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Broome sweeps aside Mooresbridge opposition

Aidan O’Brien’s Broome completed a hat trick of victories when taking the Group Two Coolmore Sottsass Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.

The five-year-old started his season with a Listed win in the Devoy Stakes at Naas in March, following up that victory with a Group Three triumph in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh in April.

Starting as the 4-9 favourite for Monday’s contest, the entire son of Australia prevailed more comfortably than the two-length winning margin would suggest in the hands of Ryan Moore

“He’s a lovely horse and he’s come back very well this year,” the jockey said.

Broome after winning the Coolmore Sottsass Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes (PA)

“There is plenty left in there and he kind of played with them to be honest.

“He’s unbeaten at 10 (furlongs), but I do think he’ll get further.”

On the bay’s chances of holding his own when returned to Group One level, Moore added: “He’s only had a couple of goes and has been fourth on two occasions, so he’s entitled to have another go at it.”

Noel Meade’s Helvic Dream came home in second, with Joseph O’Brien’s Twilight Payment a further four and a half lengths behind in third.

Broome digs in for Alleged success

Broome had to work hard to justify odds-on favouritism in the Holden Plant Rentals Alleged Stakes at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge had looked smart in 2019, winning two Classic trials before finishing a close fourth in the Derby at Epsom, but he subsequently lost his way before returning to winning form on his comeback at Naas last month.

Sent off the 1-2 market leader on the back of that run, Broome was slowly away, with Ryan Moore pushing him up early to sit in fifth as Numerian set the early pace.

Broome looked in a perfect position to challenge, but Moore was having to get to work on the turn for home and had ground to make up on the frontrunners with two furlongs to run.

It looked as though Thundering Nights had produced a winning effort when she collared Up Helly Aa at the furlong pole – but Moore was not giving up on Broome, who responded to his every urging to poke his head in front just strides from the post.

Broome eventually prevailed by half a length, with Up Helly Aa hanging on to third, a further two and three-quarter lengths adrift.

Betfair make Broome a 12-1 chance for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but O’Brien is eyeing a switch back up to 12 furlongs from a mile and a quarter.

He said: “He’s a lovely horse and will probably love going back up to a mile and a half.

“It was nice that he didn’t have to make the running, and Ryan was very happy with him.

“He can have a look at races like the Coronation (Cup) and the Tattersalls (Gold Cup).”

Trainer and jockey were completing a quick Group Three double after the Gladness Stakes victory of Lancaster House.

Following Broome’s success, O’Brien added: “Ryan felt the pace was nice early and then dropped in the middle of the race.

“He had to work a bit harder than if the pace was consistent over a mile and a quarter. He’s brave.”

Love set to wait for Mooresbridge Stakes

Love is likely to wait a little longer to make her eagerly-awaited return to action.

The dual Classic-winning filly features among the entries for the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday – but Aidan O’Brien is instead set to run stable companion Broome, who was an impressive winner of the Listed Devoy Stakes at Naas last month.

O’Brien said: “Broome is likely to run in the Alleged at the Curragh on Saturday. He’s already had a run, and Love might wait for the Mooresbridge (May 3, at the same course). It’s a long year, and we might wait a bit longer with her.”

Ryan Moore with Love after victory in the Yorkshire Oaks
Ryan Moore with Love after victory in the Yorkshire Oaks (David Davies/PA)

As well as winning the 1000 Guineas and Oaks, Love put the Yorkshire Oaks on her CV last season – on her last run of the campaign.

A planned outing in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was abandoned because of heavy ground at ParisLongchamp.

Broome was returning to winning ways with his victory at Naas. Among his efforts over the past two years were fourth-placed finishes in the Derby and Coronation Cup.

Classy Broome headlines Aidan O’Brien treble at Naas

Broome put a barren spell behind him as he swept to victory in the Plusvital Devoy Stakes at Naas.

