Tag Archive for: Curragh

Falcon Eight lifts Loughbrown prize for Dermot Weld

Dermot Weld’s Falcon Eight was a wide-margin winner of the Comer Group International Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh.

The dual-purpose eight-year-old is often seen to good effect on the track and finished second in the Irish Cesarewitch over a trip just a furlong shorter in September.

On heavy ground he returned to bid for Group honours under Chris Hayes and at 11-4 he succeeded, defeating Willie Mullins’ 2-1 favourite Echoes In Rain by six and a half lengths.

“He’s as tough as teak and is unlucky not to win the last two runnings of the Irish Cesarewitch, so he deserved a nice win here,” Weld said.

“He’s been a great dual-purpose servant and his full-sister Search For A Song won this race two years ago.

“It’s a possibility that he might go over hurdles at Leopardstown at Christmas or he might go to Dubai for the two-mile race.

“He has stacks of enthusiasm but he is a character.”

Trainer Richard Donohoe enjoyed a poignant first Listed win as Vischio stayed on to take the Start Your Racing TV Free Trial Now Finale Stakes under Gary Carroll.

An outsider at 16-1, the mare was not for beating and had victory in her sights a furlong from home as she refused to be passed in a three-quarter-length triumph over Noel Meade’s Helvic Dream.

“It’s absolutely brilliant for the syndicate involved – my cousin Michael and his sister Mag and the sons,” said Donohoe.

“She was bought for a good friend of mine, John Kennedy, who was fighting cancer at the time. She was second in a seller and we were able to claim her for about 8,000 (euros).

“She won a hurdle race just before Michael died and the current syndicate have had nothing but fun with her ever since.

“She started off this spring and has been at nearly every festival since. We thought she might not go on heavy ground and it’s better she’s got on heavy ground.

“You could see lately she was in brilliant form and she’s really strengthened. The races have taken nothing out of her.

“She had a bit to find on several horses in the race today but there is always a chance in an end-of-season race that horses may not run to form and there was a chance to sneak some black type.

“She was definitely going to be in the first three under two furlongs down, but to win was a dream.

“We are dealing with cheap, low grade horses most of the time and she was low grade too at one time. We never have more than about 10 horses but luckily we’ve had horses that have been able to win races this year which makes it enjoyable.

“I’d say she’ll race away. I had it in my head to go to Leopardstown at Christmas for a hurdle race but I don’t know if that will happen now. She has a mark over hurdles that you’d say she might be able to compete off, but we’ll have to sit down and talk with Michael and Mag.”

Testing ground guaranteed, but Doncaster hopeful for weekend

Storm Babet continues to hit racing fixtures in Britain and Ireland but the forecast is less daunting for the major meetings scheduled to take place later this week.

The ground at Doncaster was described as heavy, waterlogged in places on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the Futurity Trophy weekend cards on Friday and Saturday.

However, the recent rain is expected to ease off at the South Yorkshire track, which is set to stage the final Group One contest of the season with Saturday’s Kameko Futurity Trophy Stakes.

Clerk of the course Paul Barker said: “We’ve had around 7mm today, which has taken us to heavy ground and it is just a bit waterlogged around the mile shoot, so we are seeing if we can do anything about that.

“But the forecast is for things to improve later on this evening and then stay relatively dry until Thursday morning, when it should just be a case of getting a few showers, rather than the heavy stuff we’ve had since the weekend.

“So, once we get through today, hopefully everything will get a bit more manageable right through the rest of the week and we can start to put a plan together for Friday and Saturday.

“At least Friday’s entries were made after Saturday’s deluge and the Futurity is historically run on testing ground, so everyone who is planning to have runners are aware of what to expect.

“Other than that, all we can do is take it one day at a time and try our best to keep on top of everything.”

Cheltenham have no issues prior to kicking off their new season with The Showcase meeting on Friday and Saturday, when Grand National hero Corach Rambler and dual Stayers’ Hurdle winner Flooring Porter could return to action.

“It’s really exciting to get going again and we’re in great shape,” clerk of the course Jon Pullin told Racing TV. “We’ve had a really beneficial summer from our point of view and the turf manager’s point of view.

“Whilst we’ve seen significant rain, which did cause some problems around areas of the site, fortunately the track took it really, really well. We’re in a good position.

