Posts

Bob Olinger bags Grade One glory at Naas

Bob Olinger continued his progression with an emphatic victory in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

The point-to-point and bumper winner made a highly promising start to his hurdling career when runner-up to last season’s Champion Bumper hero Ferny Hollow at Gowran Park in November, before landing cramped odds at Navan last month.

Stepping up to the highest level for a Grade One contest rescheduled following the abandonment of racing last Sunday, Bob Olinger was the 6-4 favourite in the hands of Rachael Blackmore, and ultimately won with plenty in hand.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Gabyanko cut out the running for much of the two-and-a-half-mile journey, with the keen-going Blue Lord his nearest pursuer, ahead of Bob Olinger in third.

Blue Lord looked to be travelling best early in the home straight, but had no answer when Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger found another gear between the final two flights and he ended up pulling six and a half lengths clear at the line.

Coral were suitably impressed, making the winner their 4-1 favourite (from 8-1) for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Blackmore said: “He’s always shown us a lot at home and I think today was the stamp of the kind of horse he is for the future. I’m delighted with him.

“I wanted to ride a straightforward enough race on him. He’s a simple horse to ride in that sense and I was happy most of the way.

“He jumped better today in the latter half of the race. The jump is there if you really ask him.

“He quickened up well and he seems to tick a lot of boxes.”

The leading rider believes Bob Olinger could be an even better horse once he has his attentions switched to the larger obstacles, adding: “I don’t think he’s a real, sharp Champion Hurdle horse in the making. Two and a half (miles) is ideal, but I wouldn’t rule out two either.

“For the future he’s probably going to be one for longer trips. He’s won a point-to-point and looks one for fences in the future.

“I’m delighted for Brian Acheson and Robcour (owners) who are very supportive of the game and to get a Grade One winner is brilliant.”

Energumene impressive as he stays unbeaten over fences

The Irish Arkle could be next on the agenda for Energumene after he maintained his unbeaten record over fences with an impressive display at Naas.

Having already won a point-to-point, a bumper and on his sole start over hurdles, the Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old made a smart start to his novice-chasing campaign when registering a wide-margin victory at Gowran Park in November.

The French-bred gelding faced a tougher test in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase, with Henry de Bromhead’s high-class performer Captain Guinness among his three rivals, but he ultimately got the job done in fine style.

Sent straight to the lead by Paul Townend, 10-11 favourite Energumene jumped accurately throughout to keep the pressure on those in behind.

Captain Guinness closed the gap rounding the home turn and briefly looked set to make a race of it, but the market leader asserted between the final two fences and pulled clear on the run-in to score by eight and a half lengths.

The winner’s stablemate Blackbow was a long way behind in third.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Mullins said of the winner: “That was very impressive, and his jumping was a key factor. He’s got a great method to jump.

“I brought him back to two miles to see if he would be as effective. He loves jumping.

“That was very testing going, and (he was) making all his own running. Paul just gave him a breather turning for home, and he’s picked up again. I was very taken with it.

“I’d imagine we will go down the two-mile route now, and the Arkle at Leopardstown would look the place to go.”

Paddy Power cut Energumene to 5-1 from 12-1 for the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March, making him their clear second-favourite behind Shishkin.

Mullins went on to double his tally with 9-4 favourite Belle Metal in the Rushe’s Supervalu (Pro/Am) Flat Race, ridden by Jody Townend.

“We will be looking to up her in grade, although the owners may be keen to sell, so she could be in different colours the next day,” the champion trainer added.

Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore were among the winners
Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore were among the winners (PA)

Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore also combined for a double on the card, with the Grade One success of Bob Olinger preceded by the comfortable victory of Epson Du Houx in the Eastcoast Seafood And Gouldings Hardware Handicap Chase.

The 9-4 favourite travelled strongly to the lead in the home straight and passed the post with six and a half lengths in hand.

