where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2017-09-12 10:10:03  

The second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend took place yesterday at the Curragh, with three Group 1 contests on the card. The main event and final Irish Classic of the season, the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger, saw the Aidan O’Brien-trained ORDER OF ST GEORGE (IRE) dominate, proving himself to be in a different league to record a second success in the race, having also finished second last year. Now a five-year-old, the son of Galileo (IRE) won the one mile and six furlong contest by nine lengths, from the Jessica Harrington-trained Torcedor (IRE) (Fastnet Rock) in second, with British raider Mount Moriah another four and a half lengths back in third, for Ralph Beckett. This was a third Group 1 win for the Irish-bred, who landed the Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last year. Bred by Paget Bloodstock, he is now the winner of over €1.5 million in prizemoney. The Prix de l’Arc looks to be next on his agenda, where he finished third behind stablemates FOUND (IRE) and HIGHLAND REEL (IRE) last season.

The Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, a seven furlong event and the final Group 1 of the Irish season for juveniles, was won by the Jim Bolger-trained VERBAL DEXTERITY (IRE). Relishing the soft conditions underfoot, the winner proved too strong for the Gordon Elliott-trained Beckford, who had beaten the winner over six furlongs in the Group 2 Railway Stakes previously, with Rostropovich (IRE) back in third. Bolger commented post-race that the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes would likely be his next target – also saying he thinks this colt is as good as any his previous five winners of that race. By Vocalised, who stands at Bolger’s Redmondstown Stud, the winner was co-bred by his trainer, with John Corcoran, and is from a family the trainer has had for several generations. He is the second foal of the placed Lonrach (IRE) (Holy Roman Emperor (IRE)), who is a daughter of the Listed Eyrefield Stakes-third Luminous One (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)). This is also the further family of the Champion racehorse, Group 1 winner and sire Sholokhov (IRE), the Champion Three-Year-Old and sire Soldier Of Fortune (IRE) and the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner and sire Intense Focus. Lonrach (IRE) has a yearling full-sister to the winner.

The Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, also over seven furlongs, saw two Aidan O’Brien-trained daughters of Galileo (IRE) fight out the finish, with the Donnacha O’Brien-ridden HAPPILY (IRE), claiming the spoils by the shortest of heads from Ryan Moore and Magical (IRE) in second, with September (IRE) almost four lengths back in third, giving O’Brien a one-two-three in the race. HAPPILY (IRE) is the fifth starter for her dam, You’resothrilling, all of which are by Galileo (IRE). Her first two foals are none other than Group 1 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous (IRE) and four-time Group 1 winner (including both British and Irish Guineas) and sire Gleneagles (IRE). Bred by Orpendale and Chelston Ireland, HAPPILY (IRE) is now a three-time winner from five starts, having followed up her maiden victory at the Curragh by winning the Group 3 Jockey Club of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown in July, before finishing second to Magical (IRE) in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh in August, prior to reversing the form here.

Elsewhere on the card, Aidan O’Brien also trained the winner of the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes in CARAVAGGIO. The three-year-old was patiently ridden in mid-division before wearing down the leader and eventual second by a length, his female stablemate Alphabet (Lawman), with Son of Rest a further length and a quarter back in third, completing a one-two-three for the Classic generation.

The first Stakes action on the day, the Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes for fillies and mares, saw SHAMREEN (IRE) make all, to successfully defend her title in a race she won twelve months ago. Trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen, she easily accounted for her rivals with Jessica Harrington’s Beautiful Morning three lengths second and Aidan O’Brien’s Rain Goddess (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)) a further neck back in third. A homebred of the Aga Khan’s, she is out of the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes winner Shareen (IRE). Now a four-year-old, SHAMREEN (IRE) is the winner of five of her ten starts and the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera is likely her next target.


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