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Line Out is Irish Cesarewitch hero for Kiely and Foley

Line Out stayed on strongly to land the Paddy Power Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh for John Kiely and Shane Foley.

Lightly raced on the level with just three previous Flat starts, the nine-year-old had run with credit in a lady riders’ handicap over a mile and a half here last month and relished the step back up in trip to two miles.

Fitted with first-time cheekpieces, he was nicely positioned in mid-division by Foley before making a positive move entering the straight and forging on from Dunvegan heading to the quarter-mile pole.

The 18-1 chance stuck to his guns well from there, having a length and a half to spare at the line over Turnpike Trip, who ran with great credit to finish where he did having been off the bridle a long way from home. Maze Runner was just a nose back in third, with another three and a half lengths to Royal Illusion.

Line Out forged to victory in the Irish Cesarewitch
Line Out forged to victory in the Irish Cesarewitch (Brian Lawless/PA)

Kiely said: “He wasn’t the bravest of jumpers and he always had that little bit of class, so I was aiming for this and praying that we’d get in.

“I was afraid we were a little low in the handicap, but it came right at the end and it was just what we hoped for.

“I’ve had the race in mind for him since last year. When you’re thinking about it for a while it’s great when it happens.

“I’ve been associated now with three winners of this race. I won it in 1969 under my father’s name and we won it with Clara Allen in 2005. We had our first runner in it in 1953, which finished fifth.

“The race has been very good to me.”

The 84-year-old trainer added: “I’d rather be riding him (at home), I don’t ride anymore, but I broke him in. I’ve 10 in training at the minute, if you have 10 good ones they’ll do!”

Limiti Di Greccio recorded a heart-stopping win
Limiti Di Greccio recorded a heart-stopping win (Brian Lawless/PA)

Limiti Di Greccio recorded an astonishing success in the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes.

Having her third start since joining Paddy Twomey and last seen just missing out on Irish Champions Weekend, the Elzaam filly was sent off the 15-8 favourite under Billy Lee – but it proved far from easy viewing for connections and those who backed her.

Lee had lots of horse underneath him three furlong out, but found every gap he sought quickly closing on him.

It looked like the game was up, even in the final furlong, only for Lee to finally find daylight as he switched for a last-gasp challenge – one his partner responded to with a smart turn of foot to even win cosily in the end, by a length and a quarter from Tranquil Lady.

Twomey said: “I was concerned when they turned in and she seemed to meet every bit of trouble she could.

“I was confident if she could get any bit of light we’d run well anyway and she exceeded my expectations.

“Her owner (Martin Schwartz) wanted to go to France for the Group One and the Breeders’ Cup, but I managed to talk him out of it.

“We won this last year and I wanted to come here. I think it’s a perfect stepping stone for the (Irish 1,000) Guineas.

“She’s come to me, won her maiden and finished second in the Ingabelle Stakes with trouble in running.

“I thought the extra furlong would suit her today and the slower ground didn’t seem to inconvenience her. The plan would be to go for the Guineas.”

He added: “The owner would very much like to go for the Breeders’ Cup, but the trainer is trying to put the brakes on.”

Tartan Skirt won as she liked
Tartan Skirt won as she liked (Brian Lawless/PA)

Tartan Skirt justified market confidence as she ran out a very smooth winner of the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.

Fourth first time out over seven furlongs, the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Mehmas filly had no trouble coming back a furlong in trip, always travelling well before Leigh Roche asked her to put the race to bed, which she did by two lengths from Secret Magician.

O’Callaghan said of his 8-13 winner: “She’s a lovely filly, she ran a lovely race first time out in Punchestown and has improved plenty since then.

“She’s a filly that has done a good bit of growing and maturing in the last six weeks and I’d say she’ll even be better next spring. We might put her away now.

“She has plenty of pace, but I can see her maybe getting seven for a Guineas trial next spring. She obviously handled that ground today, but she would like nicer ground.

“She has a bit of class, she’s by a good stallion, and I think she’ll keep on improving. I’m delighted with her.”

