Tag Archive for: Apricot Sky

Lady Hollywood stars for Alice Haynes at Naas

Lady Hollywood made it a successful first runner in Ireland for Alice Haynes with victory in the Arqana Irish EBF Marwell Stakes at Naas.

On a hat-trick after wins in novice events at Lingfield and most recently Beverley, the Havana Grey filly moved into contention supremely well and showed a nice attitude under Rossa Ryan to keep Ger Lyons’ odds-on favourite Mauiewowie at bay by a length and a half.

“First runner in Ireland and it’s a winner,” said Newmarket-based Haynes.

“Our only concern coming here today was whether this race was a bit too soon from Beverley. But the form was franked when the horse that she beat twice (Mrs U S A) just went and won before this race (at Sandown).

“She has a great brain and is so straightforward to train. She showed a lot of speed here and it appears that she is getting quicker and quicker. We can probably set our sights a bit higher now.

“Rossa just said about sending her to America for the Breeders’ Cup, but we’ll go back to the drawing board and speak to the owner (Amo Racing and Omnihorse Racing) before making a plan.

“She’ll keep to five for the moment.”

She added: “I’ve been training since the end of February last year and we had a Listed winner last year.

“We have a lovely bunch of 38 horses in Newmarket right at the bottom of Warren Hill.”

Lyons had better luck when Pirate Jenny (13-2) sprang a minor surprise in the Yeomanstown Stud Irish EBF Stakes.

Her stablemate Sacred Bridge brought strong form to the table as the 5-4 favourite, including when beaten only two lengths by Homeless Songs on her seasonal return.

But although travelling well for Colin Keane, she could never quite get to Pirate Jenny, who made all up the rail in the hands of Gary Carroll to prevail by three-quarters of a length from Sablonne, with Sacred Bridge a head back in third.

Lyons said: “Gary said she was very tough. The last day was too soon after the Cork race. She is a filly that I need to give some time between her races.

“All my fillies it’s about black type and making them worth the value that we pay for them. That’s another job done.

“I was disappointed with Sacred. What I’ve seen at home with the blinkers she was just going to pick them up and go but Colin’s reaction was that she didn’t face the blinkers.

“She is not ungenuine but I just felt she was going through the motions and I thought the blinkers would help.”

Lyons earlier unleased a very smart prospect as Apricot Twist dazzled on debut in the Irish Stallion Farms Maiden.

The Juddmonte-owned daughter of Expert Eye was nicely away and always to the fore, before picking up and stretching well clear from two and a half furlongs out.

Strongly supported as the 11-8 favourite, the Keane-ridden youngster won with seven and a half lengths in hand over Mount Ruapehu.

Lyons said: “She’s a lovely filly and I’ve liked her from day one. We have literally given her six weeks cantering and haven’t worked her.

Happy connections with Apricot Twist
Happy connections with Apricot Twist (PA)

“She is after blossoming and I said we’d run her here and if she wins she wins, not expecting her to do that.

“I think the boys bought two Expert Eyes for the farm this year and both of them have won.

“We’ll let her progress and no doubt it will be black type. She’s not entered in any early-closing races. The rules with Juddmonte horses are they have to earn the right, but they won’t be afraid to supplement if needed.

“She’ll get a bit further, but we don’t need to do anything with the trip at the moment.”