“We didn’t get our own way in front, and it was a little bit messy like that, but I was impressed with him – and hopefully there are a few more days in him,” said Blackmore.

Amateur rider Harry Swan, son of the multiple champion jockey Charlie Swan, struck gold on his very first ride over hurdles aboard the Timmy Hyde-trained On Eagles Wings.

The 18-year-old, riding his fourth winner overall, steered the 2-1 shot to a two-and-a-half-length verdict from Captain Kangaroo in the I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Hyde said: “On his bumper form I thought he had a good chance, but you never know what you are coming up against in these races from the big stables. I was very happy with him.”

Charlie Swan added: “Timmy, myself and Harry have all now won on our first ride over hurdles.”

Joseph O’Brien’s Miss Pernickety justified 4-7 favouritism in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase under JJ Slevin.

De Bromhead cues up Bob Olinger to state case in Lawlor’s

Henry de Bromhead plans to let Bob Olinger “do the talking” in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

Impressive in winning a point-to-point and a Gowran Park bumper last season, Bob Olinger made a promising start to his hurdling career when pushing last season’s Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow all the way in November.

The Sholokhov gelding duly went one better at prohibitive odds when stepped up two and a half miles at Navan last month, and will bid to follow up at the top level in Wednesday’s rescheduled Grade One.

“We’ll let him do the talking and see. He works really well, and we like him a lot, so fingers crossed he’ll do it on the track,” de Bromhead told Sky Sports Racing last week.

“We’ll get (this race) out of the way and we’ll know more then. He won his point-to-point and looked good at Navan the other day.

“He’s got a lot of pace as well, though. We’ll probably enter him for the three novice hurdles at Cheltenham and see nearer the time, but in my mind it will be either the Supreme or the Ballymore, as opposed to the Albert Bartlett.”

Willie Mullins relies on Blue Lord in a bid to add to his record haul of eight victories in the Grade One contest.

The French import looked a high-class recruit when winning on his Irish debut at Punchestown, and connections are optimistic that he can prove his worth in Grade One company.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “We were very impressed with Blue Lord in Punchestown. We think there’s a lot of improvement to come from him.

“He’s a horse who will jump a fence in time, but we think he is up to Grade One level, and this will tell us more.

“He came to us very well-schooled and he has always jumped well at ours.

“It’s a big step up, but that’s the way the programme is in Ireland. You’re only taking on horses with one or two more runs, so that’s not a major worry.”

Ashdale Bob and Crosshill give Jessica Harrington a strong hand.

Having claimed Grade Two honours in the Navan Novice Hurdle just over three weeks ago, Ashdale Bob arguably sets the standard here – while stablemate Crosshill won by 11 lengths on his hurdling bow before at Punchestown before chasing home Power Of Pause at the same venue.

“Ashdale Bob won the last day in Navan, and we’ve been very happy with him,” said Harrington’s daughter and assistant, Kate.

“Crosshill was very impressive over two and a half miles when winning his maiden hurdle, and that form has worked out well. We dropped back to two miles the last day, and I think we got the tactics wrong on that occasion.

“The step back up in trip will definitely suit.”

Gordon Elliott, who has landed three of the last four renewals with Death Duty (2017), Battleoverdoyen (2019) and Envoi Allen (2020), saddles two outsiders in Wide Receiver and Ragnar Lodbrok.

He told Betfair: “Wide Receiver is rated 130, but I think he is better than his rating suggests – and his form so far this season is good.

“His second to Ashdale Bob in a Navan maiden hurdle looks like a very good run in hindsight, and I was delighted with his effort at Leopardstown over Christmas when he won a maiden hurdle in good style – I could see him running a big race.

Gordon Elliott provides two of the contenders in Wednesday's Grade One at Naas
Gordon Elliott provides two of the contenders in Wednesday’s Grade One at Naas (PA)

“In truth Ragnar Lodbrok faces a stiff enough task here. But he’s in good form, and I think if he can put together a reasonable round of jumping, he could give a good account of himself.”

Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako and the Noel Meade-trained Flanking Maneuver, who won a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle less than a fortnight ago, are the other hopefuls.

Meade said: “It’s a Grade One race and a big jump up from a maiden, but we like the horse and said we’d have a rattle at it.

“Putting the race back three days is a help, and he took his maiden race win really well.

“He actually never lost a pound from one day to the next, and that was part of the reason that we decided to run. He lost no weight at all.”

Sunday inspection called ahead of Exeter card

Exeter clerk of the course Daniel Cooper is optimistic of Sunday’s meeting going ahead after the track passed an inspection on Saturday.

Officials had planned a 4pm check as the course was reported to be frozen in places and unraceable on Friday afternoon.

However, that check was brought forward and with the track now raceable following a considerable improvement, Cooper will hold an 8am precautionary inspection on raceday morning due to the threat of another overnight frost.

He said: “We are currently raceable. We have gone out earlier than planned as it just gives people a better idea of where we are and temperatures are currently hovering around 2C or 3C.

“I am a bit nervous about the overnight forecast with the temperature due to drop again, but I’d say we probably have a 60 per cent chance of racing.

“I’m optimistic with the frost covers we have got down, but we will have a precautionary inspection.”

A full programme of racing in Britain went ahead on Saturday after National Hunt meetings at Chepstow, Kempton and Wincanton all survived morning inspections.

Sunday’s meeting at Naas will not take place though, with track unfit for racing due to frost.

The fixture, which is highlighted by the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle, has been rescheduled for Wednesday.

Blue Lord out to extend Mullins’ record in Naas Grade One

Willie Mullins bids to add to his record tally of eight victories in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle when Blue Lord lines up, weather permitting, in Sunday’s Grade One.

Blue Lord is set to bid for top-level glory on the back of a debut success over hurdles at Punchestown in November.

The six-year-old had three runs in the French provinces in 2019 and was then bought by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede to join Ireland’s champion jumps trainer.

Gordon Elliott has lifted this weekend’s prize three times in the last four years and is two-handed with Wide Receiver and Ragnar Lodbrok as he tries to maintain his fine record.

Jessica Harrington is also doubly represented with Ashdale Bob, a Grade Two winner at Navan last month, and Crosshill.

Bob Olinger is an interesting contender from Henry de Bromhead’s stable, having hacked up at Navan when sent off the 1-8 favourite after going down by one length to last season’s Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow on his hurdles debut.

Completing the nine-strong field are Noel Meade’s Flanking Maneuver, Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako and Great Bear, trained by Thomas Gibney.

However, the course is currently unfit for racing because of frost, and an inspection has been called for 1.30pm on Saturday.

Bob Olinger on course for Lawlor’s Of Naas

Bob Olinger is one of 12 horses confirmed for the Grade One Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

Impressive in winning a point-to-point and a Gowran Park bumper last season, Henry de Bromhead’s charge made a promising start to his hurdling career when pushing last season’s Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow all the way in November.

The Sholokhov gelding duly went one better at prohibitive odds when stepped up two and a half miles at Navan last month, and will bid to follow up at the top level on Sunday.

De Bromhead told Sky Sports Racing: “We like him a lot. He was good the first day against Ferny Hollow – when he probably lacked a bit of experience – and we stepped him up at Navan, and he won well.

“He seems in good form. It’s probably a little bit sooner than ideal (this weekend), but it’s just over three weeks, so we’re aiming towards that.

“We’re hoping for a good run.”

Gordon Elliott claimed the prize for the third time in the last four years with the brilliant Envoi Allen 12 months ago. This year the Cullentra handler has Fantasio D’alene, Farouk D’alene, Ragnar Lodbrok and Wide Receiver in the mix.

Willie Mullins has saddled a record eight previous winners and has just one contender this time around in Blue Lord, who looked a high-class recruit when winning on his Irish debut at Punchestown.