The son of Australia was a very smart three-year-old, winning two Group Three contests at Leopardstown and finishing a close fourth in the Epsom Derby in 2019.

Things had not gone right for him after that and he had been confined to just two starts since he was sixth in the Irish Derby that summer.

However, the Aidan O’Brien-trained five-year-old put his troubles behind him when dropped in class to Listed company and in distance to a mile and a quarter.

Seamie Heffernan had the 7-2 chance in the perfect position on the heels of the pace-setting Sunchart, with very few getting into it as Broome kicked on over a furlong out, scoring by three and a half lengths from the front-runner.

Sonnyboyliston was six lengths away in third place, and a return to a higher level now beckons for Broome.

O’Brien said: “You’d be very happy with him. Last year we couldn’t get him right all season, but everything has gone really well with him through the winter and into the spring this year.

Aidan O'Brien gets a debrief from Seamie Heffernan after the victory of Broome
Aidan O’Brien gets a debrief from Seamie Heffernan after the victory of Broome (Brian Lawless/PA)

“He’s very versatile, from a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. He might come back for the Group Three Alleged Stakes.

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“He’s a beautiful mover. You could see he was getting stuck in the ground a little bit, but it didn’t stop him.

“He’s very good form and wasn’t beaten far in the Derby. He’s a very solid horse.

“Hopefully we can look at races like the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Coronation Cup and Ascot with him.”

Tenebrism looks a smart prospect
Tenebrism looks a smart prospect (Brian Lawless/PA)

O’Brien and Heffernan were completing a double after Tenebrism made a taking debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Coming from the pace, the 7-2 favourite was well on top at the line, having three and three-quarter lengths from Gaire Os Ard.

The daughter of Caravaggio was the Ballydoyle handler’s first two-year-old runner of the campaign.

O’Brien said: “She was always very natural from day one and she’s able to quicken up very well, which is what the dad was able to do. You would have to be very happy with her. It’s her first day away.

“She’s smart and we can look at all those quick races for her.”

Empress Josephine lived up to her breeding
Empress Josephine lived up to her breeding (Brian Lawless/PA)

Empress Josephine (3-1) gave O’Brien and Heffernan an 80-1 treble when living up to her breeding with a smooth success on her belated debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

A full-sister to seven-times Group One winner Minding, she looks to have a big future of her own judged on her highly-promising performance.

She stayed on strongly to score by a length and a quarter from New York Angel, with Group Three-placed Ahandfulofsummers half a length back in third.

O’Brien said: “She’s a sister to Minding and you’d be delighted with her. That was a lovely start for her and she’ll stay further.

“Minding was unusual in that she went from a mile to a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half and then back to a mile.

“Seamus was very happy with her. We didn’t get her out last year. It was a bit of a mess with a few of them stopping and starting and she was one of them.

“She’ll have an option now of going to Leopardstown for a Guineas trial or waiting a bit longer.”

Epona Plays claimed Group Three honours
Epona Plays claimed Group Three honours (Brian Lawless/PA)

Epona Plays gave weight all round to register a second Group Three success in the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes.

The Willie McCreery-trained filly overcame the testing conditions to add this contest to her one at the same level at Gowran Park in September.

Wayne Lordan had Epona Plays (12-1) in second place as Parent’s Prayer attempted to make all the running.

Archie Watson’s British raider stuck to her task, but she was worn down in the final furlong by Epona Plays, who pulled clear, despite her welter burden, to score by a length and three-quarters.

McCreery said: “I’m delighted to give Wayne a Group Three winner and we go back a long way. He always rides to instructions.

“I thought today they were not coming from off the pace. The main thing with this filly is not to miss the break as she rears in the stalls, but she jumped out smart today.

“She’s a tough, honest filly and is owned by a lovely man in Renzo Forni from Italy. He loves his racing and would love to be here. He bred her and this is the third daughter from the mare to get black type for him.

“She’ll be entered in the Group Two Ridgewood Pearl Stakes at the Curragh.”