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Forbearance surges to Princess Royal Stakes victory

Irish raider Forbearance came from last to first to claim top honours in the Group Three Unibet Princess Royal Stakes at Newmarket.

Already successful in Britain this season, having beaten the re-opposing Domino Darling in York’s Galtres Stakes last month, the daughter of Galileo had since finished a close third at this same level at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.

She was a 4-1 shot to provide the red-hot combination of Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley with further success on the Rowley Mile.

After being settled at the rear of the field for much of the mile-and-a-half journey, Forbearance powered home to prevail by two and a half lengths from 3-1 favourite Sayyida.

Harrington said: “I’m delighted with that. My biggest worry was the quick turnaround, because it’s less than a fortnight since she ran at Leopardstown. She’s obviously a tough filly.

“She loves fast ground. I was just talking to her owner Morris Reagan (of Newtown Anner Stud Farm), and we said we might see if there’s anything for her in America or Canada later in the year.

“Hopefully she’ll be staying in training as a five-year-old next season, too.”

Foley was impressed with Forbearance’s performance, adding: “She really enjoys that fast ground, and a strong-run race suits her – she’s a good stayer.

“She’s a filly that’s improved – and she picked up well. She can be a bit too generous, but when she relaxes she has that turn of foot. She was off the bridle all the way today, and that suited.

She’s improved a lot throughout the year, and if she can do the same next year she could be competitive in those good races.”

Autumn Evening another winner for in-form Harrington team

Autumn Evening ran out a ready winner of the valuable Liam Healy Memorial Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel for the red-hot Jessica Harrington.

Harrington has been carrying all before her on the Flat in recent weeks, including an incredible four-timer over Irish Champions Weekend, but she once again showed her skills in the National Hunt sphere.

There appeared to be plenty in with a chance just before the turn for home, with almost six in a line.

However, the picture soon changed as Willie Mullins’ Dark Voyager went around the outside and took up the running.

The only one who could go with him was Autumn Evening (14-1) and despite only holding a narrow advantage on jumping the last, Sean O’Keeffe’s mount powered up the run in to eventually win by four lengths.

The race was run in memory of former photographer Liam Healy from Listowel who died in 2016.

“We gave him a nice good break after February and he strengthened up. He had a run back at Tramore and was meant to run at Gowran two weeks ago, but didn’t run as the ground was too quick for him,” said assistant trainer Kate Harrington.

“We hoped we had him fit enough for today, but he has been really good and two miles will probably be his minimum. We could step him back up to two and a half throughout the season and I think he’ll be competitive in those handicaps.

“We’ll also go back and try to win one on the Flat before the season is out. It is great for Joe (O’Flaherty) who is a great supporter and it is also lovely to win the Liam Healy Memorial Race.

“We have very fond memories of him, so it is a privilege to win his race.”

Earlier Gordon Elliott took the first two races with nice prospects in Party Central (4-7 favourite) and I A Connect (evens favourite).

Davy Russell rode the first of them but gave up his remaining rides due to an upset stomach.

Elliot said of Party Central: “It was a nice performance. Davy said there is plenty of improvement in her and she’ll come on a lot from it. We knew she was just ready to start off.

“Looking at her today, she enjoyed that two and a half miles but she could come back too.

“She is having a proper blow but is highly-strung and I wouldn’t have galloped her much at home. I want to keep the lid on her and she might now go for a Graded novice hurdle at Down Royal in November.”

Astadash shows Gowran rivals a clean pair of heels

Astadash continued Jessica Harrington’s sensational run of form with victory in the feature event at Gowran Park on Saturday.

The Moone-based trainer enjoyed four winners across Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh last week, highlighted by the Group One triumphs of No Speak Alexander in the Matron and Discoveries in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

In the days that have followed, Harrington has enjoyed a double at Punchestown and trebles at both Naas and Dundalk, and she added another brace at Gowran for good measure.

Having filled the runner-up spot in the Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes over the same course and distance last month, Astadash was an 11-2 chance to go one better and claim Group Three honours in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes.

