claiming the Heritage Stakes for the second successive year.
Making his seasonal reappearance, the 2/13 favourite travelled strongly on the heels of the leaders before quickening clear from the turn for home, beating Finicius by two and a half lengths.
"He is a joy to train and the aim for this year is to win a Group One with him," said Weld.
"I'll speak to Lord Grimthorpe (owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager) before making a plan."
Weld went on to complete a double on the card, with 9/2 shot Northern Rocked opening his account for the year in the Follow Leopardstown on Facebook Handicap.
One Up One Down took top honours in the Family Days at Leopardstown Handicap for Ger Lyons.
The 20/1 chance looked to have plenty to do on his handicap debut but showed a smart change of gear to get the better of Oh What A Kitten by a length and three-quarters.