Thursday 26 April 2018

Weld to aim high with Tested after Gowran Park stroll

Esoteriqe and Maxime Guyon land the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket for Andre Fabre
Esoteriqe and Maxime Guyon land the Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket for Andre Fabre

Thomas Kelly

The Dermot Weld winners' bandwagon continued at Gowran Park where the red-hot Curragh trainer landed the opener with promising filly Tested.

Having won her only juvenile start at the Curragh last September, the Khalid Abdullah-owned three-year-old confirmed that she looks Group material with an easy victory in the seven-furlong conditions race for fillies.

Stepping in for the suspended Pat Smullen, Leigh Roche was in no hurry on the well-backed 4/11 favourite, which sauntered through to challenge for the lead heading towards the final furlong and gradually forged clear to score by two-and-a-half lengths from Colour Blue.

Afterwards Weld expressed satisfaction with the victory, indicating a step-up in class is on the cards next time out.

"I wanted her to have an easy introduction because she's a timid filly," explained the Rosewell House maestro. "We'll see how she progresses over the next couple of weeks and I see her as a Group class filly."

Another three-year-old with plenty of potential, Warbird, opened his campaign with a commanding all-the-way victory in the rated race over a mile.

Mick Halford's charge (3/1), racing in the familiar old colours of Sheikh Mohammed, showed plenty of promise in four runs as a juvenile, winning a seven-furlong maiden at the same track in September.

Sent straight to the front by Shane Foley, he was threatened by the favourite Trinity Force in the final quarter-mile but readily saw off his opponent to win by a length and a quarter, with a further three lengths to Lanyard, which had every chance.

Ger Lyons claimed the training performance of the afternoon as Piri Wango (4/1) returned from a 620-day lay-off and showed a great attitude to see off Jim Bolger's Einsteins Folly in a duel for the one-mile handicap, getting the better of the argument by a neck under Colin Keane.

Tommy Stack's newcomer Ashtaroth showed plenty of determination as the 7/1 shot took the narrow gaps on the rail to snatch the one-mile maiden by a neck in the shadow of the post under Wayne Lordan.

Joseph Murphy's Consonance (12/1) stuck on gamely to grab the lead late on in the seven-furlong handicap for a half-length victory under Niall McCullagh, who went on to a double when the Thomas Cleary-trained Truly Delightful (16/1) refused to give way in taking the Like Us On Facebook Handicap by half a length.

Patrick Prendergast was on the mark in the finale as his Namurian Sunset (10/1) held off Dancing Soprano to capture the fillies maiden under Fergal Lynch.

At Sligo, meanwhile, Billy Lee enjoyed a memorable 196/1 treble when taking the opening races on 7/4 shots Champagne Or Water and Northern Surprise and the finale on 25/1 shot I'll Be Your Clown

Willie McCreery's Champagne Or Water was a facile winner of the six-furlong maiden, as Tim Doyle enjoyed his second winner of the week with Northern Surprise after Mallowney's Punchestown triumph. Lee completed his trio aboard Andy Oliver's debutant I'll Be Your Clown.

Reigning champion apprentice Connor King also excelled when doubling up aboard Prendergast's in-foal Madam Mo (5/6 favourite) and Daredevil Day (8/1) for Murphy – to complete across-the-card doubles for both trainers.

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