Pearls Galore confirmed for Breeders’ Cup Mile tilt

Paddy Twomey could realise a long-held ambition of a winner at Del Mar after confirming Pearls Galore will bid for glory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The Invincible Spirit filly has gone close in Group One company on her last two runs, most recently in the Prix de la Foret behind Space Blues at ParisLongchamp.

Prior to that she filled the same position in the Matron Stakes won by No Speak Alexander at Leopardstown, having picked up Group Three prizes at Fairyhouse and Tipperary along the way.

Twomey said: “She came out of the race last weekend fantastic and she’s in good form. She’s going to the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

“She wouldn’t have liked the ground last week, she wants fast ground. If she gets a low draw in Del Mar I’d be very hopeful of her running a good race.

“I spent a summer out in Del Mar when I was a kid and I’d love to have a winner there.”

America is ‘live option’ for Pearls Galore

Pearls Galore may try her hand in America next month following her excellent run in the Prix de la Foret.

Trainer Paddy Twomey believes the daughter of Invincible Spirit will be suited by track conditions in the United States.

The four-year-old filly lost nothing in defeat when going down by two lengths to the impressive Space Blues in the Group One over seven furlongs at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

That followed her fine effort in the Matron Stakes over a mile at Leopardstown, where she was beaten only a neck by No Speak Alexander.

“We were very happy with her. She ran a great race on ground that wasn’t ideal for her,” said Twomey.

“Take nothing away from the winner, who was very impressive on the day, but she ran a great race. She’s a tough filly, and we’re pleased with her.”

“We’ll see how she is in the next week to 10 days. America is a live option for her at the minute. She’ll like fast ground and a tight track with a bend there. We’ll have a look a the options but we certainly wouldn’t rule the Breeders’ Cup out.”

The Cashel trainer reports La Petite Coco to be on course for the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes at Ascot on October 16.

“She’s in good form and is on target for Ascot,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to running her. She’s very well in herself and looking forward to Saturday week.”

The three-year-old defeated five-time Group One winner Love by a short head in the Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on her latest start.

Pearls Galore has Foret venture in sights

The Prix de la Foret may be next on the agenda for Pearls Galore following her narrow defeat in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

After successive Group Three wins at Fairyhouse and Tipperary, Paddy Twomey’s filly stepped up to Group One level for the first time on Saturday – and ran an excellent race to finish a neck behind No Speak Alexander, and just over a length ahead of Mother Earth.

Pearls Galore is entered in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on October 2, but is more likely to be seen in action at ParisLongchamp the following afternoon.

Twomey said: “I was delighted with her. She hasn’t put a foot wrong all year.

“I’d say the plan is to go for the Foret in France, as long as the ground isn’t too soft.

“Her owners are French-based, and they might like to see her in Paris.”

The Cashel-based trainer had just three runners across Irish Champions Weekend – with Limiti Di Greccio beaten just half a length in a Listed event at Leopardstown before La Petite Coco’s short-head victory over Love in Sunday’s Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

Limiti Di Greccio (orange) also ran well in defeat
Limiti Di Greccio (orange) also ran well in defeat (Brian Lawless/PA)

Limiti Di Greccio is entered in the Rockfel Stakes and the Cheveley Park at Newmarket next week, but is set to remain in Ireland.

“She has a couple of entries at Newmarket and is entered in the Boussac in France, but I think she might stay at home,” Twomey added.

“She could go for the Silken Glider (Staffordstown Stud Stakes), which is a Listed race at the Curragh we won with Fantasy Lady last year, or there’s the Weld Park Stakes.

“One of those options might be more where we’ll go, but we haven’t quite decided with her yet.”

La Petite Coco, meanwhile, is bound for next month’s Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot.

Twomey said: “She seems in great form and has come out of the race very well.

“She’s a filly that has progressed all year, so it was great to continue on an upward trajectory.

“Ascot has been the plan from the middle of the season onwards, and that very much remains the case.

“If the ground came up soft, it would inconvenience other horses more than her.”