Jessica Harrington’s Ashdale Bob, a surprise winner of the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle on his latest appearance, also features.

On the undercard, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase could be an intriguing affair – with the Mullins-trained pair of Blackbow and Energumene, as well as De Bromhead’s Captain Guinness, among eight possibles.

Notebook puts down Champion Chase marker at Naas

Notebook bounced back to winning form in the Grade Two Poplar Square Chase at Naas.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge was a dual Grade One winner last term, but he had disappointed when sent off the 5-2 favourite for the Arkle on his final start of last term, finishing a well-beaten sixth.

He looked to face a stern test on his return with Fakir D’oudairies and Cash Back, who chased him home in his two top-level victories, once again in opposition.

Notebook was a comfortable winner
Notebook was a comfortable winner (Alan Magee/PA)

However, 11-10 favourite Cash Back sprinted to the first fence and crashed out, leaving outsider Djingle to set a strong gallop as Rachael Blackmore allowed Notebook (7-2) to get into his own rhythm at the back of the field.

Notebook and Fakir D’oudairies asserted their authority with two to jump, but Blackmore’s mount shaded the lead with a fine leap at the penultimate obstacle and strode away after the last to record a 12-length victory.

De Bromhead said: “He was a little bit rusty over the first few, but then jumped really well and stayed at it really well. It’s good to see him back to form.

Your first 30 days for just £1

“I’d say he’ll go to Leopardstown at Christmas. He loves it around there and has won two Grade Ones there.

“Rachael said he took a blow at the fourth-last and hopefully he’ll come on for it. I’m delighted with him.”

Paddy Power and Betfair quoted Notebook at 20-1 from 33-1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Call My Lyreen following his Grade Two success
Call My Lyreen following his Grade Two success (Alan Magee/PA)

Call Me Lyreen extended his winning run to three in the Old Persian At Glenview Stud Fishery Lane Hurdle – bringing up trainer Gordon Elliott’s 100th win of the season in the process.

Despite already registering victories at Tramore and Sligo, Call Me Lyreen was an 11-2 shot under Jack Kennedy with Gars En Noir the 11-10 market leader for Willie Mullins on his Irish debut.

The market leader was in the front rank throughout, but was beginning to toil at the top of the straight as Call My Lyreen moved through to challenge along with Wolf Prince.

That pair had it between them after jumping the penultimate flight, but Call Me Lyreen kept finding for pressure on the run to the line, eventually prevailing by a length and three-quarters.

Elliott, who was speaking away from the track, said: “He’s a lovely horse and is stepping forward all the time. We weren’t sure about the ground, but he coped with it well.

“He’ll have a little break and go for one of the novice hurdles at the Dublin Racing Festival.

“Keith (Donoghue) deserves a lot of credit as he’s done a lot of work with this horse at home.”

Kennedy added: “We went a good gallop the whole way. He was a bit behind the bridle, but turning into the straight he came alive and I probably got there a bit soon on him.

“He’s a nice horse and hopefully he can keep improving. The ground was a question mark, but he handled it well.”

Betfair make Call Me Lyreen a 25-1 chance for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Fakir D’oudairies returns to the fray at Naas

Last season’s Arkle runner-up Fakir D’oudairies faces some familiar rivals on his return to action in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas on Saturday.

Formerly a high-class juvenile hurdler, the JP McManus-owned five-year-old made a smooth transition to the larger obstacles for Joseph O’Brien last season – scoring on his chasing debut at Navan before claiming Grade One honours in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse.

He subsequently chased home Notebook at Leopardstown, before finding only Put The Kettle On too strong in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham.

Frank Berry, the owner’s racing manager, said: “He impressed many last year and he was just unlucky that he ran into one in the Arkle.

“He’s got a penalty to carry, so he’s having to give weight to some good horses, which makes it not that simple. He’s in good form, though, and Joseph has chosen to start him off here.

