Wednesday 22 November 2017

Wonderfully stars in O'Brien hat-trick

Wonderfully lands the Silver Flash at Leopardstown
Wonderfully lands the Silver Flash at Leopardstown

Wonderfully led home a 1-2 for in-form Aidan O'Brien when making all in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.

Jumped out quickly by Joseph O'Brien, the pack never really got to the 13/8 favourite, which had last been seen finishing seventh in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot – form that is working out extremely well.

Sporting a visor for the first time, the daughter of Galileo had a length in hand over stablemate Perhaps, which finished strongly in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

O'Brien pointed towards the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh on August 11 for Wonderfully.

"She is an improving filly, she's lazy in front and that's why she had the visor on," said the Ballydoyle maestro, who was completing a double along with Joseph after odds-on Geoffrey Chaucer made a winning debut in the opener. O'Brien Snr went on to make it a treble as daughter Ana partnered Fairylike (4/1) to a convincing victory in the apprentice handicap.

Royal Diamond justified short-priced favouritism for trainer-jockey Johnny Murtagh in the Listed Challenge Stakes. Last year's Irish St Leger winner soon opened up a big advantage in front, being well clear with a mile of the mile-and-three-quarters still to run.

Nothing ever seriously looked like narrowing the gap and Murtagh was able to ease the 5/4 favourite significantly close home as Sir Ector ran on to take second.

Murtagh was recording his first Listed-race winner as a trainer and is hoping to persuade the owner to send his charge to Australia in the autumn.

"I had thought he was a Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup-type of horse and I might have to twist the owner's arm as he was thinking of going back for the Leger," said the Meath man.

Elsewhere, former Epsom Derby hope Telescope – part-owned by Alex Ferguson – finally got back on track when turning the three-runner conditions stakes into a procession at Leicester.

The Michael Stoute-trained colt made such a big impression in two runs as a juvenile that he headed into the winter as a leading ante-post fancy for the premier Classic.

Shattered

However, the dreams of owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing were shattered when he failed to go to Epsom after a couple of setbacks earlier this year.

The 1/2 favourite got a good lead from Centurius before jockey Ryan Moore asked him for an effort three furlongs from home. As Centurius faded, Telescope galloped away to pass the post 24 lengths clear with Godolphin's Mulakim second.

Connections of Sky Lantern were unsuccessful in their appeal against the result of the Falmouth Stakes, with Elusive Kate confirmed as the winner.

The BHA said the disciplinary panel were satisfied Elusive Kate "did not improve (her) placing by virtue of interference, the appeal has been dismissed."

Irish Independent

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