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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.”

Sacred Bridge on course for Ballyhane Stakes

Sacred Bridge is likely to put her unbeaten record on the line in the 200,000 euros Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.

The Ger Lyons-trained filly has won both her starts, including the Listed Tipperary Stakes, and connections are aiming her at the second running of the County Kildare track’s richest race early next month.

“We’ll see how she goes in the next couple of days, but we’re looking towards the Ballyhane at Naas,” said Barry Mahon, racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

“We were looking at the Marwell in Naas today – but because of the fact she won a stakes race on her last start, she would have had to carry a penalty.

“In fairness (as well), there’s a very good incentive with the valuable prize money for the Ballyhane.

“She gets the allowances, given the conditions of the race, so we said we’d aim towards that – given she’s won a stakes race.”

Sophie’s Star out to shine at Naas

Owner-breeder Nick Bradley is hoping Sophie’s Star can enhance her potential value as a broodmare with a prominent showing in the Listed Arqana Irish EBF Marwell Stakes at Naas.

Trained in North Yorkshire by Karl Burke, the Cotai Glory filly crosses the Irish Sea with a consistent profile, having finished out of the first two just once in six starts.

The Thirsk and Beverley winner was last seen filling the runner-up spot on her return to the Westwood just last week, but hopes are high she can pick make her presence felt in the Nick Bradley Racing colours on Wednesday.

Bradley said: “She’s a home-bred filly, so the breeder would be delighted if we could get some black type!

“It’s a six-runner race and it looks like she has a chance. Joseph O’Brien’s filly (Pennine Hills) made all over six furlongs last time and looks useful, but we think we’re pretty good as well.

“She’s very tough, this filly. I’ve run her every week, and she hasn’t been out of the first two since debut.

“I’d expect her to be there or thereabouts.”

Pennine Hills impressed on her racecourse debut at Fairyhouse, while Jessica Harrington’s Impeachd Alexander and the Johnny Murtagh-trained Ladies Church also line up off the back of victories.

Kimbah (Nigel Slevin) and Orinoco River (Donnacha O’Brien) are the other hopefuls.

A much bigger field of 14 runners is set to go to post for the other Listed race on the card – the Yeomanstown Stud Irish EBF Stakes.

On ratings the standard is set by Harrington’s Dickiedooda, with Ken Condon’s Teresa Mendoza and Back To Brussels from Fozzy Stack’s yard also in contention.

Hadman set to progress to better things after Naas triumph

Hadman could be stepped up in class after following up a narrow Curragh success in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Race at Naas.

Trainer Joseph O’Brien may look at the Group Three Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh and the valuable Ballyhane Stakes back at Naas next month for the Starspangledbanner colt, who made all in this six-furlong contest.

Ridden by 5lb claimer Dylan Browne McMonagle, Hadman (2-1 favourite) kept on dourly to hold Geocentric by three-quarters of a length. Heart To Heart was a length and a half away in third.

“He’s improving away with each run and is a good, tough, solid horse,” said O’Brien.

“Dylan gave him a good ride and controlled the race. He fought on well.

“I’ve nothing in particular in mind, but maybe something like the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh. That’s just over six furlongs and he’s already won at seven. Something like that might be a logical step for him.

“The Ballyhane Stakes back here could be another option and he might travel a bit later in the year.”

Storm Legend (9-2) is to continue his career in Hong Kong following his victory in the Naas Nursery Of Champions Race.

Unlucky in a Listed race at the Curragh last weekend, the son of Night Of Thunder gained compensation with a head verdict over the fast-finishing Acanella in the hands of Chris Hayes.

Trainer Fozzy Stack reports the three-year-old colt could run at Goodwood before heading to the Far East.

“The plan is for him to go to Hong Kong in August and he might run in the Group Three in Goodwood (Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes) on the way there to quarantine. It ties in as he has to be in Newmarket around the start of August,” said Stack.

“It’s nice to have a winner for that man (Boniface Ho Ka Kui). It was very kind of him to send me the horse after he was in John Oxx’s last year.

“I hope he’s lucky for him in Hong Kong and he could make into a Hong Kong Derby horse. He’ll definitely get a mile and he could get a mile and a quarter as there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree.”