Always travelling well on the front end under Wayne Lordan, the four-year-old kicked clear in the home straight and was three lengths clear of 7-2 favourite Emaniya at the line.

Harrington said: ““She loves Gowran and ran a blinder here last time. She was very good today and I’m delighted that she’s now got big black type.

“She’s big and took a long time to come to herself.

“The dam is not around any more, so the owners will want to have her for the paddocks.”

Harrington then made it 14 winners in the space of a week when Bonte Moi (17-2) and Conor Hoban saw off better-fancied stablemate Goodnight Kiss in the closing www.irishracehorseretirementfund.com Maiden.

She added: “It’s unreal – I feel I’m going to wake up sometime. It’s just amazing. The horses are running really, really well.

“Everyone at home is working hard and doing everything right.

“Shane (Foley who rode Goodnight Kiss) was reminding me in the parade ring beforehand that we thought she was our best two-year-old filly last year, but everything went wrong with her.

“She grew a lot and I’d say she’s only coming into her own strength now.

“She probably needs to go a mile and a half and we might try to get some black type with her.”

Discoveries to wait for Classic campaign

Jessica Harrington has confirmed her Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Discoveries will not run again until next season.

The daughter of Mastercraftsman is bred in the purple as a full-sister to Alpha Centauri and a half-sister to Alpine Star – both Group One winners for Harrington and owner-breeders the Niarchos Family.

A winner on her second start at the Curragh in June, Discoveries could finish only third behind Agartha in last month’s Group Two Debutante Stakes but reversed that form to claim top-level honours on the second day of Irish Champions Weekend.

She is entered in the bet365 Fillies Mile at Newmarket on October 8, while she also had the option of running on Arc weekend in France or heading for the Breeders’ Cup – but she will now be saved for a Classic campaign.

Speaking after continuing her excellent run of form with a winner at Punchestown on Tuesday, Harrington told Racing TV: “Discoveries is not going to run again this year. She’s a big filly who has had four runs, and I think that’s enough for her.

“She’s won her Group One, and it would be terrible to go back and get beaten in another Group One, so I’m going to leave her be.

“That (1000 Guineas) is where she will go.”

Discoveries is a 16-1 shot for the 2022 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which Inspiral heads the market at 6-1.

Discoveries on top in Moyglare Stud Stakes

Discoveries provided Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley with yet another Irish Champions Weekend success in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Harrington and Foley teamed up for a treble at Leopardstown on Saturday, highlighted by the Group One victory of No Speak Alexander in the Matron Stakes.

Discoveries was sent off at 17-2 to emulate her, having finished third behind the reopposing Agartha in the Debutante Stakes over the course and distance just three weeks ago.

Agartha looked likely to follow up after seeing off a number of challengers, but she was unable to resist the late surge of Discoveries, with three-quarters of a length separating them at the line.

Jessica Harrington with Alpha Centauri
Jessica Harrington with Alpha Centauri (PA)

Harrington said: “To win two Group Ones this weekend is just something else.

“She’s a lovely filly. She’s completely different to her full-sister Alpha Centauri, who was a big grey.

“This filly has done a lot of growing and has a lovely temperament – she’s not as feisty as Alpha.

“Her half-sister Alpine Star was different again. How can I be so lucky to have three fillies out of the same mare that have all won Group Ones?

“This filly was green first time she ran and then she won her maiden. We hoped she’d win the Alpha Centauri Debutante, but the ground came up soft that day and she goes on top of the ground.”

Foley said: “I don’t want this weekend to end, it’s been phenomenal.

“I thought I’d get close to Declan (McDonogh, on Agartha) today as I was riding her a bit different on a bit of better ground. The plan was to sit closer to them and she was well drawn in stall eight as she likes a bit of room.

“She is a very, very good filly, there was no hiding place today and I knew she had stepped forward from the Debutante.

“She was quite green still and had never gone that fast in her life.”

No Speak Alexander lands dramatic Matron Stakes

No Speak Alexander bounced back to form to cause a 25-1 upset in the Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Jessica Harrington-trained filly crossed the line in front in a tight and a dramatic finish to the Group One over a mile. She then had to survive a stewards’ inquiry after things got very tight deep inside the final furlong.