“It’s currently good to soft in the main and the forecast is for little bits of rain between now and racing, so I’d envisage that staying the same.”

Newbury are also scheduled to race on Friday and Saturday, with a couple of Group Three events on the second of those cards – the Horris Hill Stakes and the St Simon Stakes.

The Berkshire track is described as heavy, soft in places, with the warning that it will not be able to take substantial rain.

The forecast is for another downpour tonight to be followed by a mixture of sunshine and showers.

Clerk of the course George Hill said: “The bulk of the rain should be tonight but then it’s a variable forecast. It could be anything from 5mm to 10 or 15, or even an inch of rain.

“If we’re talking those higher kind of quantities over a 24-hour period, we’d be very much up against it, but the track is in good shape for this time of year and we’ll just have to hope for the best and see what we get.”

Tuesday’s meeting at Yarmouth and the Wednesday card at the Curragh were the latest casualties of Storm Babet and a sustained spell of heavy rain.

That followed last Saturday’s scheduled meetings at Stratford and Market Rasen being lost to the weather, along with Wednesday’s Worcester card and four upcoming fixtures at Southwell.

Storm Babet continues to cause havoc

Storm Babet continues to affect racing in Britain and Ireland, with this afternoon’s meeting at Yarmouth and tomorrow’s card at the Curragh the latest casualties.

There are also now inspections planned at Fontwell ahead of tomorrow’s fixture and at Clonmel for Thursday.

Yarmouth were forced to abandon their seven-race Flat card after an early-morning inspection, as “considerable rainfall overnight” left the track waterlogged.

Officials at the Curragh have cancelled Wednesday’s meeting following 21mm of rain last night, with the course currently unfit for racing and facing an unfavourable weather forecast.

Clerk of the course Brendan Sheridan said: “The forecast is for a further 5mm of rain today with the possibility of more rain moving in tomorrow, so there was no prospect of the situation improving here prior to racing.

“We’ve had a total of 77mm in the last week and the ground has been heavy since entries closed last Thursday.”

Fontwell have called a precautionary inspection for tomorrow morning at 7.30am.

The going is currently described as soft, good to soft in places, but “further significant rain” is expected this evening and early on Wednesday.

At Clonmel, the ground is heavy but currently fit for action ahead of racing on Thursday.

However, clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer reported: “Having spoken with Met Eireann, there is the possibility of a further 5-10mm of rain and some spot flooding tomorrow afternoon which will be on top of the 54mm of rain the track has had in the last week.

“With that additional rain forecast for tomorrow, we felt it was prudent to let people know as early as possible that we will need to have a precautionary inspection at 7.30am on Thursday morning.”

Last Saturday’s scheduled meetings at Stratford and Market Rasen were lost to the weather, along with Wednesday’s Worcester card and four upcoming fixtures at Southwell.

Content gets her revenge on Kitty Rose at the Curragh

Content put her experience to good use in reversing form with Kitty Rose in the Curragh’s Staffordstown Stud Stakes.

Natalia Lupini’s big-race favourite was two and a half lengths clear of Content when maintaining her unbeaten record at Leopardstown last month, but reopposing over a mile in this Group Three contest, it was Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of Galileo who came to the fore.

Sent off an unfancied 20-1 in the hands of Chris Hayes, Content cruised into the race stylishly from a patient start and entering the final furlong looked well placed to hunt down Kitty Rose, who was making a bold bid on the front end.

Content was soon matching strides with the 11-10 market leader and had enough in reserve to cruise two and a half lengths clear at the line, earning a 33-1 from 100-1 quote from Betfair for next year’s 1000 Guineas.

“It was a nice spare to get,” said Hayes, who has won on two of his three rides for O’Brien.

“She’s obviously well bred and if you ignored her last run and came straight here from Champions Weekend she had to have a chance.

“She rolled around a little bit late on, but it’s holding ground and we were after going an even tempo.

“Aidan wanted to teach her so it was important to get cover and a smooth run. I think she will improve and she won snug in the end.”