Willow back to winning ways at Naas

Willow returned to winning ways with victory in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Naas Oaks Trial at Naas.

Last of 14 in the Oaks at Epsom, the Aidan O’Brien-trained filly tracked the pace set by April Showers, before leading with a furlong and a half to run.

April Showers did not go down without a fight, but it was 3-1 favourite La Petite Coco who posed the biggest threat as she finished strongly under Billy Lee.

Willow and Seamie Heffernan were not for passing, however, and the daughter of American Pharoah out of Peeping Fawn kept on all the way to the line for a half-length victory.

The 11-2 winner was Heffernan’s third chance in the race, after earlier defections which included La Joconde, who was 11th in the Oaks.

He said: “She won nicely. We thought she was a real good filly at the start of the year and it’s nice to win a nice race with her and hopefully she can progress.

“She arrived (on the scene) late last year so possibly she is going to arrive and be good late on this year.

“I had three rides in the race and I ended up winning it!”

The race was run almost 25 minutes after the advertised start time, with Gary Carroll having been unshipped from Holly Golightly, who was withdrawn.

The Royal Ascot-winning rider was treated on the track before being taken to hospital for further assessment.

Senior medical officer Doctor Jennifer Pugh said on the Irish Horseracing Board Twitter feed: “Following a fall in the starting area prior to Race 5, Gary Carroll has been taken to Naas Hospital for further assessment. Gary was fully conscious when leaving the racecourse.”

Sacred Bridge looks a filly to follow
Sacred Bridge looks a filly to follow (PA)

The Ger Lyons-trained Sacred Bridge is also bred to be smart and made a winning introduction in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

A full-sister to Viadera, now with Chad Brown and a Grade One winner in America having been victorious in Listed company when with Lyons, the daughter of Bated Breath was always travelling nicely for Colin Keane.

Picking up from the two-furlong pole, the well-backed 11-10 favourite got the better of the more experienced Agartha by a length and a half.

Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother, said: “It was a lovely performance and Colin was very kind on her.

“She was entitled to be green, which she was when she hit the front. She just got a little bit tired and it was a typical first run from one of ours.

“She will improve and Colin said she’ll get faster. She’ll come on a ton for it and we’re very happy to take baby steps.”

Royal Ascot one of the options for Hermana Estrella

A tilt at the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot will be considered for Hermana Estrella following her debut victory at Naas on Sunday.

The daughter of Starspangledbanner justified trainer Fozzy Stack’s decision to pitch her in at Group Three level on her racecourse debut as she got the better of several previous winners in impressive fashion.

While her 50-1 success was a surprise to many, Stack revealed it was her exciting homework which prompted him to run her at Pattern level at the first time of asking.

He said: “She’d been working well at home. She hasn’t been away to work or anything and hasn’t even worked on grass, so it was actually a very good performance.

“She’d shown plenty of talent at home. If it hadn’t worked out we’d have been left with egg on our face if she’d run very green, but it worked out well.

“She’s a smart filly.”

Hermana Estrella is likely to run in either the Albany next month or stay at home for the Group Two Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

“Royal Ascot would be a possibility, or maybe the race on Derby weekend here,” Stack added.

“It will be the Albany or that race, I’d imagine. We’ll take our time and talk to connections and see what everybody wants to do.

“She gets six furlongs well, so the soft ground in Naas might have helped on that front, but I don’t think she needs it soft.

“I’d like to think she could step up in trip for something like the Moyglare later in the season.”

Logo Hunter plunders Sole Power prize for Michael Browne

Logo Hunter continued his fine run of form when a conclusive winner of the Listed Sole Power Sprint Stakes at Naas for small-scale trainer Michael Browne.

A 5,000 guineas purchase for owner Patrick Moyles, the gelded son of Brazen Beau had finished in the frame on each of his four previous runs this term, previously winning the Cork Racecourse Handicap before being narrowly denied in the Committed Stakes at Navan – the latter performance being his trainer’s first ever runner in a Listed race.

This time the three-year-old was not going to be bettered and raced dominantly underneath Seamie Heffernan to triumph by four and a quarter lengths at odds of 11-2.

“I couldn’t describe the feeling – it’s unreal,” said Browne, who trains just five horses in Cashel, Tipperary.

