Buckhurst Group 3 International stakes 29.06.19

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Buckhurst wins the International Stakes at The Curragh (Image: @IREthoroughbred)

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Iridessa Group 1 Pretty Polly 28.06.2019

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Jockey Wayne Lordan on Iridessa (left)  win the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

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Iridessa and Wayne Lordan

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Shakespear'sgalley gives Joseph a treble

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Joseph O'Brien completed a treble on the undercard on Irish Derby Day at the Curragh when Shakespear'sgalley got up late to land the concluding Dubai Duty Free Jumeirah Creekside Irish EBF Handicap.

Donnacha O'Brien took over on the Galileo colt after the alternative handicap kicked in to raise the weights.

He produced the 8/1 shot with a strong run inside the final furlong and he got his head close home to grab Legal Spin and record a three-parts-of-a-length victory.

The winner was recording his third win of the season.

“We had a very good weekend. Donnacha gave the horse a good ride,” said the winning trainer.

“He had a lovely position all the way and saved all the ground. He snuck around, just got one run and landed him there on the line. He gave him a peach.

“It was a good battle and wasn't sure if he was going to get up. Donnacha was very strong on him and he had a willing partner.

“He started off a lot lower than what he's after winning off today. I think the step up in trip this year helped.

“Mr Fipke said when he sent him to me that he wouldn't come into his own until he goes two miles.

“We ran him last year over a mile-and-a-quarter and a mile-and-a-half and he ran okay a few times but since he's gone up in distance he's really stepped up. That's his pedigree.”

It was also a double on the card for Donnacha O'Brien who had also been on board Speak In Colours. Wayne Lordan rode the trainer's other winner Buckhurst.

Buckhurst wins the Group 3 International stakes 

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Buckhurst continued a good Derby festival for Joseph O'Brien when landing the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises International Stakes at the Curragh.

It was a double on the day for the Pilltown handler, following on from Iridessa's Group One victory yesterday.

Wayne Lordan, who teamed up with O'Brien in the Pretty Polly on Friday, was again on board the Australia colt in the Group 3 prize.

The 2/1 favourite travelled sweetly to challenge two furlongs out and picked up well when asked for an effort to lead over a furlong from home.

He kept on well in the closing stages to post a length-and-a-half success over Blenheim Palace.

“That was lovely and Wayne gave him a lovely ride,” said O'Brien.

“He's a decent horse, we brought him to Ascot last week but we didn't run because the ground was quite soft over there. He loved the bit of good ground today.

“We'll see how he comes out of the race but we won't be in a rush with him. He didn't run at two and he's had plenty of racing this year so far.

“He'll step up in trip at some stage, he's an Australia, but he doesn't need to go further yet. He'll go a mile-and-a-half at some stage.

“He should be a better horse next year. He's still learning and when the horses came around him today he went on again.”

Lordan added:- “He’s a very straight forward colt. I just wanted to sit forward and he stays well.

"He hasn’t much experience, that’s only his fourth start, I didn’t want to get stopped on him so was happy to go a bit wide and have my own space.

“He got to the line well and is an exciting colt. I think he can keep progressing, and you would think he should get further.”

Speak In Colours returns to winning ways

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Speak In Colours got back to winning ways when dropping in grade in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Dash Stakes at the Curragh this afternoon.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained colt was turning out again quickly having been a fine fourth behind Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last Saturday.

Sent off the 11/8 favourite for the six-furlong contest he was produced to lead over a furlong from home by Donnacha O'Brien.

The son of Excelebration stuck on well in the closing stages, drifting slightly right close home, to record a head victory over Woody Creek.

“It was a big enough ask to come back. This time last week he still hadn't run at Ascot and he ran a huge race there,” said O'Brien.

“Donnacha said he jumped and travelled well. He said he moved on him and he thought he was going to go and win well but just in the last 100 yards he's flattened out a bit on him.

“It was a big run out of him and it was nice prize-money. He'll have a little freshen up now.

“We've no immediate plans. He has plenty of entries and options. It was nice to get him back winning and now we can come back up in class.

