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Agartha too strong for Silver Flash field

Agartha made all the running to spring a 16-1 surprise in the Frank Conroy Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.

Placed in all her four previous starts, the Joseph O’Brien-trained filly got off the mark in game fashion under an enterprising ride by Declan McDonogh.

He had Agartha smartly out of the stalls to grab the lead from the outset and dictate proceedings in this Group Three contest over seven furlongs.

Seasai and Juncture sat behind the leader with Sablonne and Prettiest, the 10-11 favourite, bringing up the rear in the five-strong field.

Agartha in the winner's enclosure after springing a surprise in the Silver Flash Stakes
Agartha in the winner’s enclosure after springing a surprise in the Silver Flash Stakes (Gary Carson/PA)

None of the four were able to get close enough to harass Agartha who found more in the straight to score by two and three-quarter lengths.

Juncture was second with the winner’s stablemate, Seisai, half a length away in third and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Prettiest a disappointing fourth of five.

“We’ve always thought a lot of her and she’s been running very well. Today we said we’d let her bowl along and she loved it. Maybe we were restricting her a bit much,” said the winning trainer.

“When we let her bowl along today, she really got into a great rhythm and galloped.

“They didn’t let her go, they followed her along all the way, she’s a good filly.

“I’d say she’ll go further too. The dam won a mile-and-a-six Listed race, so she could certainly go a mile at two anyway.”

Agartha could now head for the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh next month.

“We’ll probably head for the Debutante with her now. We’ve always had a very high opinion of her and she’s done nothing but improve with each run,” O’Brien added.

Nothing hidden about Insinuendo’s class

Insinuendo swooped late to secure Group Three honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

Willie McCreery’s four-year-old was conceding weight to all but Thunder Kiss, but it was the two older fillies who fought out a thrilling finish.

Insinuendo (15-2) was settled in the pack early on by Declan McDonogh as outsider Dearg Jazz set off in front, building up a handy five-length advantage at halfway before the field started to close in on the turn for home.

Dearg Jazz quickly dropped away with Thunder Kiss making her bid for glory, but McDonogh had timed his challenge to perfection, with Insinuendo edging in front in the shadow of the post to win by half a length .

Willow was sent off the 11-4 joint-favourite and kept on for third, but fellow market leader Sacred Rhyme disappointed, dropping right out in the straight to finish last of the seven runners.

Insinuendo was having just her third career start having won a maiden on her debut at three and finished third on her seasonal bow at Tipperary last month.

McCreery said: “I have to thank (owner) Michael Deegan as I wanted to run her on Wednesday in Gowran, but he thought this might cut up and Group Three placing would be better than Listed.

“Michael is a good owner to have and a ballsy owner, which is what you want. He said no harm done if things don’t work out.

“She ran a cracking race in Tipperary over a distance shorter than she needed, but I ran her there to get more experience.

“I was worried that she might not settle, but there was plenty of pace on which suited.

“Declan said she loved that ground and she fought hard. The plan was to get her black type and we have that now.

“She’s a big, tall filly and I wanted to take my time with her.”

King Of Bavaria (7-1) emerged as a possible Royal Ascot contender when making a victorious debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The No Nay Never colt was to the fore throughout, taking the lead with a furlong to run under Wayne Lordan to beat Silver Surfer by three-quarters of a length with 10-11 favourite Celtic Times only third.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge is a 12-1 shot with Paddy Power for next month’s Coventry Stakes.

Lordan said: “He jumped a tad slow but got into stride quick and showed plenty of pace.

“He showed a little bit of greenness in the last furlong, but I thought he got to the line well.

“He’s a nice big colt.”

Freedom Of Speech is set for a step up in class after striking gold at the third time of asking in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race.

Representing the 2000 Guineas-winning team of Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning, the 9-2 chance kept on gamely at the finish to beat newcomer Lopes Gold by three-quarters of a length.

Bolger was represented by his daughter Una Manning, who said: “She handled the ground well and the bit of experience probably helped. I thought she was very courageous as she didn’t have it all her own way and battled back well.

“The plan now would be to move her up to Listed company and she’ll want a step up in trip as well.

“She’s very much a filly for next year.”

The Joe Murphy-trained Pale Irish claimed her second victory of the week in the 40,000 euro Irish Racing Writers Handicap.

Turning out just five days after scoring at the Curragh, the 3-1 shot followed up under Gary Carroll – beating 11-4 favourite Notoriously Risky by three-quarters of a length.

Murphy said: “Gary said she quickened twice and got him out of trouble. We’ll make an entry for her in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“She took the race really well at the Curragh and was squealing at home the day after.

“I was impressed with her today. She’s class and is as good as I’ve ever had. It takes a good horse to quicken twice over six at Naas.”