La Petite Coco foils Love in Blandford Stakes

La Petite Coco lunged late to deny dual Classic heroine Love a return to winning ways in the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Love looked a potential superstar in the making after winning the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks as a three-year-old last season.

But while she came out on top on her seasonal reappearance in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, the daughter of Galileo had since failed to run up to expectations in the either the King George or the Juddmonte International, finishing third on both occasions.

Having her first start outside of Group One company in over two years, Love was the 6-5 favourite and everything looked to be going according to plan for Ryan Moore after she went a couple of lengths clear of the field early in the home straight.

However, Paddy Twomey’s progressive filly La Petite Coco (16-5) – stepping up in class after an impressive success in the Group Three Give Thanks Stakes at Cork – gave chase and finished with a flourish under Billy Lee to get up and win by a short head.

Twomey said: “We hoped coming here that she might do something like that. The worry was the quicker ground and dropping in trip.

“I had a plan mapped out for her in my head and this was it. I wasn’t expecting Love (to run), but when she turned up I said ‘we’re not changing course, we’re going forward’.

“Barry Irwin (of owners Team Valor) gave me a bit of a lecture about taking on Love, but I told him I thought she was good and I thought she was good enough to take her on.

“The plan has been to go to Ascot (on Champions Day) for the fillies’ and mares’ race and I think a mile and a half is really her thing, not a mile and a quarter.”

Michael Hussey and Big Gossey (left) winning at the Curragh
Michael Hussey and Big Gossey (left) winning at the Curragh (Brian Lawless/PA)

Big Gossey was a surprise winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Bold Lad” Sprint Handicap.

Charles O’Brien’s 33-1 shot raced close to the pace throughout under Michael Hussey – and after taking over the lead inside the final furlongs, he dug deep for pressure to repel the challenge of Arnhem by three-quarters of a length.

“That was sweet,” said Hussey.

“He travelled throughout and picked up well. I was in front a bit too early on him, but he gamed it out.

“He has plenty of speed and did everything right.”

King X J claimed a lucrative victory
King X J claimed a lucrative victory (Brian Lawless/PA)

King X J justified significant market support with victory in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

Michael O’Callaghan’s juvenile was only seventh on his racecourse introduction at the Curragh three weeks ago, but was a well-backed 11-4 chance for this 300,000 euro contest.

British raider Cashew was in front for much of the race, but King X J powered home under Leigh Roche to win going away.

Roche said: “The only concern coming up here was the trip. He’s a seven-furlong/mile horse, but he has a bit of class – I’d say he’s going to be very good.

“He improved plenty from his first run and the nicer ground today helped him.”

Pearls Galore sparkles in Fairy Bridge Stakes

Pearls Galore put up a sparkling performance to land a second successive Group Three prize in the Coolmore Stud No Nay Never Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary.

Successful in the Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse last month, the Paddy Twomey-trained filly was an authoritative winner after being well-placed throughout.

Billy Lee was able to position her in second place as Thinking Of You made the running into the straight, where Pearls Galore was asked for her effort.

The 5-2 shot strode clear to put the race bed, with Roca Roma coming from a long way back to claim second spot a length and three-quarters behind the winner. Loch Lein was a further half a length away in third.

Twomey believes Pearls Galore has earned the right to have a crack at the top level.

“I’m delighted she did that,” said the Cashel trainer.

“She was in great form when she won the Brownstown, and I said we’d go straight for the Matron (at Leopardstown next month).

“(But) she was in great form at home, and I felt it would be unwise to bypass this one on our doorstep. It was a very good race, and we had a 3lb penalty.

“I thought if she could do what she did there then we could have a crack at a Group One. I felt it might be a bit fanciful if we hadn’t done something like that.

“She’s earned her shot, wherever it might be. The Matron, the Foret and the First Lady in Keeneland on October 8 are all options – and Keeneland would suit her. It’s a quick, tight mile – but we’ll let the dust settle and come up with a plan.

“She’s bred by Andreas Putsch, who races her and raced all her family. She won’t run next year, so I’d say another run and that will be it.”

