Willie McCreery’s Insinuendo went one better than last year to claim the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at the Curragh.
The six-year-old was second to Mother Earth 12 months ago and placed in further Group races throughout the season before heading off to Bahrain for what was intended to be her last run.
She was not retired to stud after her seventh-placed performance in the Middle East, however, with her owners instead deciding to keep her in training for another year.
That decision was justified at the Curragh when she set off as the evens favourite under Billy Lee and returned a one-and-a-half-length victor.
“We’re delighted to win that. She was second in it last year, probably to a better mare,” said McCreery.
“You’re on a hiding to nothing if you get beat, Michael (Deegan, of owners Deegan Racing Syndicate) was brave enough to hold on to her for another year so it’s great to get started.
“I wouldn’t say any horse loves that ground but she got her way through it.
“Billy said she did everything wrong, she was a bit strong under him and didn’t settle. He clipped heels trying to get her to settle about a furlong-and-a-half down and she still was pulling.
“She got there and then she got a bit lazy in front, she’s getting a bit cute. Onwards and upwards now.”
Of the Bahrain disappointment the trainer added: “Things just didn’t work out for her in Bahrain, she got shuffled back. William Buick rode a great race in front on his horse, he slowed it all down.
“She was coming and coming but everything happened too quickly. She had loads of room today and she’s a proper mare.
“She’s been Group One-placed and we’ll aim for all the Group Ones for the year and that will be it.
“The Tattersalls Gold Cup is a possible. We’ll see what way the ground is, but I can’t see why not. It’s only driving down the road as opposed to going foreign.”