“Seamie was adamant the whole time that he was a Group One sprinter and he’s right. I was doubtful with all the rain, but Seamie told me to run him.

“There is a race in Mallow in a bit over a fortnight’s time (the Listed Midsummer Sprint on June 9) that he’ll probably go for. I’d like to have run him in the Commonwealth Cup, but he can’t go there as he’s a gelding.

“That’s his trip, five furlongs, and he’ll be a lot better on better ground.

“He doesn’t need any work, just keep him fresh.

“Unfortunately he’ll probably be sold, but he’s given me some thrill up to now.”

The second Listed race on the card, the seven-furlong Owenstown Stud Stakes, went the way of Joseph O’Brien’s Snapraeterea and jockey Declan McDonogh.

The three-year-old made all and at one stage enjoyed a two-length lead, with runner-up Lustown Baba making a late challenge but ultimately finding O’Brien’s colt well able to hold on to a half-length victory.

Brendan Powell, assistant to O’Brien, said: “He really toughed it out there, he enjoys making the running and will stay a mile. He had a couple of runs and was fit and well.

“He settled there after a couple of furlongs and Declan has given him a brilliant ride.”

Andreas Vesalius led from the outset to take the five-furlong Coolmore Stud Calyx Race under Dylan Browne McMonagle, one of two winners for Joseph O’Brien.

The Caravaggio colt started at 11-4 and did not see any of his four rivals when taking the lead instantly and retaining it to cross the line a length and three-quarters ahead of 2-1 favourite Silver Surfer.

“Dylan has done the right thing as he’s sat in front and when he kicked, he had them at it behind,” said Powell.

“He said the further he went, the better he went.

“He’s a sweet horse, a lovely temperament and the most laid-back horse you will get.

“Dylan said he could go for a Listed race, he’s tough and will cope with most types of ground.

“That’s our first two-year-old winner and I think we have only run about three.”

Jessica Harrington’s Espouse was a 28-1 winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, laying down a late challenge to pass 5-1 shot Frill.

The three-year-old was making her second racecourse appearance after finishing seventh on debut at the same track last September, and was this time a three-quarter-length winner under Tom Madden.

“She was good over that trip and with the hood she gave me a great ride,” the jockey said.

“She was very professional and finished out the race well.

“Hopefully she is something to look forward to over a mile or a mile and a quarter.

“She was nearly a bit too relaxed with the hood on, it definitely helps her and the last furlong was her strongest part of the race.”

Pepperoni Pete then gave Harrington a double on the card in the Royal Ascot Trials At Naas Handicap at 12-1.

Surging up the centre of the track in the penultimate furlong, the five-year-old was able to pass 7-2 favourite Starting Monday to prevail by a length and three-quarters under Scott McCullagh.

Khartoum was a ready winner on his handicap debut when taking the one-mile Naas Handicap by two lengths for Aidan O’Brien.

The colt, who was a $1million purchase, was last seen finishing last of 10 in the Group Three Craven Stakes at Newmarket.

“He went to Newmarket and he was too fresh and did too much,” O’Brien said.

“He settled and quickened up well today, he won nicely.

“I always thought he wanted good ground, but he won his maiden on soft ground Ryan (Moore) said it is proper soft ground there today.”

McGuinness eyeing Ascot run for Naas hero A Case Of You

A Case Of You relished the soft ground at Naas to take the Group Three Goffs Lacken Stakes for Ronan Whelan and Adrian McGuinness.

The three-year-old bounced back from a disappointing performance in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April, when he started as the 9-4 favourite.

This time the colt ran on the heels of the leading group when dropping back to six furlongs, eventually involving himself in a tight four-way finish and crossing the line a neck ahead of Mooneista.

Ger Lyon’s Power Under Me was third past the post, but following a stewards’ inquiry, he was awarded second place with Mooneista demoted to third after the pair got close together in the dying strides.

“We gave him a break after Leopardstown where we were a bit disappointed with him,” McGuinness said of the 7-2 shot.

“He pulled hard that day and we said we’d drop him back to sprinting.

“Obviously that is his forte, he had to dig deep there today and he’s tough. I think he’ll improve a little bit as I haven’t been very hard on him, I gave him an easy time after Leopardstown.

