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Magic finishes with flourish to claim Committed prize

Measure Of Magic got up close home to claim Listed honours in the Committed Stakes at Navan.

The Johnny Murtagh-trained filly was produced with a determined challenge by Ben Coen to collar Logo Hunter.

Coen kept Measure Of Magic off the early pace set by Erosandpsyche, with Sister Rosetta close up, before making his move.

Logo Hunter and the 6-5 favourite Lipizzaner looked like fighting out the finish, but Measure Of Magic (11-2) responded to Coen’s urgings to go and land the spoils by three-quarters of a length.

Runner-up Logo Hunter was a length and a half ahead of Lipizzaner.

Coen said: “She only got five last year, but she’s strengthened up from two to three well.

“I rode her to get the trip, she quickened up well for me, but she didn’t do much when she got there.

“She’s a nice filly, a proper sprinter with loads of speed. Five or six, it doesn’t matter to her as she’s strong enough now to stay six.

“She loves the ground, she’s a good-moving filly. Hopefully she’ll improve again off the back of that.”

Masseto put up a gutsy performance when making a wining debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Gavin Ryan brought Masseto (4-1) with a sweeping run in the centre of the course and Donnacha O’Brien’s youngster knuckled down in the closing stages to get the better of Celtic Times by half a length.

The pair pulled four and three-quarter lengths clear of Butterfly Island in third.

Amalfi Coast, the 13-8 favourite, could not get a run at a crucial stage of the race but stayed on well to take fifth place.

Masseto could head for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

O’Brien said: “I thought he was very good because he was very green. He broke slow and travelled in snatches.

“When he quickened up, it looked like he passed half the field in half a furlong and then he looked like he idled when he got there. He’s obviously got plenty of talent.

“Looking at that, you’d have to hope he’s an Ascot two-year-old. On paper it looked like a good race, I know dad (Aidan) liked his and (brother) Joseph liked his. There were plenty of other nice pedigrees in there.

“I suppose you’d have to look towards the Coventry. He was very green, we’ll see how he comes out of it, then have a look and see what suits him. I don’t think it would be any harm if there was another race beforehand.

“The first two-year-olds I ran were the ones I actually liked most, nearly, but maybe I ran them a bit early and they’ll be better as they come along.

“The last two I’ve run have been impressive, so maybe they are just coming.”

Independent Missy (5-1) got on top in the last 100 yards to take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies & Mares Handicap.

Ronan Whelan brought Tracey Collins’ five-year-old with a well-timed challenge to go on and win by half a length from Miss Molly T.

Collins said: “I’m delighted. She’s probably been a little bit disappointing for us because we expected more of her early on.

“She’s come well in her coat and was pleasing us, so we decided to come here as it was a fillies’ handicap.

“Ronan’s given her a lovely ride and she came off the pace well, so she probably just needs a very strong run race.

“She was only beaten a few lengths in some good races. She’s probably a filly that lacked confidence and hopefully she can go forward from here.”

Gordon Bennett (13-2) ran out a ready winner of the Kilberry Apprentice Handicap.

Hitting the front a furlong out, Richard Brabazon’s three-year-old galloped on strongly for Nathan Crosse to score by a length and a half from The Peckhampouncer.

“That was a bit of excitement at the start of the season for us,” said Brabazon.

“We always thought he was a lovely horse, but he’s a horse that gets himself a bit upset and he was running too free in his maidens last year.

“He was just doing it the wrong way around, showing tons of speed and then not getting home.

“I said to Nathan today ‘just do one thing, try to get cover and then take it from there’. He did it beautifully and the horse settled for him. I was nearly more thrilled about that than winning because looking to the future, we can manage him a bit now.
 
“I think he’s a nice horse for the future. Physically and mentally we are only starting.”