“It’s all about getting him started, he won the Drinmore over further last year but he’s not short of pace.

“I’m sure whatever he does he’ll improve for the run.”

After beating Fakir D’oudairies before following up in the Irish Arkle, Notebook was favourite for the Arkle itself at the Festival in March, but finished a disappointing sixth.

Trainer Henry de Bromhead is hopeful he can bounce back on his return to action, saying: “He seems in great form and we’re looking forward to getting him out again.

“He’s ready to start back his season.”

The Willie Mullins-trained Cash Back was runner-up to Notebook in the Irish Arkle, but fell when beaten at Cheltenham.

The field is completed by John Queally’s Djingle.

The other Grade Two on the card is the Old Persian At Glenview Stud Fishery Lane Hurdle, in which Gordon Elliott’s Call Me Lyreen puts his unbeaten record on the line against Mullins’ French recruit Gars En Noir, among others.

Championship appears sealed as Keane rides 99th winner

Colin Keane’s 99th victory of the season on Persian Queen at Naas appears to have clinched his second jockeys’ title.

Keane, who previously won the Flat championship in 2017, holds a lead of seven over his nearest challenger Shane Foley after they rode one winner each on Sunday.

On a card which saw With Thanks take the Group Three honours in style for William Haggas, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Athasi Stakes, Foley was successful on Taipan in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden – and then in the closing Naas Maiden, it was Keane’s turn again.

Both jockeys are in action again on Monday at the Curragh, where Keane has six chances to ride his 100th winner of the campaign and Foley has five booked rides, before both head off a day later to the Breeders’ Cup Festival in America and therefore bid farewell to the domestic season.

Away from their title battle, With Thanks was most impressive for Haggas and jockey Chris Hayes – who was completing a double.

Second to Onassis in a Goodwood Listed event last time out, before that the filly had won a small race at Catterick – and Haggas believes that confidence booster helped her in the long run.

With a Group Three win now in the bag, whether she stays in training next year will solely be up to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

With Thanks (2-1 favourite) relished the heavy ground and beat Silk Forest by five lengths.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Haggas said: “She won easily. Chris gave her a lovely ride, and she loves the ground.

“I don’t know if she stays in training. We were going to make that decision after today – it will be up to Sheikh Rashid. We’ll decide in the next week or so, but she won’t run again this year because that is job done.

“It wasn’t probably a strong race, and she is a fresh filly too, so it wasn’t rocket science that she won.

“It’s (travelling) just not an easy thing to do at the moment, because you are out of control, and I’m very grateful to Richard Brabazon who took her over yesterday morning and for taking her to Naas for us.

“She was a breeze-up horse but she’s light-framed, doesn’t need a lot of racing and needs conditions in her favour. She’s done well, because she got beat at Thirsk but went to Catterick and won – which built her confidence up – and she ran a good race last time.”

Hayes had earlier won on what is likely to be John Oxx’s last ever winner at Naas when Storm Legend (6-1) quickened smartly in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Hayes said: “He’s a nice horse. Mark McStay bought him for clients of his and put him in with Mr Oxx, and I believe he’s going to Fozzy (Stack). Thankfully they gave me the opportunity to ride him.

“He travelled with ease. He was a bit green early on – but when I gave him a squeeze he took off. I’d be looking forward to having him for next year.”

Ado McGuinness has almost run out of superlatives for Saltonstall (6-1), who got a dream run up the rail in the Listed Glencairn Stakes.

The six-year-old has taken his form to a new level in recent weeks, and devoured the very testing ground.

Saltonstall was also sporting meaningful colours.

“I ran him in Bart O’Sullivan’s colours, because he died a year back two days ago,” said McGuinness.

“I’m dedicating the whole thing to him – because without him, I wouldn’t be here today. He got me the owners and got me going. The O’Sullivan family got me involved with the Dooleys.