“It’s great for the lads and at least they will be able to go to Royal Ascot now.

“He handles cut in the ground, but I worked him up the Curragh the other day and he travelled sweet on nice ground.

“They all tell me all-weather horses go well in Royal Ascot and his Dundalk run with Logo Hunter and Mooneista is rock solid form now.”

Newcomer Hermana Estrella claims surprise Naas verdict

Hermana Estrella was a surprise winner of the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas for Chris Hayes and Fozzy Stack.

A two-year-old daughter of Starspangledbanner, the filly was making her racecourse debut after being purchased for £42,000 as yearling.

The outsider of the field of seven, the bay started at 50-1 and cut through the field with two furlongs left to travel to take on leader Quick Suzy.

The two fillies locked horns from the furlong pole onwards, where Hayes’ mount slowly began to pull away from her rival to record a one-length success.

Quick Suzy was the eventual runner-up at 6-1, with 14-1 chance Missing Matron in third and Aidan O’Brien’s 2-7 favourite Contarelli Chapel finishing fourth.

“She’s a very smart filly and Fozzy doesn’t make entries like that unless they are good,” said Hayes

“She’s one of our nicer two-year-olds.

“She was green and raw as you would expect going against experienced company, but to me I was coasting and everything was going in slow motion.

“When Ryan’s (Moore) horse (Contarelli Chapel) faded away, I wanted to chase after Gary (Carroll, aboard Quick Suzy).

“She was green and ran around, but won with her ears pricked. She is one to look forward to.

“I sat on her twice at home, Mark Enright has been riding her in a bit of work and we have always held her in high regard – that’s why she had that entry.”

Contarelli Chapel set to star at Naas after electric debut performance

Contarelli Chapel bids to build on her impressive debut victory when she steps up to Group Three company for the Coolmore Stud EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

The half-sister to last year’s French Oaks and Nassau Stakes heroine rocketed home by five and a half lengths over this course and distance three weeks ago.

She now puts her Royal Ascot credentials to the test, with trainer Aidan O’Brien gave a positive update on the daughter of Caravaggio.

“She seems in good form since winning at Naas,” he said.

“She hasn’t done much obviously, but we’re very happy with her since. This will tell us what our next option will be, whether that’s Royal Ascot or somewhere else, but we are happy with her.

“Having won already in Naas is obviously a positive and we were delighted with her that day.”

Contarelli Chapel’s rivals include two from Jim Bolger’s stable – course and distance scorer Freedom Of Speech and Missing Matron.

O’Brien relies solely on Dundalk maiden winner Cadamosto for the Coolmore Stud Calyx Race over five furlongs. The son of No Nay Never was an impressive winner on debut last month and takes on five challengers on his first start on turf.

“We have been happy with him since Dundalk. Like Contarelli Chapel, we’ll run him again to see if Royal Ascot is an option for him, but we’ve been happy with how he has progressed from his first run,” said the Ballydoyle handler.

Michael O’Callaghan has a fascinating debutant in Twilight Jet, who cost £210,000 at the breeze-up sales.

“Since we’ve got him, we’ve been very pleased with him. He came highly recommended from the usual source – Tally-Ho Stud’s Roger O’Callaghan. He’s a great attitude, with a bit of class and a lot of natural speed,” said O’Callaghan.

“We’re pitching him into a winners’ race because we think that’s the level he belongs in. He’s good and forward, very sharp, knows his job. Potentially, he may be a horse for Royal Ascot so we have to get him started sooner rather than later.

“I’m really looking forward to starting him but there’s no pressure on him. He’ll be ridden to run well and if he could go close that would be great.”

Ken Condon is happy to step Laws Of Indices down to six furlongs for the Group Three Lacken Stakes after last year’s Railway Stakes victor finished fifth to Poetic Flare in the 2,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardsown last month.

“He’s been very well since he ran in the Guineas Trial – and of course, it goes without saying the form of that is working out very well,” said Condon.

“He’s in very good form. He has a penalty on Sunday, but he’s entitled to carry that for what he did last year.

“We’re looking forward to it, and he’s in good shape. It was a very nice comeback run under a penalty – I was pleased with that, and I think he’s come forward for it.

