Sunday 18 February 2018

Vote edges Express thriller

Vote Often, left, holds on to beat Odeliz
Vote Often, left, holds on to beat Odeliz

Vote Often got the better of British raider Odeliz in a thrilling climax to the feature Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes to initiate a big-race double for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen on the opening day of the Flat turf campaign at the Curragh.

Karl Burke's challenger Odeliz travelled powerfully for much of the mile journey and looked set to take the Group Three prize back to Middleham after cruising up to the lead entering the closing stages.

However, 10-1 shot Vote Often, last seen running away with a juvenile Naas maiden in October and having just her third start, knuckled down well for Smullen to win the argument by a head.

Odeliz ran an excellent race in defeat in second, conceding over a stone to the winner due to the weight-for-age allowance. Achnaha was third.

Weld said: "She's a lovely tough filly and she won well at Naas last year. The key is she loves that ground. That's why we have her out early.

"She's beautifully bred and it's good to get her a Group Three win. She'll be considered for the Irish 1000 Guineas."

Press Association

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