Joseph O’Brien looks to have a very nice prospect on his hands in the shape of Above The Curve, who was cut to 16-1 for the Cazoo Oaks following an easy victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Leopardstown.
Available at 40-1 for Epsom with Betfair prior to the race, the daughter of American Pharoah cruised around on the outside under Shane Crosse before quickly putting the race to bed.
Her dam is an unraced half-sister to Giant’s Causeway and the way the 6-5 favourite sprinted two-and-three-quarter-lengths clear of Thoughts Of June it looks like she has plenty of the family’s ability.
“We think a lot of her. She had a really good run last year and she obviously has an amazing pedigree,” said O’Brien.
“We couldn’t ask for more, we’ll see where we go now but we think she’s an Oaks-type filly.
“She’s a very big filly so we’ll be managing her gently, maybe something like the Blue Wind would suit.
“We won’t be throwing her in at the deep end, we’ll take baby steps with her.
“She really is huge, in a way she’s nearly too big and we’ll have to manage her correctly. She hasn’t done anything wrong so far anyway.”
Boundless Ocean atoned for a narrow defeat at the Curragh on his seasonal return when winning the aparto Student (C & G) Maiden.
Jim Bolger’s colt had shown smart form in a couple of Group races at two but was beaten a head by Michael O’Callaghan’s newcomer Malex on the first day of the season.
Kevin Manning kicked clear a furlong out on the 5-4 market leader, with the Johnny Murtagh-trained debutant Flying Dolphin keeping him honest in going down by three-quarters of a length.
Snowfall’s brother Newfoundland was badly outpaced in the straight before staying on nicely when the penny dropped.
“The boss is absolutely delighted with him and the target now will be the Irish Guineas,” said Bolger’s daughter, Una Manning.
“He probably just needed the run the last day.”
Aidan O’Brien dominated the Student Raceday Fillies Maiden, with the more experienced Lullaby (4-1) holding off newcomer Only, the first foal of Winter.
“It was grand that she won, we liked her last year and she has a high enough rating,” said O’Brien.
“We were delighted with her and she’ll come back here for the Guineas Trial over a mile.
“I’m delighted with the second filly, she ran a lovely race and won’t mind stepping up whenever. She was a bit green down the inside but ran a lovely race too.
“We’ll give her a little bit of time, we won’t rush her, and she’ll go back for a maiden. She could be an Irish Oaks filly, when she goes up to that trip she’ll be very happy.”