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Astadash shows Gowran rivals a clean pair of heels

Astadash continued Jessica Harrington’s sensational run of form with victory in the feature event at Gowran Park on Saturday.

The Moone-based trainer enjoyed four winners across Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh last week, highlighted by the Group One triumphs of No Speak Alexander in the Matron and Discoveries in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

In the days that have followed, Harrington has enjoyed a double at Punchestown and trebles at both Naas and Dundalk, and she added another brace at Gowran for good measure.

Having filled the runner-up spot in the Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes over the same course and distance last month, Astadash was an 11-2 chance to go one better and claim Group Three honours in the Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes.

Always travelling well on the front end under Wayne Lordan, the four-year-old kicked clear in the home straight and was three lengths clear of 7-2 favourite Emaniya at the line.

Harrington said: ““She loves Gowran and ran a blinder here last time. She was very good today and I’m delighted that she’s now got big black type.

“She’s big and took a long time to come to herself.

“The dam is not around any more, so the owners will want to have her for the paddocks.”

Harrington then made it 14 winners in the space of a week when Bonte Moi (17-2) and Conor Hoban saw off better-fancied stablemate Goodnight Kiss in the closing www.irishracehorseretirementfund.com Maiden.

She added: “It’s unreal – I feel I’m going to wake up sometime. It’s just amazing. The horses are running really, really well.

“Everyone at home is working hard and doing everything right.

“Shane (Foley who rode Goodnight Kiss) was reminding me in the parade ring beforehand that we thought she was our best two-year-old filly last year, but everything went wrong with her.

“She grew a lot and I’d say she’s only coming into her own strength now.

“She probably needs to go a mile and a half and we might try to get some black type with her.”

Sir Lucan outdoes Wordsworth in Yeats Stakes

Aidan O’Brien’s Sir Lucan just edged out his better-fancied stablemate Wordsworth in a tough tussle for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Yeats Stakes at Navan.

Sir Lucan is on the fringes of the Derby reckoning for his powerhouse stable, but was only eighth in a trial on his return at Sandown last month.

He was sent off at 11-2 this time – with Wordsworth the 8-15 favourite – but he just got the better of the argument in a driving finish.

Wordsworth, having just his third start as opposed to Sir Lucan’s fifth, took up the running before halfway in the one-mile-five-furlong Listed contest and then tried to run the finish out of the chasing pack.

He saw off all but one – with Sir Lucan challenging alongside eventual third Party House two furlongs out and then battling on just the best to win by a neck under Wayne Lordan.

The winning jockey said: “He had a very good run to finish fourth in a Group Two as a two-year-old, and he was always going to come forward a lot when stepping up in trip.

“He stayed very well. We went a good even gallop, he travelled, quickened and dug deep. I hit the line well.”

Wordsworth’s jockey Seamie Heffernan had less to smile about.

He said: “One word – disappointing.

“I thought we might as well go a gallop and see what does and doesn’t stay.

“The winner was fourth in a Group Two on slow ground, and when there is an ease in the ground it’s going to suit him. My horse was disappointing – there is no other comment I can give.”

O’Brien earlier struck with yet another smart Caravaggio youngster as The Entertainer took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Heffernan had to wait for a suitable gap, but when it came the 9-4 joint-favourite really picked up to gather in Albion Square to win by a cosy length and a half.

His rider said: “It was tight at the business end, but when he got the gap his class kicked in, with his speed.

“Hopefully he’ll progress and be on the plane to Ascot. He’s got plenty of pace and hopefully he’ll stay.

“Caravaggio is a top-class stallion, I’m liking his progeny.”