“The Lennox Stakes is worth a lot of money in Goodwood, that's seven, and then he has a couple of sprints that he has options in.”


Iridessa impresses in Pretty Polly 

Iridessa and Wayne Lordan

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Iridessa bounced back to her very best to spring a surprise in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh

The Joseph O’Brien-trained filly had ended her juvenile campaign on a high with victory in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, but had fallen short at the highest level in both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas after being beaten on her seasonal debut.

However, she showed her true colours to land the second Group One success of her career.

Magic Wand was the first to lead, but Wild Illusion went on seven furlongs out until into the straight.

Magic Wand regained the advantage, but Wayne Lordan produced Iridessa (8-1) with a well-timed run to assert in the final furlong and cross the line two and a quarter lengths to the good.

Pink Dogwood, trained like the runner-up by Aidan O’Brien, was a never-dangerous third. Charlie Appleby’s Wild Illusion faded into fourth, with the David Lanigan-trained Worth Waiting last of the five.

“She won very well and it was a huge performance. Wayne gave her a lovely ride and the race worked out well for her. I’m over the moon,” said O’Brien.

“It was very strong race. There wasn’t a big field, but there were some very very good fillies in the race.

“We were hopeful, and confident of a good run from her. The lads at home felt that she was as good as she has been all year.

“Obviously the step up in distance was a big help to her as well.

“It was fairly obvious from her pedigree that she should step up once she went up in trip, but obviously you don’t always know that until you do it.

“She ran well here in the Guineas. She had to battle for her position through the race and she still ran on well.

“She seemed to improve as she went on last year and naturally she carries condition and she’s strong and hardy.

“That’s obviously a career-best again today and she’s progressed with each run so far this year.”

O’Brien is understandably thinking of the Kerrygold-sponsored Irish Oaks next.

“We’ll see how she comes out of this. Obviously against her own age group it would probably make sense to go to the Oaks,” he said.

“It would be the logical step, but at the same time she won today like a pacey filly. We’ll get her home and have the conversation then.”

Iridessa was given a quote of 6-1 for the Irish Oaks with Paddy Power .

3rd time lucky for A New Dawn & unforgetable runs on to take 3rd 

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A New Dawn (6/4 favourite from 9/4 on track, and bigger earlier) landed a punt in the opener at Naas, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The experienced pair A New Dawn and In The Present came to the fore in this six furlong heat, with the former just edging it by a head.

A New Dawn and In The Present had five previous outings between them, whilst third and fourth Unforgetable and Pronouncement showed promise given that the pair were first-timers.

Joseph O’Brien trains A New Dawn and the chestnut was ridden by his brother Donnacha.

Meanwhile O’Brien also has Unforgetable under his tutelage, making it a 1-3 for his Carriganog Racing team.

“She had a good run the last day and the drop back to six seemed to suit,” said Donnacha O'Brien.

“She's very tough, very genuine, and gives it her best shot. She's a nice little filly.

“I'd say that was a fair maiden, the second filly had form in Listed races, so I'd be hoping she'd get black-type."

On getting over quickly from the wide draw he added:- “It's mental more than anything for them, bringing her over for a bit of company rather than having her out on her own. I think it just helps, especially on two-year-olds.”


Flicker Flame defies top weight to land the spoils

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The featured Treacy's Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap at Ballinrobe was a tight betting heat but their was a convincing winner in Flicker Flame.

They bet 7/2 each of two at the head of the market - Flicker Flame and eventual 3rd Bercassa. The joint outsiders in the 6-horse field were Elm Grove and Upgraded at 6/1.

Under Donnacha O'Brien for his brother Joseph Flicker Flame chased the leaders, and she improved into second halfway.

The successful daughter of Born To Sea led two furlongs out, and ridden to assert over a furlong out, she kept on well in the final furlong to beat Upgraded by two and three parts of a length.

"She done it well. There was a few of them with not much between them," said Donnacha O'Brien.