“I’m just thrilled to bits that the horse has done it. He’s such a warrior of a horse – because he had his problems before we got him – but when he’s right he’s a serious horse.

“Gavin (Ryan) has been brilliant on the horse all year and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He got a dream run up the rail.

“He’s won on all types of ground and is just a fabulous horse to have. We’ll probably give him a break now, and look forward to next year with him.”

Jessica Harrington’s Taipan (7-1) provided Foley with a valuable winner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

“He was never travelling at any stage – but that’s him,” said Foley.

“He’s a bit like that at home, but he’s going to be a lovely staying horse for next year.”

Unfortunately for Foley’s hopes, though, Keane returned fire – getting home by a head on Noel Meade’s 10-1 shot Persian Queen at the end of the card.

With Thanks dominates Athasi Stakes

With Thanks positively bolted up for William Haggas in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Athasi Stakes at Naas.

Second to Onassis in a Goodwood Listed race last time out, before that With Thanks had won a small race at Catterick – and Haggas believes that confidence booster helped her in the long run.

With a Group Three win now in the bag, whether she stays in training next year will solely be up to owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Ridden confidently by Chris Hayes, who was completing a double, With Thanks (2-1 favourite) relished the heavy ground and beat Silk Forest by five lengths.

Haggas said: “She won easily. Chris gave her a lovely ride, and she loves the ground.

“I don’t know if she stays in training. We were going to make that decision after today – it will be up to Sheikh Rashid. We’ll decide in the next week or so, but she won’t run again this year because that is job done.

“It wasn’t probably a strong race, and she is a fresh filly too, so it wasn’t rocket science that she won.

Your first 30 days for just £1

“It’s (travelling) just not an easy thing to do at the moment, because you are out of control, and I’m very grateful to Richard Brabazon who took her over yesterday morning and for taking her to Naas for us.

“She was a breeze-up horse but she’s light-framed, doesn’t need a lot of racing and needs conditions in her favour. She’s done well, because she got beat at Thirsk but went to Catterick and won – which built her confidence up – and she ran a good race last time.”

Hayes had earlier won on what is likely to be John Oxx’s last ever winner at Naas when Storm Legend (6-1) quickened smartly in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Hayes said: “He’s a nice horse. Mark McStay bought him for clients of his and put him in with Mr Oxx, and I believe he’s going to Fozzy (Stack). Thankfully they gave me the opportunity to ride him.

“He travelled with ease. He was a bit green early on – but when I gave him a squeeze he took off. I’d be looking forward to having him for next year.”

Ado McGuinness has almost run out of superlatives for Saltonstall (6-1), who got a dream run up the rail in the Listed Glencairn Stakes.

The six-year-old has taken his form to a new level in recent weeks, and devoured the very testing ground.

Saltonstall was also sporting meaningful colours.

“I ran him in Bart O’Sullivan’s colours, because he died a year back two days ago,” said McGuinness.

“I’m dedicating the whole thing to him – because without him, I wouldn’t be here today. He got me the owners and got me going. The O’Sullivan family got me involved with the Dooleys.

“I’m just thrilled to bits that the horse has done it. He’s such a warrior of a horse – because he had his problems before we got him – but when he’s right he’s a serious horse.

“Gavin (Ryan) has been brilliant on the horse all year and hasn’t put a foot wrong. He got a dream run up the rail.

“He’s won on all types of ground and is just a fabulous horse to have. We’ll probably give him a break now, and look forward to next year with him.”

Jessica Harrington’s Taipan (7-1) provided Shane Foley with a valuable winner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden as he continues to chase Colin Keane in the race to be champion.

“He was never travelling at any stage – but that’s him,” said Foley.

“He’s a bit like that at home, but he’s going to be a lovely staying horse for next year.”