Master Matt (14-1) stuck gamely to his task to take the Listed honours in the Abergwaun Stakes, and give apprentice Sam Ewing the biggest success of his fledgling career.

Ewing was unable to claim his 5lb allowance, but it made no difference as he brought the Matt Smith-trained gelding home to win by a neck from White Lavender. Urban Beat finished well for third place, a length and a quarter away.

Smith, celebrating the second Listed winner of his career, said: “I thought he’d be there or thereabouts. Last time at the Curragh the heat got to him, and I was a bit worried about the heat today, but he was all right.

“I think five is probably his best trip because he has plenty of boot, although he’s won over six and seven.

“Sam said he was flat out early on, but he stays well. He’s entered up in a handicap on Champions Weekend, so we’ll see.”

La Petite Coco shows class at Cork

La Petite Coco took the rise in class in her stride to record an impressive victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.

Paddy Twomey’s three-year-old was following in the illustrious hoofprints of subsequent Breeders’ Cup heroine Tarnawa, who had won this Group Three in each of the last two years.

La Petite Coco will need to extend her improvement significantly, of course, to approach the level set by Dermot Weld’s dual Group One and Grade One winner.

Nonetheless, the 2-1 favourite was most convincing under Billy Lee – taking over from the front-running High Heels in the straight and surging clear to win by five and a half lengths from closest market rival Thunder Kiss.

The daughter of Ruler Of The World has therefore put higher-profile, and possibly global, future assignments in her diary – having stepped up so decisively from her second career success at Killarney last month.

Twomey said: “We’ve had her since April, and she has not put a foot wrong.

“I was very keen to go to Killarney the last day for experience when the chance was there.

“The owners wanted to go straight into Group company, but I talked them out of it – and I’m glad now we did.

“She is progressing physically and is enjoying training and has plenty of talent.”
The Tipperary trainer has his sights on possible trips to Europe, even across the Atlantic – or just over the Irish Sea for Qipco British Champions Day.

He added: “She has plenty of entries, and I said after Killarney that the EP Taylor is a possible – but I have her in the Champion Fillies and Mares race at Ascot in October, and the Prix Vermeillle is in France for her also.

“She is versatile ground-wise. While she has to step up past Group Three, I think (this trip of) a mile and a half is no problem to her – although she has the pace for 10 furlongs.

“I was hoping she’d do something like that.”

Earlier on the card, Snapraeterea produced a smart staying performance from the front to return to winning ways in the Listed Platinum Stakes.

Joseph O’Brien’s three-year-old scored decisively, back down slightly in class to this grade after four creditable efforts at up to 10 furlongs in Group Three company.

The 13-2 shot had won over the same seven-furlong trip in Listed class at Naas in May, and repeated the dose here.

Declan McDonogh had Snapraeterea prominent throughout and strode clear in the final two furlongs to win by four lengths from 33-1 outsider Surrounding.
O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell was full of praise for the winner.

“He is one of the toughest, most honest horses you’d ever get,” he said.

“I think the mile and a furlong and a half the last day was too far for him. Declan said he loved this straight seven, and burned them all off one by one.

“John (Farrell) bred and owns all the family, has kept them all – and the horse and owner deserve every success.”

Moll thriving for Munster Oaks

Moll is reported to be in prime shape as she bids to land a first Group Three success in the Munster Oaks at Cork.

Trainer Paddy Twomey has had Wednesday’s mile-and-a-half feature in mind for the daughter of Camelot since she won a Listed race over the same course and distance in April.

That was her first outing since last July when she was fourth at Naas behind Even So, who went on to win the Irish Oaks later that month.

“Moll’s in good form, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow,” said her County Tipperary handler.

“This has been her intended target since then. Hopefully now all roads lead to Cork tomorrow.”

Moll’s rivals include Silence Please, in similar ownership, who was a neck ahead of her in third place at Naas last summer.

The Gleneagles filly, trained by Jessica Harrington, was returning from a 243-day absence when fourth to Queen Power in the Group Two Middleton Stakes at York last month.