Third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas in May, No Speak Alexander had benefited from a pipe-opener in the Group One Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month.

She took her revenge on the winner that day, Mother Earth, who had no luck in running on this occasion.

Shale made the early running with Flirting Bridge second and No Speak Alexander and Pearls Galore close to the pace.

Shane Foley made his move on No Speak Alexander early in the straight and hit the front a furlong out, landing the spoils by a neck from Pearls Galore.

Mother Earth, the 6-5 favourite, was unable to get a clear passage through under Ryan Moore and had to settle for an eased-down third, a length and a quarter away.

Shane Foley returns aboard No Speak Alexander
Shane Foley returns aboard No Speak Alexander (PA)

“It was her day in the sun today, everything was right, and she really came on from the last day,” said Harrington.

“She got no run in France at all, she got knocked over a furlong down. We trained her for this day and we rode her the same way as we did in the Guineas, up at the sharp end.

“She’s probably got a little bit stronger. She likes a bit of nice ground. We’ve no idea where we’re going now, this was the plan and we’ll enjoy the day.”

Foley was banned for five days for careless riding and he later got three more days after winning the Boomerang Mile on Real Appeal.

Jessica Harrington fined €2,000 over Galway mix-up

Jessica Harrington has been fined €2,000 for the mix-up which saw the wrong horse land a two-year-old maiden at the Galway Festival.

Alizarine appeared to have run out an impressive winner of the Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden on her racecourse bow on July 27, but it later transpired that the three-year-old Aurora Princess had mistakenly run in the juvenile’s place.

The Galway stewards disqualified the winner, meaning favourite Twinkle was awarded the seven-furlong contest, and Aurora Princess was then declared a non-runner in the caulfieldindustrial.com Handicap over an extended mile later on the card.

Harrington issued a full apology on the day for what she described as “human error” – and at a hearing of the referrals committee of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, she accepted responsibility for the mistake.

The committee heard one of Harrington’s grooms, Caolan Byrne, was working at the races for the first time and was being guided through the process by Eddie Tobin.

He stated that he was responsible for saddling Alizarine for the second race – and that when he returned with the saddle after Shane Foley weighed out, the horse was presented to him in their stable with the bridle on. He said that he had never previously seen Alizarine, because it was set to be her debut, and he had no reason to think it was not her.

Harrington ‘s travelling head lad Niall Amond added he was unaware of any identity issue until he was about to saddle a runner in the third race when veterinary assistant Derek Cullen informed him that the microchip being read on the winner of Race Two was that of Aurora Princess and not Alizarine. He concluded that this was just a freak accident.

At a separate hearing, 19 of the 20 jockeys riding in the Guinness Galway Hurdle on July 29 were handed a one-day suspension following problems at the start.

The only one not banned was Denis O’Regan, because he was a late jockey change and not involved in the first instance of the riders not complying with the starter’s instructions.

Ger Lyons records landmark 1,000th winner at Roscommon

Ger Lyons reached a landmark 1,000 career winners as Offiah struck at Roscommon on Monday.

Lyons sent out his first winner at Navan in October 1994, and Royal Ascot success came in 2007 through Elletelle in the Queen Mary, ridden by Johnny Murtagh. It was also Murtagh in the saddle when Lightening Pearl won the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in 2011.

The County Meath trainer last year enjoyed his first two Classic victories, courtesy of Siskin in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Even So in the Irish Oaks – both ridden Colin Keane, with whom he has forged a formidable partnership.

Fittingly it was champion jockey Keane – who reached the fastest century of winners ever for a rider in Ireland at the weekend – doing the steering aboard 5-1 chance Offiah in the Class Grass Handicap, coming home three and a quarter lengths clear of favourite Big Baby Bull.

Shane Lyons is assistant to his brother at Glenburnie Stables and said: “Ger is so dedicated. He just loves animals and that shines through with certain horses, especially this lad. He just gets into their heads and fills them with loads of confidence.