Illinois motors to impressive Curragh debut win

Illinois could have a bright future after making a taking introduction at the Curragh on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo is a half-brother to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion Danedream as well as being a full-brother to Chester Vase scorer Venice Beach, although even with that bloodline he was relatively easy to back in going off at 4-1 for his first start in the Shoda Market Cafe Irish EBF Maiden.

He produced a professional performance in the hands of Seamie Heffernan and once easily making his way to the head of proceedings two furlongs from home, kept on stoutly in the closing stages for a three-length success.

Having advertised his potential over nine furlongs here, Betfair introduced the smart-looking colt at 20-1 for next year’s Derby.

An impressed Heffernan said: “He’s a beautiful colt. There’s not too many that you go down past the two and a half and they say ‘point me’. I actually got there a little sooner because I thought he’d take a bit of stoking.

“He has a lot going for him – pedigree, scope, size, action, wind. He’s pretty much a steering job and I’m going to miss these Galileo’s.”

There was a deserved victory for Fozzy Stack’s Aussie Girl in the Darley Irish EBF Brigid’s Pastures Stakes as the daughter of Starspangledbanner struck at Listed level for the first time.

On the premises in all four outings since victorious at the track in the summer, the consistent three-year-old was sent off the 9-4 favourite to return to winning ways and made all to deny William Haggas’ raider Pinafore in the hands of Colin Keane.

“She probably deserved that as she has been very consistent in Listed and Group company and she handles those conditions well,” said the winning rider.

“She jumps, she travels and she’s tough.

“Fozzy said not to interfere with her. She usually jumps smart and he said to let her dictate on her own terms. I put my hands down, sat on her as long as I could and she picked up again in the last furlong.

“She’s a filly that should only improve with time. She is a big filly, handles those conditions well and is very tough and genuine.”

Kitty Rose could be derailed by Curragh ground conditions

Natalia Lupini will keep a close eye on ground conditions at the Curragh before committing her unbeaten filly Kitty Rose to a run in Saturday’s Staffordstown Stud Stakes.

An impressive winner as a 25-1 shot on her racecourse debut at Naas in August, the daughter of Invincible Army proved there was no fluke about that performance when successfully stepping up to Listed class in the Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.

Lupini hopes to see her stable star go in search of the hat-trick at Group Three level this weekend, but warns her participation is ground dependent.

“She has been in good form and she’s ready to run, the only thing is we’re monitoring the ground as we had a lot of rain yesterday and today,” said the County Down-based Italian.

“We’ll just have to keep a close eye on the ground as she probably doesn’t want it too soft, so we’re not going to run her on very soft ground.

“She seems to have stepped up a gear in her work since Leopardstown and everything looks good apart from the weather, unfortunately!

“The current owners are thinking this will be her last run of the year. She’s a big filly and she will definitely benefit from a winter break.”

Kitty Rose’s potential rivals include the experienced Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Brilliant and Content and Gavin Cromwell’s Royal Ascot heroine Snellen.

The latter beat the boys in the Chesham Stakes in June, but needs to bounce back from a disappointing run when last of eight in the Debutant Stakes at the Curragh on her most recent start.

Magellan Strait shocks Irish Cesarewitch rivals

Magellan Strait caused a huge surprise with a 150-1 victory in the Friends Of The Curragh Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh.

Although a dual winner as a three-year-old last season, Joseph O’Brien’s inmate had shown precious little in four previous starts this term, most recently finishing tailed off at the Galway Festival.

With 7lb claimer Hugh Horgan in the saddle, Magellan Strait was among the rank outsiders for a 30-runner contest staged in atrocious conditions, but came out on top at the end of a pulsating contest.

The son of Australia raced in third position for much of the two-mile-one-furlong journey before committing for home three furlongs from the finish.

He was soon joined by the strong-travelling My Mate Mozzie and Galway Hurdle runner-up Jesse Evans, while the winner’s stablemate Dawn Rising and Falcon Eight also joined the party late to set up a grandstand five-way finish.

Falcon Eight was arguably coming home strongest of all, but Magellan Strait clung on grimly to claim the lion’s share of the huge prize fund of €600,000 by half a length, with Dawn Rising, Jesse Evans and My Mate Mozzie all close up behind in third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Connections of Magellan Strait after his shock win
Connections of Magellan Strait after his shock win (Brian Lawless/PA)

“It’s a fantastic win. A great run and a great ride from Hugh,” said O’Brien.

