Thursday 14 December 2017

Trading Leather strikes gold in Silver

Jockey Johnny Murtagh rides Levanto to victory in The TRM Invest In Calphormin Handicap
Jockey Johnny Murtagh rides Levanto to victory in The TRM Invest In Calphormin Handicap

Trading Leather booked his place in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a sound success against older opposition in the TRM Silver Stakes at the Curragh.

Jim Bolger's colt had finished second in the Dante Stakes at York and third in the Irish 2,000 Guineas on his last two starts but made no mistake when dropped into a Listed contest over a mile and a quarter.

Kevin Manning sent him on two furlongs from home after Ansgar had set a strong pace and the 5-4 favourite soon stamped his authority on the race.

He stormed clear to win by three and a half lengths from Aidan O'Brien's Lines Of Battle.

The latter's stablemate Kingston Jamaica was third.

"I was expecting a good show but you can never be too sure coming here to the Curragh for a race like that. There's nothing easy out there," said Bolger.

"It was a good effort in the Irish Guineas as the trip was short of his best. All going well in the meantime he'll be back here for the Irish Derby.

"He's a very straightforward horse but he needs the ground good or faster."

Bolger and Manning also struck with Freedom Square, who made his experience count in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Third on his previous two starts, the 9-4 joint-favourite made all of running as he scored by a length and a half from Shining Emerald.

"He's getting the hang of things and seems to go on any ground," said Bolger.

"We may look at the Railway Stakes here (on June 29)."

Royal Empress (2-1 joint-favourite) got off the mark at the seventh attempt when taking the Irish Field Maiden under Wayne Lordan.

David Wachman's charge had finished third in a Group Three over this course and distance last season and finally gained that first success by two and a quarter lengths from Illustrate.

"She was Group-placed last year so the job is nearly done," said Wachman.

"We'll look at some stakes races for her now."

Majenta (4-1) shrugged off the challenge of Maggie Dalton to follow up a Dundalk success in the TRI Equestrian EBF Fillies Handicap.

Kevin Prendergast's charge, ridden by Chris Hayes, got home by a length.

"We ran her at Dundalk because the ground was so bad everywhere else and as that was the only place we had a dry surface," said Prendergast.

"Hopefully we'll run her back on Derby weekend in a handicap again or depending on what she goes up."

Regal Power (10-1) made a winning return eight months after his last run when landing the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Handicap.

Declan McDonogh brought the Eddie Lynam-trained four-year-old with a rattling run down the outside to defeat Tarrsille by three-quarters of a length.

"I was a bit afraid of the ground with him," said Lynam.

"He charged the gate and bumped his nose but it didn't affect him too much."

Ireland's champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins had mixed fortunes in Auteuil, but struck closer to home with Levanto (3-1 favourite) in the TRM Invest In Calphormin Handicap.

Johnny Murtagh's mount drifted to the centre of the course but just managed to hold Zarkiyr by a short head.

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