Sea The Lion foils old rival 'Gustavus' to claim Curragh honours for Fahey
Old sparring partners Sea The Lion and Gustavus Vassa fought out another nail-biting finish at the Curragh last night with Jarlath Fahy's Sea The Lion once again prevailing to claim the featured Ragusa Handicap.
Sea The Lion beat Gustavus Vassa by a nose in the Cork Derby earlier in the month and there was a head between them after a final-furlong battle this time.
Gustavus Vassa was fancied by punters to get his revenge from Cork as he went off 7/4 favourite, while Sea The Lion was a 7/1 chance. They duo pulled eight lengths clear of third-placed Share The Honour.
"He's done it again and it was an unbelievable performance again, he just knows where that line is. The two of them pulled well clear of everything again and he got on top again, he's some horse," Fahey said. "All being well I think the Ebor is going to be on the agenda. He'll probably go up enough at this stage to get into it."
Training honours on the night went to Aidan O'Brien who carded a treble with stable jockey Ryan Moore on board for the victories of Peach Tree (6/4f), Somerset Maugham (5/2f) and Lucius Tiberius (9/4f).
The latter brought up the treble in good style in the Paddy Power Onside App Handicap.
Moore delivered his challenge between horses and he hit the front over a furlong out and was soon ridden to go and win his race.
The Camelot colt asserted in the final 150 yards to come home by two-and-a-quarter lengths.
He was popular during the day as his price contracted from 11/2 to 9/4 favourite for this mile and a quarter handicap.
"Ryan rode him in Ascot and said to drop him back. He's a progressive horse and Ryan said that in an ideal world he'd even wait a bit longer with him next time," O'Brien said.
"Those Camelots seem to quicken, they handle good ground and quicken up off it which is great. He could go for a Listed race over a mile-and-a-quarter."
Gavin Ryan earned praise from Jim Bolger after guiding Dawn Hoofer home in the Apprentice Derby.
The three-year old filly was backed down from 13/2 to 9/2 and readily saw out the mile-and-a-half trip to score by half a length from 3/1 favourite Azzuri which kept on well.
"He's a good rider. He'll probably be back here some day on Derby Day in the number one spot although we might have to wait a few years," Bolger said.