The turf flat season runs until tomorrow week at Naas in Ireland, and it was business as usual in the opener at that track last Sunday with a Ballydoyle 1,2,3.
Donnacha O’Brien brought San Andreas home in front of a fast finishing Ferretti with early leader The Corporal third.
Never slow to get in on the act, Joseph O’Brien was on target in the next , a juvenile fillies maiden with 16/1 shot Rainbow Moonstone.
She had finished last on her debut the previous Monday at Gowran Park but Joseph explained:
“We thought she’d run well at Gowran, but that was over a mile on heavy ground and she went well early but didn’t stay at all.”
“Back to six furlongs on much better ground today we thought she’d run well, but I didn’t think she’d win.”
“She wouldn’t be one for the all weather at Dundalk, that’s why we were anxious to run her again before the end of the season” he added.
The Birdcatcher Nursery was a big attraction, and was won for the second year in a row by Ger Lyons.
This time Chicago May – 7/1 to 11/2 -did the business, and she had won over seven furlongs at the track earlier in the season.
Colin Keane won from the front – certainly the best tactic on the day for no obvious reason – and Lyons said:
“She’s a hard filly to train, and Colin deserves that as he has her hands full trying to ride her out every day.”
“But I must say she was really tough and brave today, she was all guts out there.”
“Hopefully next year she’ll develop into a black type filly, otherwise she might go racing in America” Ger added.
Patrick Prendergast is enjoying a fine season, and 11/1 shot Cedars Of Lebanon scored a repeat course victory when landing the seven furlongs Auction Stakes.
Sunblessed, an unconsidered 50/1 chance was a real eye catcher when coming from a different postal zone to take second.
Yet it was mainly O’Brien family domination again with Sarrochi and Curley – in the Fillies Listed – adding to Aidan’s tally while Downdraft was another for Joseph.
Incidentally that was Joseph’s 83rd winner of the flat season.
So those who thought he was going to figure mainly on the jumping scene had better think again.
Another good week for Declan’s Irish Racing Service with Magical 7/1 (won 5/1); Flavius 7/2 (w 9/4), Centrifolia 7/2, Perfect Taratino 10/3 (w 5/2), Western Frontier 13/8 and each way Lakemilan 11/1 (2nd 5/2 fav.).