Mooneista sparkles in Sapphire Stakes

Mooneista gave trainer Jack Davison his biggest success when storming home in the Group Two Paddy Power Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.

The three-year-old came with a blistering run to complete a quick Group-race double for jockey Colin Keane after he had steered Beauty Inspire to victory in the Anglesey Stakes.

Mooneista (10-1) was held up in the early stages as Strong Johnson set the pace, with Make A Challenge, Gustavus Weston and Logo Hunter prominent.

It was all change in the final furlong as Mooneista burst on the scene to stamp his authority on proceedings and win by a length and a quarter. Gustavus Weston was second with Romantic Proposal third, a further two and three-quarter lengths away.

“I’m never short of words and this filly is able to walk the walk which is really good for both of us, she has backed me up,” said Davison.

“I’ve thought highly of her from her early days. To get her to develop and come and win these type of races on a big weekend is really pleasing.

“Colin is as cool as you like and he said it was a matter of pushing the button. He felt like he had loads of horse under him the whole way. She’s a little monster really.

“She’s in the Flying Five on Champions weekend so we’ll have a crack at that all going well.

“She’s ground versatile. There isn’t a whole lot of her so (Royal) Ascot was too soft, she can’t operate on that as she’s very quick. The easy side of good is probably perfect.

“This is absolutely huge. It’s a really tough game and it’s very hard to get these horses. I’m very lucky to have her.”

The County Meath-based handler went on: “We’ve 25 of them and we put a lot into training all of them. It’s just nice when you have one that can compete and win at this level. It really just keeps you going and encourages you to push forward.

“For me it’s about quality rather than quantity. It’s just so competitive in Ireland and I don’t see myself training low-grade horses in 10 or 15 years, trying to compete at that level.

“We are working hard to try to up the quality the whole time. We have some nice fillies and support from good owners.”