“In our yard they are happy horses. Happy staff make happy horses and vica versa.

“He doesn’t copy what other trainers do – he thinks outside the box. Sometimes you think ‘this lad is losing it’, but all of a sudden you realise none of us would have thought of that with certain genius things that he does.

“It’s been a great ride and it will be a long ride for the next 1,000, but hopefully we are still there for it!”

Colin Keane celebrates Irish 2,000 Guineas glory with Siskin
Colin Keane celebrates Irish 2,000 Guineas glory with Siskin (PA)

He added: “We’re delighted to get it in Roscommon as well as it’s a very lucky track for us. Michael Finneran and his crew are very good to us and have great facilities which they are always upgrading.

“It’s a front-runner’s track, but Colin was very good on this horse. He nicks lengths on bends and is riding with so much confidence.

“The horse was threatening to do that for a long time and it’s great for Sean Jones and David Spratt to be part of this historic winner.”

Corviglia impressed in victory at Roscommon
Corviglia impressed in victory at Roscommon (PA)

Elsewhere on the card, Corviglia could have booked her place on Irish Champions Weekend in comfortably landing a second career success.

The Listed Ingabelle Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown on September 11 is a potential target, after the daughter of Karakontie dispensed with the opposition in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Race.

Making all the running, the Jessica Harrington-trained filly stayed on strongly to beat Gwan So by four lengths, with Tuwaiq three and a half lengths away in third, following up her win at Leopardstown last month.

Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: “Her form has worked out with the filly that was second to her (Limiti Di Greccio) winning next time at Leopardstown.

“Her work at home has come forward and mum will have a chat with Alan (Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family) and the team to see where they want to go next.

“I’d imagine the Listed Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend could be next for her.”

She added: “She’s from a lovely family and the dam is a sister to the Oaks winner Light Shift.”

Corviglia continues progression at Roscommon

Corviglia could have booked her place on Irish Champions Weekend in comfortably landing a second career success at Roscommon.

The Listed Ingabelle Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown on September 11 is a potential target, after the daughter of Karakontie dispensed with the opposition in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Race.

Making all the running, the Jessica Harrington-trained filly stayed on strongly to beat Gwan So by four lengths, with Tuwaiq three and a half lengths away in third, following up her win at Leopardstown last month.

Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: “Her form has worked out with the filly that was second to her (Limiti Di Greccio) winning next time at Leopardstown.

“Her work at home has come forward and mum will have a chat with Alan (Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family) and the team to see where they want to go next.

“I’d imagine the Listed Ingabelle Stakes at Leopardstown on Champions Weekend could be next for her.”

She added: “She’s from a lovely family and the dam is a sister to the Oaks winner Light Shift.”

Bopedro powers home in Irish Cambridgeshire

Bopedro returned to form to give Conor Hoban and Jessica Harrington a big handicap victory in the Paddy Power Irish Cambridgeshire at the Curragh.

Virtually pulled up when last of 13 over course and distance earlier in the month, the five-year-old was sporting a first-time visor on this occasion.

And that certainly appeared to have the desired effect, as he burst through on the far side.

Well-backed 9-2 favourite Moddy Poddle had been up there throughout and stuck on to give chase, but there was no catching the 28-1 winner, who was two and a half lengths to the good at the line.

Fastnet Crown was another half-length back in third and top-weight Saltonstall a gallant fourth, a further length away.

The win came in the colours of Yuesheng Zhang carried to victory earlier on the card by Magical Lagoon, also trained by Harrington.

Harrington – on the scoresheet over jumps at Down Royal, too – said: “First-time visor made all the difference to him. I told Conor to bury him and he picked up really well. It’s fantastic.

“It’s great for Conor as he broke Magical Lagoon for me, as he does most of Mr Zhang’s.”

She added: “They don’t normally win big handicaps like that. The last day here he hung and Shane (Foley) pulled him up. His eye was completely closed over and he must have got a sting or something like that.”

Bluegrass looks a horse of some promise
Bluegrass looks a horse of some promise (Brian Lawless/PA)

Bluegrass put up a gritty display when making all the running for the Aidan O’Brien stable in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden.