“He’s a hard horse to read, to be categorical about his optimum.

“There were diverging opinions, but I think the owners as a collective decided after the Guineas Trial to target this race and come back in trip.”

O’Brien is double-handed with Giorgio Vasari and Lipizzaner.

He said: “Lipizzaner was having his first run of the season at Navan and the winner, Measure Of Magic won at Cork last week but I would expect him to come forward from that and we’re looking forward to a good run. Giorgio Vasari is in good form but he wouldn’t want too much rain.”

O’Callaghan is looking forward to giving Steel Bull his seasonal reappearance in the Sole Power Sprint Stakes.

“We’re very happy with Steel Bull,” he said.

“About a month ago he had a touch of a temperature and he was a little bit sick so we just had to take our time with him. We were happy to do that so early in the season.

“In the last 10 days he has come forward very well. We’re very happy with him in his coat, the way he’s working and his attitude. He’s bouncing at home at the minute.

“Over the winter he’s developed very well, he’s strengthened up and grown a little bit. He looks like a horse who’s trained on and could potentially make it into a high-class sprinter in time.”

A 12-strong field includes sprint regulars such as Make A Challenge, Urban Beat, Harry’s Bear and Downforce.

Mooneista poised for Naas with Commonwealth Cup aspirations

Mooneista will test her Royal Ascot credentials as she lines up in Sunday’s Goffs Lacken Stakes at Naas.

The three-year-old secured a first Listed success when taking on older horses in the Woodlands Stakes over the minimum trip at the track last month and she will now switch back up to six furlongs in Group Three company.

Trainer Jack Davison is eager to see how his charge, who is owned and bred by his parents, fares – with a crack at Group One competition in next month’s Commonwealth Cup a possibility.

He said: “I’m actually working back from the Commonwealth Cup since the Woodlands Stakes. I decided that if we were to consider going for a Group One at Royal Ascot, we needed to up our game a bit, so from Listed into Group company is a good progression. That is the thought process behind it and going for the Lacken Stakes on Sunday.

“She did it nicely (in the Woodlands), but it was a story you couldn’t have written to be honest.

“Between my parents owning Mooneista’s dam, Moon Unit, and breeding Mooneista from her, and then Dandy Man, who is Mooneista’s sire, being second to Moon Unit in the Woodlands Stakes. And of course my parents bred the trainer as well!

“Mooneista continues to be progressive. I think we have to see the best of her, but I prefer to let the horse do the talking. She goes to Naas pending a bit of work, but she has been in flying form since winning and couldn’t be better.”

The Lacken Stakes is one of the highlights on the track’s Royal Ascot Trials Day and the prize has drawn 18 entries, including A Case Of You, Laws Of Indices and another course-and-distance winner in Pale Iris.

Aidan O’Brien could field impressive Naas scorer Contarelli Chapel in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes, with Freedom Of Speech a possible for the Guineas-winning connections of Jim and Jackie Bolger after her win at the track last Saturday.

O’Brien could also hold the key to the Coolmore Stud Calyx Race as cosy Dundalk winner Cadamosto features among 11 contenders.

The Sole Power Sprint Stakes includes a host of familiar names headed by Make A Challenge, Urban Beat, Indigo Balance and Harry’s Bar, while 21 are in contention for the Owenstown Stud Stakes over seven furlongs, with Harpocrates, Lunar Space and Darwell Lion taking the eye.

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.”

Harrington double-handed in hunt for Blue Wind prize

Jessica Harrington fires a twin assault in her bid for back-to-back victories in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

The Moone-based trainer saddled One Voice to land a rescheduled running of the Group Three contest at Leopardstown last season and is this year represented by Silence Please and Sacred Rhyme.

Silence Please sets the standard, having touched off aforementioned stablemate One Voice in the Listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan last summer, before going on to run with credit at Pattern level.

With just three runs under her belt, Sacred Rhyme is far less exposed and there was plenty to like about her comeback third in this season’s Salsabil Stakes a fortnight ago.

Harrington said: “I’m looking forward to the Blue Wind Stakes. Shane Foley rides Silence Please with Tom Madden on Sacred Rhyme and I’m hoping for a big run from both of them.

