Thursday 18 January 2018

Viscount ends drought to complete Curragh double for Ballydoyle

Thomas Kelly

Viscount Nelson scored his first victory since August 2009 as he dropped to Listed level in the Donate to KARE at Silver Stakes at the Curragh last night.

Sent off the 4/5 favourite, Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old made short work of his four rivals, cruising in second in the hands of Colm O'Donoghue with a furlong to run.

He only had to give the signal and Viscount Nelson stretched clear for a three-and-a-half-length verdict over Bob Le Beau without ever really coming out of second gear.

This success completed a double for the O'Brien-O'Donoghue alliance, which had earlier struck with Vault in the opening juvenile maiden.

The Danehill Dancer colt was an easy-to-back 7/2 chance as early morning support (at 11/2) for Jessica Harrington's Dragon Pulse followed through on the track to send him off the 5/2 favourite.

Vault was never far off the pace, holding a slight advantage over a furlong out before Dragon Pulse threw down what looked a threatening challenge. However O'Donoghue's mount battled away inside the final furlong to hold on by a head.

The Ken Condon-trained Coprah (8/1) showed the benefit of a couple of outings this season to take the D & M Trucks supporting KARE Maiden.

Billy Lee's mount stayed on well to lead inside final furlong to beat Tashqeel by a length and a half, with favourite Vastitas a neck away in third.

Lee went on to complete a double aboard Terminal Velocity, which caused a 33/1 shock in the Winders Electrical supporting KARE Maiden.

Andrew Oliver's charge overcame some trouble in running to lead inside the final furlong for a length-and-a-half success over Fountain Of Honour.

At Tramore, Gudnis Gracious Me readily justified 11/8 favouritism to win the two-mile novice chase for trainer John O'Shea and stable jockey Sean McDermott.

Eoin Doyle's Safari Sunup justified 2/1 favouritism to win the opening maiden hurdle.

Meanwhile, O'Brien's Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Roderic O'Connor goes in search of further Classic honours in France tomorrow as he contests the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly.

The Ballydoyle colt steps up to a mile and a quarter this weekend and Ryan Moore takes the mount on the 4/1 favourite.

"He's in good form and we always thought that he would definitely get a mile and a quarter," O'Brien said. "We would be hopeful and I'm looking forward to seeing him run."

A 16-runner field also includes Godolphin's Casamento, last seen finishing down the field behind Frankel in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

French Guineas winner Tin Horse also steps up in distance.

Irish Independent

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