Saturday 21 April 2018

Queen Catrine highlights Fairyhouse treble for Ger Lyons

Queen Catrine (left) holds off Most Beautiful to win at Fairyhouse
Queen Catrine (left) holds off Most Beautiful to win at Fairyhouse

Queen Catrine's return to form in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Brownstown Stakes provided the highlight of a Fairyhouse treble for trainer Ger Lyons.

The handler fielded two runners in the Group Three heat and Queen Catrine was sent off at odds of 14-1 among a field of only six, while stablemate Ainippe was a 7-2 chance.

However, it was Queen Catrine who set the early gallop in the hands of Gary Carroll and had enough in reserve to fend off Most Beautiful by a head at the line, with Ainippe back in fifth.

Queen Catrine had been out of luck in three previous outings this term and Lyons was pleased to secure a first win since last October.

He said: "(It was a) good strong ride from Gary. We were talking beforehand and we discussed it plenty yesterday, we both said we have the two best fillies in the race, if they come to what we are seeing at home. In fairness, they probably haven't had their ground all summer.

"I just said to both lads 'what do you want to do?'. We were nearly going to jump and run with Ainippe and then we switched back at the last minute when Gary said he would motorbike her (Queen Catrine) as she had the best draw.

"I said to them both to commit 100 per cent to whatever they were going to do and go down on your sword.

"I'd say we will stop with Ainippe once we discuss it with the Sheikh (Fahad Al Thani). She just looks like she is not in love with the game any more."

The Dermot Weld-trained Raymonda was sent off the 4-5 favourite but she was well beaten in fourth and was reported to have finished distressed.

Lyons had earlier won the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Median Auction Maiden with Noivado (7-4 favourite), who was partnered by Colin Keane.

The trainer said: "While he might be a seven-furlong or a mile horse later, he's physically not there yet. He's a light horse, even though he doesn't look it.

"I think he's a horse with a bright future and I think he did it well. I would be very happy with him. The minute he got to the front his ears pricked. I don't know what he beat, but I like this horse."

Lyons then rounded off his hat-trick while Keane made it a double with Lustrous Light (6-5) in the Next Racing At Fairyhouse September 27th Race.

"I like him. He's not the finished article but has a good attitude. Colin said he loved it out there in front," said Lyons.

"The trip to Ascot (seventh in King Edward VII Stakes) did him no harm, it probably helped to man him up a bit. He wants nice ground and minimum of a mile and a half.

"The future will be rosy with him and he'll get further as he gets older. You can't have too many Galileo's and he's a nice one to have.

"A lovely day's work."

Johnny Murtagh was on the scoresheet when Time To Reason won the Handicap.

Ridden by 7lb claimer Denis Linehan, the three-year-old was soon in front and never looked like being caught.

"He's not a flashy worker but when it comes to the racecourse he has been different. He's progressive and an improving horse," said Murtagh.

"The 7lb claim was a big help."

Ebasani (11-1) landed the Dublin's Q102 Apprentice Handicap after an initial false start which saw the inside three stalls open while the remainder remained closed.

A subsequent inquiry reported that the problem arose when a contact wire became loose when some horses became fractious in the stalls causing the structure to shake.

The socket was tightened and the stalls worked at the second time of asking.

Press Association

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