Gregarina makes her mark in Athasi debut

Joseph O’Brien completed a hat-trick of Coolmore Stud Little Big Bear Irish EBF Athasi Stakes triumphs, but not with the runner most expected as Gregarina swooped on the line.

O’Brien, who was successful with Twilight Spinner in 2022 and Honey Girl 12 months ago, also saddled 6-4 favourite Jumbly and Valpolicella in the Curragh Group Three.

However, it was Gregarina (16-1) who came through from the back late on and got up in the dying strides to score by a head from You Send Me.

Your first 30 days for just £1

You Send Me had looked all over the winner of the seven-furlong feature when fending off the challenge of the William Haggas-trained British raider Doom.

But that pair ultimately had to settle for minor honours after Dylan Browne McMonagle conjured up a late charge from French import Gregarina on her first start for the stable.

The five-year-old had won three of her 15 races in France for Fabrice Chappet, including a couple of Listed-class strikes at ParisLongchamp and Deauville.

O’Brien said: “It was a fantastic ride. She was quite a hard puller in her races in France and we just had the objective today of getting her settled. We didn’t want her over-racing on her first run of the season and she switched off lovely.

Guineas Festival Trials – Curragh Racecourse – Monday 6th May
Gregarina ridden by Dylan Browne McMonagle (far side) passes You Send Me (Niall Carson/PA).

“I was surprised with the kick she showed, it really was very impressive visually. It was a cool, patient ride from Dylan.

“She will either come back here for the fillies’ race on Guineas weekend or more likely go straight to Ascot for the mile Group Two, Duke of Cambridge.”

It was a welcome change of fortune for McMonagle, who had a bandage covering stitches on his nose and a black eye after being kicked by a two-year-old earlier in the day.

Other Recent Posts by This Author:

Try Tix for Better Tote Returns

Your first 30 days for just £1
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.