Seamie Heffernan dictated affairs on the 5-2 favourite from the start, with the son of Galileo finding extra when challenged to score by a length and half from Good Heavens.

O’Brien said: “He’s come forward a good bit from the first run when he was very green. He was drawn out on the wing the last day and never got involved.

“We think he’ll come forward more and I wouldn’t be afraid to go for a stakes race now with him.

“He should improve from every run, he’s that type of horse.”

Sarah Lynam enjoyed a notable winner of her own courtesy of Goodnight Girl (9-1) in the TRI Equestrian Handicap.

She said: “She ran a cracker here on Derby weekend and was just caught on the line. That’s my first winner at the Curragh so it’s very satisfying.”

Magical Lagoon swamps Albula in Flame Of Tara

Magical Lagoon stayed on strongly to snatch the spoils in the Manguard Plus Irish EBF Flame Of Tara Stakes at the Curragh.

Jessica Harrington’s daughter of Galileo stormed home in the final furlong to take the Group Three contest over a mile from Albula.

The latter had Magical Lagoon (9-2) back in third spot when making a winning debut at Naas at the beginning of the month, but the placings were reversed in no uncertain fashion.

Albula was well-positioned from the outset as Kiss You Later made the early running, before hitting front two furlongs out.

The 4-5 favourite looked all set for success, only for Magical Lagoon staged a mighty finish to get the verdict by three-quarters of a length.

A 305,000 guineas purchase as a yearling, Magical Lagoon may have earned a crack at the Group One bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in October, for which she was cut to 16-1 from 50-1 with Paddy Power.

Delighted connections with Magical Lagoon
Delighted connections with Magical Lagoon (PA)

Harrington said: “She needed the mile and stayed on very strongly. She was good today.

“She’ll probably have just one more run this year. She’s in the Fillies’ Mile and she might just go for that. She’s going to be a mile-and-a-half filly next year.

“She was just a bit clueless the last day (in Naas). She’s a lovely filly and I’m delighted for Mr Zhang who now has a Group-winning two-year-old this year.”

Harrington promises to learn from mistake in Galway mix-up

Jessica Harrington has vowed her team “will learn from” the error which saw the wrong horse run in a two-year-old maiden at Galway.

Alizarine appeared to have run out an impressive winner in Tuesday’s COLM QUINN BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden on her racecourse bow, but it later transpired that three-year-old Aurora Princess had mistakenly run in the juvenile’s place.

The Galway stewards disqualified the winner, meaning favourite Twinkle was awarded the race, and Harrington has issued a full apology for what she described as “human error”.

She tweeted: “On behalf of all at #TeamJHR I want to apologise to everyone for what happened yesterday. We are particularly sorry for the owners of both fillies but also to anyone else who was impacted by our mistake.

“It was human error, a mistake that we will learn from.

“We will ensure that it never happens again. Thankfully both horses are home safe & sound.”

Galway mix-up leads to Harrington ‘winner’ being disqualified

There was drama on day two of the Galway Festival after a Jessica Harrington-trained winner was disqualified following an identity mix-up.

Newcomer Alizarine ran out a cosy winner Colm Quinn BMW Irish Fillies Maiden, producing a fine burst of acceleration to see off 5-4 favourite Twinkle by a length and three-quarters in second.

However, around 25 minutes after the race, an objection was lodged into the identity of Alizarine, with the stewards eventually awarding the race to Twinkle. A Harrington-trained runner later on the card, the three-year-old Aurora Princess, was subsequently withdrawn by order of the stewards.

Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board spokesman Niall Cronin said in a statement: “All horses are checked on arrival. Alizarine is in Galway, she arrived here with the rest of Mrs Harrington’s runners, Aurora Princess also being one of them.

“Mrs Harrington didn’t saddle the runners for that race herself but subsequently has accepted full responsibility for what has happened.

“In the inquiry itself she expressed the similarity between the two fillies. I think she referred to them as being almost identical, she may have even said that they were like twins.