“He’s not been the most consistent horse in the world, but when he runs his race he generally runs a good race. Hugh got a great tune out of him today.

“He stays very well and stamina has always been his thing. That’s what he did today, he outstayed them.

“Hugh’s instructions were to go forward, get a nice position, and make sure that stamina counted and to go out on his sword. He committed at the bottom of the straight and he kept galloping.”

Magellan Strait beat stablemate Dawn Rising (white cap)
Magellan Strait beat stablemate Dawn Rising (white cap) (Brian Lawless/PA)

Of Dawn Rising, he added: “He ran a great race, carrying a lot of weight, two weeks after finishing third in the Irish St Leger.

“It was a great run, he got a lovely run around, and I’m very proud of his run again.

“I don’t know if he’ll go back over hurdles as he’s had a busy enough summer. We’ll speak to JP (McManus) and Frank (Berry) and see. He might have a little break and come back next year.”

Go Athletico on target in Renaissance Stakes

Go Athletico could line up in next weekend’s Prix de l’Abbaye after opening his Group-race account in Ireland with a battling victory in the Westgrove Hotel Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

A Listed winner at Cork on his stable debut for Ado McGuinness in mid-June, the high-class French recruit had since filled the runner-up berth in both the Group Two Sapphire Stakes and the Group Three Phoenix Sprint.

The five-year-old was a 7-2 shot for this Group Three assignment under Ronan Whelan and he showed plenty of tenacity go with his undoubted talent to get the better of a sustained duel with Big Gossey by half a length.

Aesop’s Fables was a further five and a half lengths behind in third, with the heavily supported 6-5 favourite Ocean Quest only fourth.

Winning trainer Ado McGuinness at the Curragh on Sunday
Winning trainer Ado McGuinness at the Curragh on Sunday (Brian Lawless/PA)

Of the winner, McGuinness said: “He’s in the Abbaye next week. We ran him here because it was giving it to be quite a dry week. He might travel but if it is dry, we won’t run him.

“I have to speak to Barry (Irwin, racing manager for part-owners Team Valor) first. There is a big possibility that he goes as there isn’t a whole pile left for him (this year).

“He deserved to get it today, he’s been very consistent. He’s been a great horse for me, he’s only had four runs and hit the ground running. I’m very lucky and privileged to have him.

“There’s been very little between him and Ken Condon’s horse (Moss Tucker) all year and if he’s fancied for the Abbaye next week, we won’t be too far behind him. Fingers crossed, he could go there.”

Caught U Looking earns Classic quotes with Weld win

Noel Meade appears to have a potential Classic contender on his hands after Caught U Looking powered home to secure top honours in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh.

Sixth on her debut at the track in late June, the daughter of Harzand showed the benefit of that initial experience when bolting up by six lengths on her second start at Leopardstown.

The youngster had not been seen since that runaway victory two months ago, but proved her worth stepped up to Group Three level in the hands of Ben Coen.

Always travelling well on the outside of the field, Caught U Looking went through the gears quickly when asked for her effort to pick up 9-4 favourite Sakti and prevail by half a length.

Paddy Power gave the winner an introductory quote of 33-1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas.

Meade said: “That’s super. Obviously after she won so easy in Leopardstown there was plenty of interest in her. Tony O’Callaghan and Peter (Kelly), who bred her, own her and despite all the horses he has, Tony wasn’t for selling. He just wanted to keep her and said to roll the dice and see how she goes.

“Obviously there is a little bit of pressure on when you do that. Peter was happy enough to do that as well.

“She’s a good filly and she’s a filly that will improve because she’s a Harzand. She’s going to be better next year, and is probably a mile-and-a-half filly.”

Winning trainer Noel Meade was all smiles at the Curragh
Winning trainer Noel Meade was all smiles at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

He added: “I hope we can keep her. You keep hoping she can get up to the top, I know she only just won but obviously Ger (Lyons, trainer of Sakti) thinks quite a lot of his and you are always running against something decent from Ballydoyle. It’s hard to win a stakes race in Ireland.

“Everything is open now and we can dream a bit now. I put her in the Guineas the other day and we’ll enter her in the Oaks as well.