“Silence Please had a good year last year, finishing off with a second-placed finish in a mile-and-a-half Group Three at Leopardstown, having been fourth in the German Oaks.

“This is her first run of the season and we are looking forward to another good year, but you have to get started.

“I also have Sacred Rhyme in there. She ran very, very well in the Salsabil at Navan, when she finished third. She’s a lovely filly with some big entries and you’d be hoping she improves for that outing.”

Aidan O’Brien is also double-handed in Saturday’s feature, with High Heels and Willow declared.

Insinuendo (Willie McCreery), Thunder Kiss (Ger Lyons), Dearg Jazz (James Barrett) and Emaniya (Dermot Weld) are the other hopefuls.

Contarelli Chapel powers to impressive victory at Naas

Contarelli Chapel looked an exciting prospect when making a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Naas.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Caravaggio showed a very impressive turn of foot in the final furlong to stamp her authority on the six-furlong contest – and the Ballydoyle trainer was quick to identify her as a Royal Ascot type.

When Ryan Moore asked her to quicken, greenness caused her to drift towards the rail but she was soon back on an even keel.

The 6-4 favourite powered away to win by five and a half lengths from Juncture, who made pleasing late progress to claim second place. Freedom Of Speech was a neck away in third.

O’Brien said: “She was never let off the bridle at home and we knew that she would be very green when he did drop her, but she was very impressive.

“I would imagine she is an Albany-type filly. She might come back here (on May 16) before that.”

Jack Davison celebrated the biggest success of his career to date when Mooneista (17-2) powered up the rail to win the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Woodlands Stakes.

Beaten in a handicap last time out, Wayne Lordan’s mount took full advantage of her age and sex allowance to beat Harry’s Bar by three-quarters of a length.

She was certainly bred to win the race, though, as Davison explained.

“Her dam (Moon Unit) beat her daddy (Dandy Man) in this race and they have now produced the winner,” he said.

“I’ve always thought a lot of this filly – she’s electric. She’s unbelievably determined and resolute, a great mind and a great appetite for it.

“We’ll think big and she’s in the Commonwealth Cup – we’re going to go that route.

“That’s the biggest win of my career and with a home-bred so it’s a big one. Hopefully we’ll get a few more of that calibre.

“It’s a shame my parents can’t be here, but we’ll do some celebrating tonight.”

Make A Challenge primed for Woodlands mission

Make A Challenge will bid to provide trainer Denis Hogan with back-to-back victories in the Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Woodlands Stakes at Naas on Monday.

The County Tipperary handler landed the Listed prize with the top-class Sceptical 12 months ago, who went on to finish third in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot and runner-up in the July Cup at Newmarket before suffering a fatal injury.

Make A Challenge counts five Listed triumphs among his 10 career victories and made a promising start to the new campaign when third behind the reopposing Laugh A Minute at Cork three weeks ago.

Hogan said: “He had a good prep run in Cork and dropping back to five furlongs from six will be good for him.

“He has actually only run in Naas once, winning the Sole Power Stakes on his first run back last year on good to yielding ground, so five furlongs up in Naas is probably ideal for him. Any bit of rain would be appreciated.

“I suppose there’s a few young guns coming along to take him on now, but he’s in good nick.”

Ado McGuinness saddles both Laugh A Minute and Harry’s Bar.

Laugh A Minute was ultimately a decisive winner at Cork, while Harry’s Bar makes his first start on turf since moving from James Fanshawe’s yard last autumn.

“I’m very happy with both horses,” said McGuinness.

“Laugh A Minute was impressive in Cork and I’m just hoping he can keep that form. I see no reason why he can’t and even go forward.

“At the five mark in Cork, he had them all well stuffed as well. I’m not saying he’s an out-and-out five-furlong horse, but it’s a stiff five in Naas which will be a big help to him.

“Harry’s Bar just got caught wide in Lingfield last time and then the other horse pushed him wider. He lost three or four lengths and to me he was the best horse in the race.

“The big question is will he go on the grass. I think he will. We have Royal Ascot as the target for him in the longer term, but what race we’ll go for there, I don’t know.”

Johnny Murtagh’s Urban Beat and Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Chief Little Hawk and Swiss Ace also feature in an 11-strong field.