“When the winner of race two arrived back to be checked again by the IHRB officials, prior to the winner alright being announced, the filly could not be positively identified.

“Further examination by the IHRB veterinary officer confirmed that the filly was indeed Aurora Princess so an objective was lodged by the veterinary officer.

“The stewards enquired into the matter and Mrs Harrington accepted that the wrong filly had run. She held her hands up and accepted full responsibility.

“The stewards, using their power under 262 (iv) c, disqualified Alizarine.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. Because of the time restraints on a raceday the matter has been referred on to allow for a full investigation.”

Galtee Mist and Gary Carroll coming home to win the Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Corrib Fillies & Mares Stakes
Galtee Mist and Gary Carroll coming home to win the Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Corrib Fillies & Mares Stakes (Niall Carson/PA)

Galtee Mist (11-1) won the Listed highlight on the card, the Colm Quinn BMQ Irish EBF Corrib Fillies & Mares Stakes, for Joe Murphy and Gary Carroll.

The five-year-old is entering her final weeks of racing as she is in foal to Make Believe, but she posted a career-best effort in gaining a valuable black-type victory by three and a half lengths over Lustown Baba.

Murphy said: “That was the plan. She ran a great race in the Group race last time (seventh in the Minstrel Stakes), beaten seven lengths, as the race didn’t suit her. They crawled for three and sprinted for three.

“We thought this track would suit her and she has full black type now and that’s her sixth win. She’s a good mare and she’s in foal to Make Believe.

“She’s in the handicap on Sunday, but she’d be off a new mark in that so it probably won’t happen.

“She might have to find a Group Three in England or somewhere as she’s finished racing on August 20.”

Ado McGuinness won the Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap for a third successive year with 50-1 shot Sirjack Thomas.

The trainer fielded six in the race, including dual winner Saltonstall and it briefly looked as though he was going to complete a hat-trick when he hit the front at the top of the straight as pace-setting stablemate Spanish Harbour reached the end of his tether.

But Sirjack Thomas, who only snuck into the race on account of a non-runner, was flying in the hands of 5lb claimer Mikey Sheehy, pulling three lengths clear of 33-1 shot Quizical at the line.

Sirjack Thomas and Mikey Sheehy blazed home in the headline handicap
Sirjack Thomas and Mikey Sheehy blazed home in the headline handicap (Niall Carson/PA)

McGuinness said: “We had a lot of bullets and I thought Saltonstall ran a blinder, he just got there too soon. The gap came and Sam (Ewing) went.

“This lad was drawn wide and I just told Mikey to drop him in and ride him for luck as they would go a good gallop, which they did. He gave him a peach of a ride.

“He only got in as a reserve last night and I rang Kevin O’Ryan as I was looking for a good 5lb or 7lb claimer.

“Declan McDonogh said this fella was top class and I have to thank him too.

“He’s only ridden for me a couple of times, but he’s a top class young fella and the claim was a big help.

“It’s unbelievable to win it three years on the bounce. I knew I threw plenty of bullets but that’s what you have to do sometimes.”

Sirjack Thomas – plus a handful of stablemates – could be back in action again later in the week.

McGuinness added: “He’s in again on Sunday. He’ll rock up again so will Current Option, Laugh A Minute, and Spanish Tenor if they are all sound.

“Last year we were a little disappointed with him, but he’s really come to himself this year. I don’t know why, but he got stronger and is a different horse this year.

“We’d given up faith running him in premier handicaps last season and we got him handicapped over hurdles, he’s only 96 I think over hurdles!

“We’re going to stay on the Flat for a while anyway.”

Emilie Gray came home well clear in the opening contest
Emilie Gray came home well clear in the opening contest (Niall Carson/PA)

Emilie Gray was a thoroughly impressive winner of the opening Caulfield Industrial Irish EBF Maiden for the Dermot Weld-Colin Keane alliance.

Third behind subsequent Prix de Diane winner Joan Of Arc on her racecourse bow at the Curragh back in March, Emilie Gray had been well fancied in each of three subsequent outings but had not managed to get her head in front.

