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Rocky runs rivals ragged to take Salsabil success

Rocky Sky ran her rivals into the ground to register a convincing success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

Having her first run on turf after three races on Dundalk’s the all-weather surface, the Ross O’Sullivan-trained filly was given an enterprising ride by Gary Halpin to win this Listed contest in tremendous style.

Rocky Sky (33-1) was soon driven up by Halpin to grab the lead and set a strong pace. The Rock Of Gibraltar filly, owned by retired jockey Mick Kinane’s wife, Catherine, then slipped the field on the home turn.

She kept up the gallop to cross the line four and a quarter lengths to the good over another 33-1 shot in French Fusion. Sacred Rhyme (12-1) was a length and a quarter back in third place.

Willow, the Aidan O’Brien-trained 5-4 favourite, appeared to have every chance but was well-beaten in seventh.

“She’s a grand filly. I thought the handicapper was very lenient on her when he gave her 83 after she was second to a very nice filly of Joseph’s (O’Brien’s My Generation) the last day in Dundalk, albeit in a messy race,” said Halpin.

“I knew coming here today that stepping up in trip and getting on to the grass, she’d be very competitive.

“She’ll come forward again from today. She’s an exciting filly and it’s very nice to ride a winner for Mr and Mrs Kinane and all the team at Castlefarm Stud.

“She’s a very nice filly going forward. She has plenty of pace and I’d say a mile-and-a-quarter is OK for now, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go a mile and a half with her as she has loads of pace.

“She hasn’t done anything wrong so far and the world is her oyster at the minute. She’s a good filly.”