Tuesday 20 February 2018

Kissed on everyone's lips after smooth Navan debut

Thomas Kelly

BRED in the purple, Kissed was the name on everyone's lips at Navan yesterday after Aidan O'Brien's juvenile recorded an impressive victory in the EBF Fillies Maiden.

The Ballydoyle juvenile is a three-parts sister to this year's brilliant Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi and was making her racecourse debut over a mile.

Ridden by the trainer's son, Joseph, the 6/4 favourite just had to be pushed out to beat Violet Lashes by a comfortable length and a half.

Stan James were suitably impressed, making the daughter of Galileo a 16/1 chance for next year's Oaks.

Galway Hurdle disappointment Hidden Universe got back on track to justify 9/4 favouritism in the October Maiden. Chaperoned and Louisville Lip were both arguably travelling better two furlongs out, but the Dermot Weld-trained winner responded well to Pat Smullen's urgings, going on to beat the former by two and three-quarter lengths.

Charles O'Brien's Tupelo Honey took the Meath Handicap in the hands of Johnny Murtagh, who went on to complete a 20/1 double when showing all his experience to drive John Oxx's Tugboat to victory in the finale. The Meath jockey is now three ahead of Smullen (71-68) at the head of the Flat jockeys' championship and has been cut to 4/6 (from evens), while Smullen is out to 11/10.

After a string of decent efforts in the early part of the season, Edward Lynam's Balmont Mast finally came good in the opening sprint maiden and Lynam doubled up when Quote Of The Day made light work of the colts' juvenile maiden under Chris Hayes.

Across the water, the race for the Flat jockey's title continued at Nottingham, where Paul Hanagan's double contrasted with a major net loss for Silvestre de Sousa on a day when all three champion jockey aspirants were in direct competition.

Brazilian-born De Sousa drew a blank from five rides and, far more seriously, incurred a four-day suspension. Kieren Fallon was also winless yesterday.

Hanagan first drove out Richard Fahey's Changing The Guard in the 10-furlong handicap and then coasted to a comfortable success in the William Haggas-trained Figaro 10-furlong maiden. De Sousa is now 13 behind Hanagan but must sit out October 19-21 and October 24.

Irish Independent

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