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Wren’s Breath is impressive at Naas

Wren’s Breath showed an impressive turn of foot to come from last to first and win the Yeomanstown Stud Irish EBF Stakes at Naas.

Henry de Bromhead’s three-year-old filly, who is blind in one eye, was second on her debut just 11 days earlier yet overcame her inexperience in superb style to claim this Listed prize over six furlongs in the hands of Gary Carroll.

The field split into groups from the start, with Dancin Inthestreet leading on the far side and More Beautiful prominent nearer the stands.

Wren’s Breath (17-2) was in the nearside group but was last of all with two furlongs to runs as the 13-strong field stretched out across the entire course.

The daughter of Elzaam hit top gear as they met the rising ground, and finished so strongly she was three-quarters of a length ahead of More Beautiful at the line – with favourite Teresa Mendoza two lengths away in third.

Carroll said: “She did that nicely. It was a big ask for her second run in a Listed race.

“She’s a filly that is blind in one eye – and when I was behind horses, till halfway, I wasn’t going anywhere.

“I’d say her spatial awareness with one eye is not great. But when I got out and got a bit of daylight she picked up very well and got to the line strong.

“She’s a nice filly – (and) there is more black-type to be got with her. I’d say she’ll learn to sprint, sharpen up, and make into a nice filly.”

Ladies Church ran out a ready winner of the Arqana Irish EBF Marwell Stakes, for trainer Johnny Murtagh.

The daughter of Churchill got off the mark on her second start at Tipperary three weeks ago, and stepped up on that effort to stamp her authority in this Listed contest over five furlongs.

Karl Burke’s British raider Sophie’s Star ploughed a lone furrow on the near side from the start, with the other five runners staying towards the centre of the course.

Pennine Hills took those along, but Ladies Church travelled well behind her before being unleashed by Ben Coen. The 3-1 chance asserted in the final furlong to score by two and a quarter lengths from Pennine Hills. Sophie’s Star stuck on to claim third place.

Coen said: “She was very good. Mark (Dobbin) is a new owner, and I’m delighted to get one for him – he’s invested a lot into Irish racing.

“She’s improved again from Tipperary. I think she’ll get six and I like her – I think she’s smart.

“She picked up, then idled a bit when she got there. I think she’s good – and she can only get better as well.”

Recurrent Dream made a bright start to his career with a smooth success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden – which opened the evening card.

Produced on the outside to challenge, the 13-8 favourite led half a furlong from home in the hands of Colin Keane to score by a length and three-quarters from Gwan So, for trainer Ger Lyons.

Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with that.

“Vincent (Gaul, owner) had his full-brother Indicative Vote last year, and he’s also by Elzaam. We’ve been very lucky with Elzaam, and so has Vincent.

“He ran in this race to get him ready for the Ballyhane Stakes (at Naas on August 2). The way he did it there, he’s going the right way.

“He’s a lovely horse – we thought the trip would be below his best today, and he would lack experience, but he showed he’s a nice horse.

“He won with his ears pricked. He’s a big baby, and there is a lot of improvement in him. We look forward to getting him home now and see how much he improves.”

Cheveley Park then Breeders’ Cup the plan for Quick Suzy

Quick Suzy is likely to head for the Cheveley Park Stakes next before heading out to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup.

Bought by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners in a sale facilitated by bloodstock agent Joseph Burke, the daughter of Profitable is to stay with Gavin Cromwell for the rest of the year.

Quick Suzy, bought after winning her maiden by over five lengths at the Curragh, had finished second in a Group Three at Naas in soft ground prior to winning the Queen Mary under Gary Carroll.

“Eclipse are about 10 years old and Aron Wellman is the president. This is the first horse-in-training deal I’ve been involved with although a couple of years ago I offered him Princess Yaiza, coincidently also trained by Gavin,” said Burke.

“I hadn’t seen anything good enough for the next few years, then this filly came along. A friend of mine bought her for her previous owners. I couldn’t really offer her to a syndicate like Eclipse without some form in the book.

“When she won at the Curragh I was wondering whether she’d stay six furlongs or not, but Gary knew. He’d told the previous owners one day after getting off her that she was a machine.

“Given what she achieved there I thought she’d be good enough for Eclipse and they got the deal done. The next logical race was the one at Naas and it almost worked out perfectly, she just got caught out in soft ground on a stiff track.

“She got black type and kept the dream alive, had she not achieved that I fear we could have been waving bye bye to her and she’d have been off to America – which is fair enough. To be honest if she’d won she may have ended up in the Albany. It was quite clear afterwards the Queen Mary was her race.”