“She’s in the Fillies’ Mile next month but I wouldn’t imagine that will happen now, we’ll wait and let her mature.”

Gasper De Lemos stakes Futurity Trophy claim

Aidan O’Brien raised the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster as a potential next port of call for Gasper De Lemos after the promising colt ground out a first career victory at the Curragh.

The son of Justify shaped with promise when fourth on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown behind stablemate Chief Little Rock, who on Saturday finished second in the Group Two Beresford Stakes.

On the strength of that form Gasper De Lemos was the 9-4 favourite on his second start in the Pat “The Duke” Leavy Irish EBF Maiden, with Ryan Moore taking the ride having hurried back from Australia.

Ridden positively from the off, the youngster came under pressure with over two furlongs still to run, but kept pulling out more and was well on top as he passed the post three lengths clear of Taraj.

Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien with Gasper De Lemos at the Curragh
Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien with Gasper De Lemos at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

O’Brien said: “He had a lovely run the first time. Obviously he’ll be very happy going back up to a mile and he’ll be a middle-distance horse next year.

“It’s tough out there and they have to stay to get it.

“He’s probably a Futurity Trophy horse more than a Dewhurst horse. He’ll get further, he’s like all those Justifys, when they go up in distance they grow a leg.

“He’s a very good mover so I’m surprised he handles the ground. He’s a lovely actioned horse.”

Gibbs Island opened his account at the third attempt with a narrow victory in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.

Gibbs Island (centre) recorded a narrow victory in the opening race at the Curragh
Gibbs Island (centre) recorded a narrow victory in the opening race at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

Sixth and fourth in his first two races at Fairyhouse and Roscommon respectively, Andrew Oliver’s youngster raised his game to come out on top in a nip-and-tuck finish by a head from from Mo Ghille Mar, with Marty The Party and Slaney Swagger right on their heels in behind.

“He did it well. He had to grind it out,” said Oliver.

“He’s a full-brother to a good horse that Godolphin owns (Live Your Dream). I trained the half-brother Dream Tale so I know the family a bit.

“He had a nice run at Roscommon and we knew that stepping up in trip should be in his favour. He stayed every yard of the mile and it was a likeable performance.

“I was just saying to Billy (Lee, jockey) that we might look at the Eyrefield Stakes at the end of the year, it’s nine furlongs at Leopardstown. We’ll make a decision in the next week or two.”

One Look’s Goffs Million rout seals a superb Saturday for Twomey

One Look fairly bolted up in the Goffs Million at the Curragh on debut to ensure Paddy Twomey had a day he will never forgot.

Just over an hour after Deepone won the Group Two Beresford Stakes in fine style, One Look landed some hefty bets at 5-1 in the seven-furlong contest, worth €610,000 to the winner.

A filly by Gleneagles, she was smuggled into the race by Billy Lee before sprinting clear.

With just over a furlong to run Aidan O’Brien’s Cherry Blossom and Frankie Dettori had fought their way to the front and it seemed as if the pair were going to enjoy another big race success together.

However as soon as Lee released the handbrake on One Look she put the race to bed in a matter of strides, winning by six lengths.

Jockey Billy Lee (right) and Robert Connolly with One Look after winning the Goffs Million
Jockey Billy Lee (right) and Robert Connolly with One Look after winning the Goffs Million (Damien Eagers/PA)

“She’s a nice filly and she’s been a nice filly all year. I thought I would have run her earlier but it’s just the way it worked out and she was just ready to run this week,” said Twomey.

“I think she’s a nice filly and I gave her an (Irish) Guineas entry on Wednesday.

“I thought she was ready to start and good enough to be competitive. The plan was to track Frankie and see how we got on.”

When asked if the winner could run again this year he added: “I wouldn’t think so. That was a big performance to do that on debut. Maybe she’ll say yes but I doubt it.

“We have nice two-year-olds. I’m delighted as the owners (Connolly Racing Syndicate) sent me two horses this year for the first time and both have won first time out now. Juxtaposition won the first mile maiden at Leopardstown.”

Ger Lyons’ Pipsy (11-4) had beaten all bar the classy King Cuan on her debut and made no mistake in the Bermingham Cameras Photo Finish Irish EBF Maiden under Colin Keane.

