Point Lonsdale posts emphatic victory in Futurity Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s leading juvenile Point Lonsdale continued his seamless career progression so far as he remained unbeaten with a dominant display in the Group Two Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.

Point Lonsdale, previously successful in his maiden over this course and distance, the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and then a Leopardstown Group three last month, was a 1-6 favourite to take another rise in class in his stride.

The Australia colt duly did so, assuming control from an early stage under Ryan Moore and easily maintaining and ultimately stretching his advantage to win by more than four lengths from Maritime Wings.

Point Lonsdale took care of the same opponent on his previous appearance, and his Chesham form had been substantiated earlier in the day when runner-up Reach For The Moon was a decisive Group Three winner at Sandown.

Bookmakers responded to his latest demonstration of superiority by shortening him half a point into 3-1 for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, while he also retains his grip at the head of the market for both the 2000 Guineas and Derby.

O’Brien quickly confirmed, however, that Point Lonsdale’s next assignment will be a third appearance over this same course and distance – in next month’s Group One Vincent O’Brien National Stakes

The Ballydoyle trainer said: “We’re delighted with him. He’s a lovely, straightforward horse.

“He relaxes, he quickens – and his head goes down to the ground when you ask him. He’s happy to go in front, but if someone wants to lead him, great. When you want him he quickens. He’s a classy horse.

“He wouldn’t like that (yielding) ground – he wants good or better to be ideal, because he’s a lovely mover.

“He’ll come back here for the National Stakes – that’s the plan.”

Agartha was an all-the-way winner of the preceding Group Two on the card, for the two-year-old fillies in the Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes.

Declan McDonogh bounced Joseph O’Brien’s Agartha out in front – and as the race developed, she always had matters under control to win by two lengths as the 4-1 co-favourite of four.

The daughter of Caravaggio, racing for the sixth time in a busy campaign, was unable to win a maiden in four attempts but sprang a surprise in a Leopardstown Group Three last month – and confirmed her improvement over the same trip here.

Sunset Shiraz, the only maiden in the eight-strong field, stayed on from off the pace to get closest to the winner – but Agartha was in no danger from the 25-1 outsider.

O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell said: “She’s unreal, she’s tough – and Declan said she seems to go on any ground.

“Last time out he made plenty of use of her, and he’s done the same today. You could see them trying to come at her one by one.

“Shane (Crosse) was on the other one (fourth-placed stablemate Seisai) and said they went a proper gallop.

“She seems to stay well – she gallops well and puts her head down. Most of all. she’s an absolute trier.

“I know most were over shorter trips, but it makes you wonder how she didn’t win her maiden. You don’t mind that, with what she’s done now!”

Dual champion jockey Colin Keane had a treble in the bag after the opening three races – all juvenile maidens.

Both Eclat De Lumiere and Straight Answer were successful on their respective racecourse debuts, and then Duke De Sessa was an emphatic winning favourite on his second career start.

Dermot Weld’s well-bred filly Eclat De Lumiere struck late down the middle of the track in the Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, for a half-length success from favourite Benitoite at 7-2 – in the colours of Moyglare Stud.

Juddmonte’s Kodiac colt Straight Answer, trained by Ger Lyons, took control of the DMG Media Irish EBF Maiden mid-race on the way to a length-and-a-quarter victory as 15-8 favourite from Rhea Moon.

Then Keane completed his treble, and a double for Weld, when 6-4 shot Duke De Sessa proved far too good for the opposition in the Coolmore Arizona Irish EBF Maiden – winning by almost five lengths.

Weld confirmed his high opinion of the winner, and Classic aspirations next year.

He said: “He’s a lovely colt.

“He was probably unlucky not to win in Galway but he’s progressed from that and learned from that day. You could call him a winner a long way down there.

“He’ll have one more run this year in a Group race. I’ll speak with (owner) Maurice Regan and see which one we’ll pick.

“He’s a very smart colt and a lovely horse to look forward to – a potential Guineas horse for next year.”

Magnanimous gesture rewarded with Listed honours

Magnanimous returned to winning form to post his first Listed success in the Glencairn Stakes at Leopardstown.

Joseph O’Brien’s three-year-old saw off both his contemporaries and elders with plenty in hand, scoring by two lengths at 8-1.

Magnanimous, without a win in his previous four starts since prevailing in a Listowel handicap last September, made the most of a minor pull in the weights under these race conditions to number his Curragh Listed conqueror Lunar Space among those behind him this time.

Shane Crosse had the Mehmas colt positioned in third entering the straight, off the pace set by Koolasice. But once he challenged and soon led a furlong out, he took control – with Four Home Two closest at the line, and favourite Sinawann another length and a quarter back in third on his belated first start of the campaign.

The winner was returning to a mile for only the second time in his career, and assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: “His run against Poetic Flare here was a good run (sixth to the subsequent 2000 Guineas winner in April) – but last time, Shane said he was all over the place on the ground at Naas.

“He said he did that really well today. I’d say that’s by far his best run.

“He was shouldering a lot of weight in his nurseries last year. He’s a genuine horse – and he loves this (good) ground.

“Hopefully he’ll go on from here. He’s got speed for seven, stays this trip well and will probably stay a bit further even in time. I’m sure there will be plenty of options for him.”

Juncture built on her debut effort with an emphatic victory in the opening Yeomanstown Stud “Shaman” Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.

Ger Lyons’ juvenile was no match for Contarelli Chapel at Naas in April, but still caught the eye there as one who looked sure to be winning races.

Colin Keane had the 11-10 favourite in front early this time, and was then prominent throughout before taking over again just inside the last two furlongs and stretching clear to win by three and a quarter lengths from Radiyka.

O’Brien’s debutant Seisai – running in the all green colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede much more widely associated with jumps racing, and a half-sister to Magnanimous – kept on well from off the pace to finish a promising third.

Shane Lyons, assistant trainer of the Juddmonte-owned winner, said: “We’re very happy with that.

“She was green the first day – as you’d expect – and we gave her a two-week break. She enjoyed herself, and we were a little worried that she might be a little stuffy for it.

“Hopefully she’ll improve again for that. That trip is ideal, and she’ll get a little bit further.

“That was the first box ticked. We’ll see where we go now as it’s going to be a long year with her.”