Friday 24 May 2019

Weld takes the prize with Tarnawa

Tarnawa and Chris Weld winning from Who’s Steph and Delphinia at Naas. Photo: Alain Barr
Tarnawa and Chris Weld winning from Who’s Steph and Delphinia at Naas. Photo: Alain Barr

Graham Clark

Tarnawa boosted the Investec Oaks claims of Pink Dogwood with a gutsy victory in the Irish National Stud Racing Irish EBF Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

Dermot Weld has farmed the race over the years and he was winning it for the fourth time since 2012 as Tarnawa nailed the odds-on favourite Who's Steph in the dying strides.

Who's Steph attempted to make all the running as she was backing up quickly having only won six days ago, but she was pestered on the front end throughout by Aidan O'Brien's Delphinia.

Having eventually seen off that Ballydoyle filly, Who's Steph looked sure to collect only for Chris Hayes to launch one final challenge on Tarnawa (4-1) and she prevailed by a neck.

While O'Brien was out of luck with his two runners - Peach Tree finished just behind the principals - he will have been partly pleased with the result as Pink Dogwood had Tarnawa back in third on her seasonal return to action.

"It was a good performance by her. I thought she'd be hard to beat today," said Weld. "She's tough, genuine and stays well. We'll see how she comes out of the race before making a decision about where she goes next. Epsom may be a possibility.

"The second is a very good filly and it was a good Classic trial, but we'll just see how she comes out of the race before making any decision where she goes.

"It's a lovely race to win. Blue Wind was a very special filly. She did the Oaks double for me, she was very impressive when she won the Epsom Oaks and then came back and won at the Curragh for us as well."

Meanwhile, O'Brien's hand in next month's Investec Derby was strengthened even further after Anthony Van Dyck put his rivals in their place in the RaceBets Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield.

Having won Wednesday's Chester Vase with Sir Dragonet and the Dee Stakes at the Cheshire track 24 hours later with Circus Maximus, the Ballydoyle handler celebrated another Classic trial triumph after the son of Galileo returned to winning ways in the Listed prize.

Out of luck at the top table on his final three starts last season, the dual Group race winner took a drop down in class in his stride when appearing to enjoy every yard of the extended one-mile-three-furlong trip in mastering Pablo Escobarr by two and a quarter lengths.

Following the race, the Ryan Moore-ridden winner was cut from 12-1 into 8-1 for the Derby with some as low as 6-1 for the same race.

Paul Smith, son of joint-owner Derrick Smith, said: "Aidan has got them in great form and they are running very well.

"Ryan was delighted with him there and said he gave him a nice feel. He is a classy horse, as you know from his juvenile days. He travelled well. He will come on for the run and we are delighted with him.

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