The roads around Leopardstown on Thursday evening resembled one big car park with nothing moving.
Quite apart from the usual suburban rush hour evening traffic at the south Dublin venue we had breakdowns, road closures, diversions – all the fun of the fair.
Traffic coming off the M50 – which as usual was no picnic itself – were crawling to a standstill at both the Brewery Road and Ballyogan ends of the track, with extensive roadworks at Cornelscourt adding to the fun and games.
While those coming to hear Smokie in concert after racing weren’t too bothered, many off the regular racegoers didn’t make the second race, let alone the first.
And those who missed the opener certainly had the better of things as the Ger Lyons trained Inverleigh 25/1 beat stablemate and 5/4 favourite Burmese Waltz.
The winner ran very green but clearly has gears. Lyons said: “We knew if anything could beat Burmese Waltz it was him. He did his best work late and will certainly get seven furlongs.”
“He’s a work in progress so whether he runs again this season I don’t know” he added.
Whatever about the traffic problems outside, Woody Creek had to quickly apply the brakes when the winner veered right across her and she should be winning a fillies maiden in the near future. The many lost on Burmese Waltz should be recovered next time.
Punters were reeling but Dermot Weld supporters were quickly back on good terms with the world as both Betsey Trotter 5/2 and heavily backed first timer Centroid 4/5 (7/4 in the morning) both obliged for Declan McDonogh.
It was well watered good to firm ground but Weld felt that the Khalid Abdullah owned Centroid would prefer some ease.
“He’d like some cut, certainly softer that that but it was time to start him off” Weld explained.
“I’ll speak to Lord Grimthorpe but I imagine we’ll look at a stakes race next.”
“Betsey Trotter is a teak tough mare, all ground comes alike to her really, and she could run in a Premier Handicap” he added.
Ken Condon won the Irish 2,000 Guineas with Romanised this year, and a rising tide clearly lifts all boats as Ice Cold In Alex is becoming a consistent moneyspinner for the Curragh yard.
The Middleham Park Racing owned gelding took the Grant Thornton Rated Race, the 100/30 fancy finishing fast on the stand side to beat 11/8 jolly Sirjack Thomas by three lengths with long time leader Geological third.
“He’s running well and goes really well for Niall McCullagh. That’s two from three and Niall said he was just worried out of it a bit at Naas by a typically tough Jim Bolger filly (Scoil Naisiunta).”
But the spotlight swung back on Weld and McDonogh as they completed a superb treble when 9/4 chance Eziyra simply cruised home when coming from last to first for an emphatic success in the main event, the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes.
“She ran a great race last year when placed behind Enable in the Irish Oaks. That was a great run this evening in what was her first race in eleven months.”
“She’s entered in plenty of Group Ones and she might run in the Yorkshire Oaks next. The Breeders Cup Fillies And Mares is a possibility but that’s quite a while away.”
McDonogh said: “I had a good chat on the phone this morning with Pat Smullen and he told me exactly what to do.”
“She’s a very good mare and did it well. I’m having a great run but I’m just keeping the seat warm for Pat.”
TOP OFTHE RA 14/1 (won 9/2) was a real diamond for Declan’s Irish Racing Service this week with Echo Park 9/2 (w 3/1), Astronomer 7/2 (w 5/2), Eziyra 9/4, Broome 13/8 (w 4/5), Lure Of The Sea evens (w 8/11) and Mutaabeq evens (w 1/3) other gems.
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