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Concert Hall in tune for Weld Park triumph

Aidan O’Brien’s Concert Hall produced a telling late challenge to win the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh.

The daughter of Ballydoyle’s 2012 Oaks winner Was, ridden here like her mother at Epsom by Seamie Heffernan, appeared to need all of the seven-furlong trip to get on top in this Group Three.

Concert Hall, successful over course and distance in a July maiden, was sent off at 9-2 after finishing out of the first three at Group Two and Group One level at the Curragh over the past two months.

She was still only seventh two furlongs out, as British challenger Lovely Mana and eventual runner-up Sunset Shiraz were among those to the fore on the far rail.

But Heffernan delivered Concert Hall with a sustained run wide of her rivals down the middle of the track, and she got to the front to win by a length – with Seisai staying on for third, a further neck away.

O’Brien, who was winning this race for the fifth time in the last 10 years, said: “I’m delighted with her, and if she comes out of this OK she’ll probably step up and go on to the Fillies’ Mile.

“She’s a hardy lady and is going to improve from racing. She stays well and is a good, strong build.”

Paddy Power shortened Concert Hall to 10-1 from 16-1 for next month’s Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket – and into 20-1 from 33-1 for the 1000 Guineas over the same course and distance.

Concert hits winning note at the Curragh

Concert Hall followed in the hoofprints of esteemed stablemate Snowfall with a determined victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at the Curragh.

Dual Oaks heroine Snowfall opened her account at the third attempt in last year’s renewal of this seven-furlong contest and Concert Hall was the 11-8 favourite to add her name to the roll of honour, having filled the runner-up spot at Fairyhouse less than a fortnight ago.

The daughter of Dubawi looked booked for minor honours again after being joined and headed by newcomer Voice Of Angels, but Concert Hall battled back against the far rail to prevail by half a length under Ryan Moore, with Shamiyana just a neck further behind in third.

O’Brien said: “Wayne (Lordan) rode her the first day around a bend in Fairyhouse and said when she was turning she got a bit lost and the winner got away on her.

“She’s tough and genuine and Ryan was very happy with her. The dam (Was) won the Oaks, so she should stay.

“We’ll look at one of the seven-furlong races with her, maybe the Debutante Stakes.”

The Ballydoyle handler doubled up with Order Of Australia in the Group Two Minstrel Stakes – a feat matched by his son Joseph O’Brien, who landed the next two races on the card.

I Siyou Baby and Declan McDonogh in the clear
I Siyou Baby and Declan McDonogh in the clear (Brian Lawless/PA)

I Siyou Baby justified 5-2 favouritism with a comprehensive success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden in the hands of Declan McDonogh, after which 11-4 chance Emphatic Answer struck gold in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap under Shane Crosse.

“She (I Siyou Baby) won well and is improving with each run. Hopefully she can keep progressing,” said the trainer.

“She ran well in Naas the last day and was just beaten. She’s improved again from that and liked the track.

“Emphatic Answer won well in Killarney the last day and had a little hold-up after that. She won well today.

“Her form previously was on softer, but we were always hopeful that being a No Nay Never she would have no problem with that ground and she really enjoyed it.”

Yarrawonga made it three winners on the day for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore
Yarrawonga made it three winners on the day for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore (Brian Lawless/PA)

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore went on to complete a treble on the card, with Yarrawonga (9-2) getting off the mark in the Cavalor Equine Nutrition Maiden.

O’Brien said: “He stays well and Ryan was very strong on him. He made plenty of use of him and he kept on well.

“We always thought he was nicer than he ran. He’ll probably stay further.”

Jessica Harrington’s 3-1 favourite Hell Bent gave weight and a beating to his rivals in the Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital Handicap, with Shane Foley the winning rider.