“She’s going to get the ground she wants. She likes good to firm ground. We’re very happy with her,” said Harrington.

Joseph O’Brien is two-handed – with Mighty Blue and Ubuntu – while his father Aidan relies on High Heels to give him back-to-back victories, after Snow recorded a seventh success in the race for Ballydyole 12 months ago.

Logo Hunter has never been better, according to trainer Michael Browne, as she prepares for the Midsummer Sprint Stakes.

The three-year-old has gone up 28lb since March, thanks to three victories and two seconds.

“He’s in great form – he’s never been better,” said Browne.

“He should win, but you never know. He’s the highest-rated horse in the race. Hopefully he will.”

Harrington is doubly-represented in the Listed contest by Santosha and Dickiedooda.

“They will both love the ground,” she said.

Ger Lyons runs three-time Listed scorer Frenetic and My Laureate, with Ado McGuinness responsible for top-weight Laugh A Minute.

Sonaiyla in the mix for Royal Ascot following Ballyogan success

Sonaiyla emerged as a potential Royal Ascot candidate as she gave a spirited performance to take Group Three honours in the Qatar Racing And Equestrian Club Ballyogan Stakes at the Curragh.

Paddy Twomey’s five-year-old battled all the way to the line to register her first Pattern-race success.

However, the race could have been lost at the start where there was a coming together with Loch Lein on leaving the stalls, resulting in winning jockey Ronan Whelan doing remarkably well to stay in the saddle.

Despite having her chances compromised in the early stages of this six-furlong contest, Whelan was able to weave Sonaiyla into contention after Lustown Baba, More Beautiful and Loch Lein had led the front rank.

The race was wide open a furlong out, but it Sonaiyla (13-8 favourite) knuckled down the best to win by half a length from Romantic Proposal. Teresa Mendoza was a length and a half away in third place.

Twomey said: “She’s a great filly, she’s tough and she’s hardy. I think she’s in better form than ever this year.

“She missed the break the last day and did great work in the finish from an unpromising position. I’m delighted she came today and showed what she’s been showing us this spring.

“I’ll have to talk to the owners, but she has won a Group Three now so we will step up in grade.”

Twomey revealed Sonaiyla may go for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“She’s in the Diamond Jubilee which might not be an outrageous target,” he went on.

“She’s Group One-placed and the Haydock Sprint and the Flying Five are other races to consider. We’ll achieve what we can for the year and I’d say she will be covered next year.

“She’s won on good to firm and she’s won on heavy. I’d say she has great preference for this track and has never been out of the frame here.

“It’s my first Group winner after a lot of places.”

Moll on top as Princess Zoe flounders at Cork

Moll was a decisive winner of Cork’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes – in which Princess Zoe proved a major disappointment.

The Listed contest was billed as Princess Zoe’s opportunity, on her first start of the new season, to consolidate her remarkable improvement last year and demonstrate she can be as effective back at this shorter trip of a mile-and-a-half.

Tony Mullins’ admirable mare was sent off 3-1 to do so but could never get competitive after being held up on ground quicker than she has often encountered – and 5-2 favourite Mighty Blue could not threaten seriously either.

Jessica Harrington’s Flor De La Luna hit the front on entering the final furlong – but with the race seemingly at her mercy, she veered to her right, losing all momentum.

In any case Moll, close up behind subsequent Irish Oaks winner Even So when she last ran, had made stylish progress to get within touching distance and was perfectly placed to take advantage of Flor De La Luna’s waywardness.

Billy Lee rode the 6-1 shot out for a one-and-a-quarter-length win, and she looks to have a bright future for Paddy Twomey.

The Tipperary trainer said: “She was fourth to Even So at Naas last year, and was only beaten three lengths, but got injured.

“Moll has top-class ability, and I supplemented her for the Irish Oaks last year – and I wasn’t messing when I did it.

“It’s day by day with Moll, and if there is an ease in the ground she’ll run in the Munster Oaks back here in June.

“She has the ability to go all the way. But she has been physically immature – and everything she is doing, she is doing on natural ability. You have to be patient.”