Unfortunately for Foley’s hopes, though, Keane won the closing Naas Maiden on Noel Meade’s Persian Queen (10-1)

Ecliptical pounces for Keane and Lyons

Ecliptical produced a memorable performance to come from last to first as he pulled off a long-term plan in the valuable Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final – to complete a Naas double for connections.

Title-chasing Colin Keane anchored Ger Lyons’ well-backed 9-2 shot last of 15 in the valuable event.

If any of Ecliptical’s supporters were becoming anxious, however, Keane was not among them – and after pulling to the wide outside, he circled the field and ate up ground over the stiff finish.

The juvenile, unraced since winning his second career start on similarly testing ground in a Bellewstown maiden two months ago, proved his pace for this drop to seven furlongs – winning by a length and a quarter from 50-1 outsider The Blue Panther, with Vafortino a further half-length back in third.

The winning trainer’s brother and assistant Shane Lyons said: “When he won in Bellewstown the plan was to go for this race.

“He wants a mile – but we thought with the bit of cut in the ground this would suit.

“He’ll be a lovely horse next year, is all heart and showed there that he has a touch of class as well.

“He was drawn 16, Colin dropped him in – and to be able to come from last to first, you have to be good.”

Parent’s Prayer was another winner to strike from off the pace, capping a fine weekend for Archie Watson in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Garnet Stakes.

Your first 30 days for just £1

Lambourn trainer Watson, who 24 hours earlier had won his first Group One courtesy of Glen Shiel in the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot, was travelling Parent’s Prayer to Ireland for the second time in as many months – following her third in the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Gowran.

She went two places better this time, challenging down the middle and surging clear under Ben Coen to win by three lengths at 12-1 – with 80-1 outsider Stormy Belle and 8-1 shot Best On Stage dead-heating for second.

Coen said of the winner: “She loved the ground and travelled through the race very easily.

“She picked up well at the two pole, and I probably got there too soon. She was getting a bit lonely, but she toughed it out.”

Listed honours were also on offer in the following Irish Stallion Farms EBF Bluebell Stakes, and Jessica Harrington’s Barrington Court claimed them to give Keane’s title rival Shane Foley a winner.

JP McManus’ former hurdler was having just her fourth start on the Flat, at the age of six, and won for the second time in this discipline – arriving on the scene in the straight and finishing a length and a half in front of Snapraeceps.

Harrington is already planning a swift return for the winning 15-8 favourite.

She said: “She may come back here for the Finale Stakes (November 7).

“I don’t think she will go back over hurdles – because every time she runs she hurts herself.”

Power Under Me was a winning debutant in the opening Tifrums Irish EBF Maiden – for Keane, Lyons and Ecliptical’s owner Vincent Gaul.

The gelding repelled the challenge of favourite Coulthard in the final furlong to win by two and a quarter lengths at 16-5.

Power Under Me was making a belated debut, but Shane Lyons expects there will be plenty more to come.

“He has a high knee action, so we were waiting for the ground,” he said.

“He’s only come good in the last six weeks. He was backward, but his work was very promising at home.

“Ideally we would like to get another run in for the Birdcatcher (back at Naas next month), but I don’t think we’ll have time for that.

“He’ll be a nice horse for next year. It’s amazing how well (Power Under Me’s sire) Mehmas has done this year, and he’s our only one.”

Elizabethan ran out an easy winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan.

On her fourth career start, she was not inconvenienced racing out on her own up the stands side as she broke her duck by a length and a quarter at 100-30.

Wood Ranger was the emphatic winning favourite in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Nursery Handicap.

The 15-8 shot and top weight collared long-time leader Fine Distraction in the final furlong to prevail by two and three-quarter lengths under 5lb claimer Nathan Crosse for Willie McCreery, with the first two finishing well clear.

The winning trainer said: “I was trying to get him into the main race [the auction final], but it’s nice to pick up the (Plus 10) bonus here.

“He’s probably a seven-furlong horse, but we had to run him with the good prize-money here today.”