Pipsy winning the Bermingham Cameras Photo Finish Irish EBF Maiden
Pipsy winning the Bermingham Cameras Photo Finish Irish EBF Maiden (Damien Eagers/PA)

“It was lovely and it was no more than you’d expect after seeing King Cuan, the first day in Cork and definitely the last day in Naas. He impressed me both times,” said Lyons.

“This filly has always been a filly we like and definitely a maiden winner. I said if she handles the ground she wins and if she doesn’t we’ll go to Dundalk – no problems.

“Colin was adamant she’d handle the ground and that she’ll handle Dundalk so we’ll go for the stakes race up there, the (Group 3) Mercury Stakes, and then we’ll put her away.

“It was her first day away at Cork, Paddy (Twomey’s) are always tuned to the minute and there was no third. I said ‘we’ve walked into one’.

“I felt a bit sorry for her then as she did everything right on her own that day.

“I said we’d see the truth of the race in Naas and I don’t think you could be any more impressed with the winner as he was beat, found a gear and took off again. I though then ‘he’s alright and we definitely walked into one’.

“We knew we had natural improvement and she’d win a good maiden but I was just worried about the ground.”

Deepone makes all to give Twomey first Beresford win

Deepone ensured a new name will go on the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes trophy as he provided Paddy Twomey with his first win in the Curragh contest.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Group Two a remarkable 21 times and fielded three runners on this occasion, all last time out winners and he had hired the services of Frankie Dettori for Navy Seal.

Colin Keane took the ride on Grosvenor Square while Gavin Ryan was on Chief Little Rock and with Joseph O’Brien running dual winner Stromberg, Twomey’s Study Of Man colt was almost fighting a lone battle against the O’Briens given the only other runner, Andy Oliver’s Ozark Daze, went off at 150-1.

With that possibly on his mind Billy Lee was ultra-positive on Deepone (3-1), who after winning his first two starts had finished second in a Listed race and fourth behind Diego Velazquez in a Group Two.

With two furlongs to run he had kicked almost five lengths clear and while the gap dwindled close to home, he still had a length and three-quarters to spare over Chief Little Rock who just edged out Grosvenor Square for second with Navy Seal and Dettori only fourth.

Deepone left a host of well bred horses trailing in his wake
Deepone left a host of well bred horses trailing in his wake (Damien Eagers/PA)

“He’s a nice horse, he’s been a work in progress and we’ve been educating him,” said Twomey.

“I felt he had come out of the last race in great form. I said to Billy that I was going to run him again and he kind of looked at me but I said I felt he was in good form.

“He’s a strong traveller and he finds plenty, I think he’s a mile-and-a-quarter or mile-and-a-half horse next year.

“Hopefully for Vimal (Khosla, owner) he’s a Derby horse for next year and that’ll be it for this year now.

“I’ve been dropping him in on turning tracks and there was plenty of traffic. I said to Billy ‘no nonsense today, get out there and let’s go and see if they are good enough’.

“He put them to the sword and I think he’s a good horse.”

Paddy Power cut him to 20-1 from 33s for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

Curragh Quest for Ocean ahead of Ascot aim

Jessica Harrington is eyeing a second straight Group Three prize with Ocean Quest in the Westgrove Hotel Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday before plotting a return to Ascot.

The three-year-old filly heads into the Westgrove Hotel Renaissance Stakes on the back of an impressive strike in the Ballyogan Stakes at Naas.

Before that, Ocean Quest had performed with great credit at big odds when finishing fourth to Shaquille in the Commonwealth Cup.

Another tilt at Ascot Group One glory in next month’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes is on the agenda if all goes well this weekend.

“We were really pleased with her last time out at Naas and everything has gone well with her since then,” said Harrington.

“She’s in great form and we’re looking forward to running her. This was always the plan to use as the next stepping stone before going to Ascot on British Champions Day.

“It’s already been a great season for her and the good news is that she stays in training next year.

“She’s gone well on all types of ground this year. I was quite surprised that she did so well on fast ground at Ascot in the summer, but conditions should be perfect on Sunday.”

It was good to firm when Ocean Quest was in contention two furlongs out at the Royal meeting.

