Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Brien out of luck on Flat return

Joseph O'Brien returns after East India's defeat
Joseph O'Brien returns after East India's defeat

Joseph O'Brien's first rides on the Flat this season ended in defeat as East India and Hans Holbein were both beaten at Cork.

The dual champion jockey missed the opening day of the turf season at the Curragh last weekend after being described as "a little heavy" by his father Aidan, and instead rode over hurdles for the first time at Limerick on the same afternoon.

O'Brien jnr also missed Wednesday evening's all-weather fixture at Dundalk, leading to more speculation about his long-term future, but the jockey insists he is getting to grips with his weight.

East India was never a factor in the Rated Race, however, with the distress signals going out rounding the home turn. He eventually trailed in last of five behind the Ken Condon-trained Success Days (7-2).

With one more ride to come on the card, O'Brien said: "My weight is good and I'm looking forward to riding again later."

But there was no happy ending to the afternoon as Hans Holbein proved no match for Summaya despite being sent off the 8-15 favourite for the Blackwater Maiden.

The 10-1 winner, completing a treble for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen in the Aga Khan colours, led all the way and kicked clear of the market leader after engaging in a brief struggle entering the final two furlongs.

Press Association

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