He went on: “Gavin was happy leading up to Ascot and bizarrely, as I’m a glass half-empty man, I was actually quite confident and it was just one of those times everything worked out.

“Wesley Ward’s filly was drawn next to us and we always felt she’d be better with a lead so it couldn’t have worked out any better.”

Looking ahead to the future, plans are now pretty fixed – with a Group One the next aim.

Gavin Cromwell greets Gary Carroll on Quick Suzy
Gavin Cromwell greets Gary Carroll on Quick Suzy (David Davies/PA)

“Now she’s won a Group Two there’s not much point heading for something like the Lowther with a penalty so the Cheveley Park looks the next logical race, she’s had four runs already,” said Burke.

“I told Gavin after Naas that after Ascot she’d probably be heading to America, but Aron said they are doing such a good job there was no reason to take her away from Gavin – which I was delighted to hear.

“After the Cheveley Park there’s then five weeks until the Breeders’ Cup, where she’s got five weeks in between, so it fits in nicely and she’ll run in the Juvenile Sprint Turf.”

Quick Suzy speeds to Queen Mary victory

Quick Suzy provided trainer Gavin Cromwell and jockey Gary Carroll with their first Royal Ascot success in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Carroll delivered Quick Suzy from off the pace on the stands side to challenge favourite and eventual runner-up Twilight Gleaming a furlong out, stretching clear to win by a length and a quarter at 8-1 – with 50-1 outsider Cheerupsleepyjean almost another two lengths back in third.

County Meath trainer Cromwell is more often associated with success over jumps – including at Grade One level at the Cheltenham Festival – but is adept on the Flat, too.

Quick Suzy, a maiden winner at the Curragh last month and then a Group Three runner-up at Naas, has nonetheless broken new ground for the yard with her Group Two victory.

Cromwell said: “She won her maiden very well, it was an auction maiden that doesn’t carry as much weight, she was very convincing there – then she went to a Group Three the last day in Naas and just didn’t quite see out the six furlongs on soft ground. But she showed blistering pace, so we were definitely coming here.

“(The fast ground) was an unknown, she’s a very good mover but she’d never raced on it.”

Asked to compare Royal meeting success with Cheltenham Festival glory, Cromwell – who won the Champion Hurdle in 2019 with Espoir D’Allen – added: “It’s centre stage and any race when you’re centre stage is fantastic.

“On a stage like this, you’re definitely going to get a buzz.”

The daughter of Profitable was recently bought by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners LLC, and Cromwell said: “The plan was she was to remain with me for Royal Ascot and then she was going to go to America. You wouldn’t know, but we might get to twist their arm and hold on to her and go to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Gary Carroll celebrates on board Quick Suzy with trainer Gavin Cromwell
Gary Carroll celebrates on board Quick Suzy with trainer Gavin Cromwell (David Davies/PA)

Carroll said: “Every step of the way I was trying to make sure the American horse didn’t get first run on me. She’s game and she battled all the way.

“I rode her over six furlongs at Naas where she showed so much natural speed. You need these big wins to get yourself on the platform.”

Of Twilight Gleaming, trainer Wesley Ward said: “We did everything right, but didn’t win. It was a clean trip and the first two fillies came clear. It was a good run.

“We’ve come back before and we might do that (run again in Britain) this time.”

Gustavus Weston surprises Greenlands rivals

Gustavus Weston bounced back from a disappointing run six days ago to dent some tall reputations in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.

Hollie Doyle had made the trip to Ireland to partner her British Champions Sprint winner Glen Shiel and Joseph O’Brien’s Speak In Colours has some top-class form to his name, while Sonaiyla changed hands for 900,000 guineas in December.

None of them had an answer to Joe Murphy’s five-year-old, however, who returned as a 14-1 winner.

Doyle adopted her usual position on Glen Shiel at the head of affairs and was joined by Make A Challenge as the pair went toe to toe for the first four furlongs.

As Glen Shiel dropped away, noted mud-lover Make A Challenge was left in front, but Gary Carroll began to get Gustavus Weston on a roll.

A Group Three winner back in 2019, he had been winless since and finished only sixth behind Logo Hunter at Naas last week.

He went on to win by three-quarters of a length with Make A Challenge returning to something like his best in second, with Sonaiyla running on for third.

“That was his Derby. He won here before and we always thought he liked the Curragh,” said Murphy.

“We thought he needed the race last week and that put him dead on for this one.

“He won well and I’m delighted the way Gary rode him, it was a good result.

“I’d have been happy with a place, we’re not greedy! He got him switched off which helped, he’s inclined to be a bit strong, but he switched off today and that was the key to him.”