However, the daughter of Sioux Nation also handled heavy ground when romping home by six lengths in a Navan Listed race back in April, when the reopposing Aesop’s Fables was runner-up.

French import Go Athletico has proved another shrewd purchase for Ado McGuinness since being snapped up after a Listed win at Deauville in April.

He scored at a similar level at Cork in June before twice finishing second in Group-class company.

The son of former high-class sprinter Goken, who had his last run in the 2016 renewal of this race, chased home Art Power in the Sapphire Stakes here.

He was then runner-up to Moss Tucker when returning to the Curragh for the Phoenix Sprint.

Big Gossey earned this step up in class by seeing off 21 rivals in the valuable Bold Lad Sprint Handicap over course and distance for Charles O’Brien.

Michael O’Callaghan’s Twilight Jet was also a winner last time out in a Tipperary Listed event, but Shartash is still trying to recapture the sparkle of a smart juvenile campaign which brought course and distance success in the Railway Stakes.

Clever And Cool, a winner at Naas, Cork and Tipperary this term, drops down in class and distance after taking on Tahiyra in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

Noel Meade has plenty to look forward to at the Curragh

Noel Meade is excited to see his promising juvenile Catch U Looking return to action in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Sixth behind subsequent Group Three winner Ylang Ylang on her debut, the daughter of Harzand opened her account in some style at the second time of asking when powering five lengths clear of her toiling rivals at Leopardstown.

Caught U Looking, who holds a Group One entry in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in mid-October, has not been seen since that dominant success two months ago, but has been pleasing her trainer at home ahead of this weekend’s Group Three assignment.

“She had a little bit of a dirty nose and we just got held up so I had to wait until now,” said Meade.

“I think she’s in good shape and I’d be expecting a good run.”

Another Meade runner who will head to the Curragh with claims this weekend is Jesse Evans, who is due to contest the Friends Of The Curragh Irish Cesarewitch.

The seven-year-old has won his last two races on the Flat, with a narrow defeat to Zarak The Brave in the Galway Hurdle sandwiched in between.

Meade is keen for him to line up in the €600,000 showpiece, even if conditions may not be ideal.

He added: “The ground is the danger, if it gets very soft that might be a problem, but we’ll run anyway as it’s worth a lot of money.”

Fillies’ Mille or wait for next year the options for Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel will either head for the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket or be roughed off until next season following her Group One breakthrough at the Curragh on Sunday.

Having impressed in the Sweet Solera at Newmarket, the daughter of Too Darn Hot shot to the head of ante-post lists for next year’s 1000 Guineas with a comprehensive success in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, the second leg of an Irish Champions Festival double for trainer Karl Burke.

Fallen Angel could now bid for another top-level success on the Rowley Mile next month, although Burke is not ruling out the possibility of putting his star filly away until the spring.

“We went over there very hopeful and I thought she beat what looked a very strong field on paper and beat them comprehensively,” said the Spigot Lodge handler.

“The Fillies’ Mile is the obvious next step, if she goes anywhere before the end of the season that’s where she’ll go.

“We’re very excited about next year, obviously. That’s what Steve (Parkin, owner) dreams of is to win a Guineas and she’s one of the favourites for it now.

“It’s a long haul from now until the Guineas, but if all goes well hopefully she’s the type that could take us there.”

Flight Plan made all the running at Leopardstown on Saturday
Flight Plan made all the running at Leopardstown on Saturday (Damien Eagers/PA)

At Leopardstown on Saturday Fallen Angel’s stablemate Flight Plan also carried the colours of Clipper Logistics to big-race success, dominating from the front in the Group Two Dullingham Park Stakes to leave Burke considering a possible trip to America next month.

He added: “Danny (Tudhope) gave him a great ride, Leopardstown suits a horse from the front and Danny pulled it off to perfection.

“We’re thinking of going to Keeneland for a $1million race on October 7 (Coolmore Turf Mile). It’s a little bit of a tight turnaround for him, but that’s what we’ve got in our minds at the moment and we’re preparing him for that.

“If he performed really well he could possibly stay out there for the Breeders’ Cup, but we’d be concentrating on Keeneland at the moment. He wouldn’t want the ground to turn up too soft, which you can get at Keeneland in October, but otherwise I think he’d be tailor-made for that type of race.”