Thursday 22 February 2018

Sir Maximilian plunders spoils on trip to Tipperary

Stevie Donohoe riding Sir Maximilian (L) win The Stellar Group Handicap Stakes at Chester racecourse in May
Stevie Donohoe riding Sir Maximilian (L) win The Stellar Group Handicap Stakes at Chester racecourse in May

Thomas Kelly

ENGLISH raider Sir Maximilian ran out a most impressive winner of the Listed Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary.

The Tim Pitt-trained gelding had finished a close seventh in the Stewards' Cup at Glorious Goodwood last weekend and had no trouble turning out quickly across the Irish Sea.

Dropping back to five furlongs on quick ground, Stevie Donohoe was always just chasing the leaders and was still a few lengths down as Abstraction hit the front a furlong out.

But the 2/1 chance found his feet and picked up well inside the last to cut down Abstraction and eventually win by a relatively cosy three-quarters of a length, with 13/8 favourite Russian Soul in third.

It was a second Irish win from as many tries for Pitt's charge, which won a valuable handicap at the Curragh last month.

"He's a very good horse, we're only getting to know him now and five furlongs is his trip," said Pitt. "He'll run in the Flying Five at the Curragh next and then on to the Prix de l'Abbaye."


Favourite backers suffered a big setback in the Coolmore Canford Cliffs Stakes when the Aidan O'Brien-trained East India was beaten at long odds-on.

The son of Galileo looked a Classic prospect in the making when staying on strongly to score by a narrow margin on his racecourse bow at the Curragh, and was backed into 1/5 to build on that in this extended seven-furlong contest.

But the warning signs appeared rounding the turn for home and on straightening up it was clear Joseph O'Brien's mount would have to go some way to reel in the front-running Convergence in the hands of Colin Keane.

In the end the Ger Lyons-trained Convergence (7/2) proved too strong, winning by five lengths, with East India clear of the rest. The victorious Cape Cross colt was scoring for the second time from five starts.

O'Brien enjoyed better fortune earlier when his Simply A Star took the opening juvenile maiden under Seamie Heffernan. Having her sixth run, the daughter of Giant's Causeway justified 5/4 favouritism by stretching three lengths clear of Sassy But Classy.

Press Association

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