Weld's Gem of a week
Dermot Weld has enjoyed a week to remember even by his remarkable standards and rounded off a great few days with Precious Gem in the Martin Moloney Stakes at Limerick yesterday.
A little over 24-hours on from Rite Of Passage's thrilling win in the Ascot Gold Cup, the master of Rosewell House sent out the 2/1 favourite to land a valuable Listed success.
Pat Shanahan hit the front inside the final furlong on the recent Leopardstown handicap winner, which stayed on well under a fine ride to hold off Choose Me by a neck, giving Weld a second win in the race.
"We thought she'd win, it's great to win a Listed race and she's beautifully-bred filly," said Weld's son Kris. "We've no real plans for her, we'll either go for something similar or a Group Three."
It got even better for the Weld team when Directa King (3-1) took the concluding contest following a finely-judged ride from Roger Quinlan.
A 5lb penalty proved just too much for even-money favourite Sean Og Coulston, as the six-year-old was denied a hat-trick by Miss Eze (10/1) in the Special Olympics Ireland Games Families Party Handicap.
The market leader was close up throughout and made a bold bid before being collared in the last 100 yards by the Paul Cashman-trained winner. "She's in a six-furlong handicap at the Curragh next weekend," he said.
Rum Raisin was sent off the outsider of three runners for The Irish Mirror Maiden -- but never saw another rival as the 5/1 chance made every yard to win with ease under Seamie Heffernan.
"She loves the real fast ground and she got a great ride," said George Murphy, son of winning trainer John.
Aidan O'Brien got on the scoreboard at Royal Ascot -- courtesy of Lillie Langtry and Mikhail Glinka -- and was on target closer to home with Gemstone in the Grant Thornton Race.
Sean Levey made all aboard the 4/7 favourite, who kept on well inside the final furlong to hold off fast-finishing Kissable by a length-and-a-quarter.