The daughter of Dubawi righted that statistic in some style, accelerating away in the straight for Keane to eventually come home eight and a half lengths clear of Prince Hector as the 5-6 favourite.

Weld was thrilled to see the grey triumph for owner-breeders Moyglare Stud, having also trained the dam Carla Bianca as well as multiple generations of the family.

He said: “She did it nicely. She handles the ground and she’s a progressive filly.

“Her form was there, she’s been very consistent. The trip was right, the ground was right and she delivered.

“She’s from one of the best Moyglare families, she’s a beautifully-bred filly and it was lovely to win with her.

“We’ll look at black type with her later in the year.”

Alpine the Star attraction in York Listed heat

Racegoers at York on Friday evening will be treated to the sight of top-class filly Alpine Star making her return to action in the British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies’ Stakes.

Jessica Harrington’s filly followed in the hoofprints of her multiple Group One-winning half-sister Alpha Centauri by running out a brilliant winner of the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer.

The daughter of Sea The Moon went on to fill the runner-up spot in three more top-level events before the end of 2020 – going down by under a length in French Oaks, the Prix Jacques le Marois and the Prix de l’Opera.

Alpine Star has not been seen in competitive action since pushing Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa all the way at ParisLongchamp in October, but appears to face a relatively straightforward task on her Listed comeback on the Knavesmire.

Harrington said: “It’s a nice little start-off for her and then we can plan for the autumn. We’ve got loads of options.

“She had a little setback earlier in the year, which is why we didn’t get to run her.

“This is a nice place for her to start and a nice opportunity. She doesn’t have to carry a penalty and is taking on just fillies, so let’s hope all goes well.

“She arrived over there safely this (Thursday) morning.”

Fooraat is among Alpine Star's rivals
Fooraat is among Alpine Star’s rivals (Megan Ridgwell/PA)

The Irish raider will be long odds-on to dispatch of six rivals in Friday’s extended 10-furlong contest.

The second-best horse on ratings is Roger Varian’s Fooraat, but even she has 16lb to find with Alpine Star.

The William Haggas-trained Sea Empress and Vesela from Ralph Beckett’s yard also feature.

Harrington speaks out on Bolger claims of drugs cheats in Irish racing

Prominent Irish trainer Jessica Harrington has voiced her sadness that the public may believe horses are being drugged in Irish racing.

Harrington, among the all-time greats of the Irish ranks under both codes, has also called for “very, very severe” punishments if any of her colleagues are found to be drugging horses.

Speaking to Ruby Walsh on RTE Racing, the Classic and Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer was responding to this month’s claims from Jim Bolger that a ‘Lance Armstrong’ will be uncovered in Irish racing.

Top Flat trainer Bolger has been invited before a parliamentary hearing early next month to substantiate his claims, together with officials from Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.

Harrington said: “It just makes me sad that people think that horses are drugged, and trainers are drugging horses.

“As far as I’m concerned, catch the people that are doing it if they are doing it, and punish them very, very severely – because they are damaging the rest of our sport.

“Every time any trainer has a winner there is a sort of suspicion now ‘was there drugs in that horse?’.”

County Kildare-based Harrington spelled out that she would welcome the authorities to test all horses in her care.

Jessica Harrington wants to see sever punishments if any trainers are found to be drugging their horses
Jessica Harrington wants to see sever punishments if any trainers are found to be drugging their horses (Nigel French/PA)

“If I have a winner people might ask ‘is there drugs’ – but I do not give my horses drugs. I’ve been training now 35 years and I’ve always been straight and honest, an open book if they want to come here and test.

“I think testing is very important, and maybe there should be more – but every single winner in Ireland is tested, and there are a certain amount of random tests.

“As I’m a licensed trainer, they can come into my yard and test at any time and search the yard.

“I hope there isn’t (an issue in Irish racing) – but in every sport, there are people using drugs and trying to get the better of the system.

“All I can do is put my hand on my heart and say ‘I don’t do it’.

“They are testing to a high standard. ‘Is it high enough?’ – I don’t know, that’s up to the regulators here to have it to a high standard.”