"The race went very smooth for me. They didn't go a mad pace and when I asked her to quicken she got a few lengths on them and it's hard to get it back around here."

Plinth returns to winning ways

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Plinth completed a 120/1 double for Niall Madden, Joseph O'Brien and JP McManus, as he bounced back to his best in the Carmel Fay Memorial Novice Chase.

Last successful in the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary in 2017, the nine-year-old gelding had been out of form of late, and unseated on his second start over fences at Clonmel earlier this month.

Sent off at 10/1 this evening, the son of Montjeu was settled in second, as the 2/5 favourite Ravenhill attempted to make all.

Briefly in front with a circuit to go, the bay victor regained the lead after two out and kept on well from the last, going on to score comfortably by six lengths.

Ravenhill had no answer once headed after the second last, and had to settle for the runner-up spot under Denis O'Regan for Gordon Elliott.

Frank Berry, racing manager for JP McManus, said afterwards: "He is a great oul horse to have. He wins his race every year and he jumped great tonight. He loved the ground.

"He struggles in the handicaps but has been lucky in the conditions' hurdles and it was lovely to come here and win. He'll tip away at these small tracks and maybe he'll end up at Galway but at a level.

"Carmel (Fay) was my sister and died six years ago so it was lovely to win this race. We won it two years ago as well and the boss man will be delighted."

Miami Beach breaks his Maiden 

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The Joseph O'Brien trained Miami Beach made the breakthrough on his fourth start, as he took the opener at Kilbeggan this evening, the Book Online At www.kilbegganraces.com Maiden Hurdle.

Bought for a massive 350,000 guineas as a yearling, the son of Invincible Spirit failed to make an impact on his first three outings, finishing seventh to Paddy Buns over the course on his latest try.

Fitted with a tongue-strap for the first time today, he proved easy to back on-course, opening at 7s before going off a 10/1 chance under Niall Madden.

Settled behind the leaders on the outer, the JP McManus owned bay was fifth with a circuit to race.

Pushed along in a closer fourth from two out, he soon improved to disputed the lead, getting to the front shortly after the last, drawing clear to score by five and a half lengths.

Frank Berry, racing manager to JP McManus, said: "It was an ordinary race and he came on from the last day here and jumped much better. It's nice to see him win a race and we'll see what handicap mark he gets now and see where we go.

"He wasn't bought to end up in Kilbeggan on a Monday night but we are glad to have him and it's nice to win a race with him."


Lady Breffni makes it 2 wins out of 3 starts 

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She's a nice mare, she won a point-to-point well and she had a good run in a winners' bumper in Tipperary, and she stepped forward and put that experience to good use there," said Tom Hamilton after winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares INH Flat Race at Downpatrick on Lady Breffni.

Joseph O'Brien trains Lady Breffni and the 5/4 favourite chased the leaders and was third from the halfway stage.

She went second from four furlongs out and led from three furlongs out.

Pushed along from two furlongs out the successful Yeats mare soon went clear, keeping on well inside the final furlong to easily defeat Caer by seven and a half lengths.

"They do a very good job here - it is lovely, safe ground. There's no excuses around here and it was a good performance," further reflected Hamilton.

Crossfirehurricane wins on Debut

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The American bred Crossfirehurricane got the ideal run through on the inner to take the opener at Limerick this afternoon, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Making his debut in this seven furlong heat, the Joseph O'Brien trained chestnut was sent off an 11/1 chance under Shane Crosse.

Settled in mid-division, the son of Kitten's Joy was pushed along from the two furlong pole and soon got a dream run through on the inner.

He was ridden to lead inside the final 150 yards, and kept on well from there to score by a length in the colours of owner Scott C Heider.

Erlking, who was returned the 7/4 favourite, was a close-up fourth.

Brendan Powell, assistant trainer to Joseph O'Brien, said: "It was brave for a horse first time out and from where he was. Shane gave him a lovely ride.

"All he can do hopefully is improve for it and Donnacha's (O'Brien on Erlking) probably wants to drop back to six as he didn't quite get home."

Perfect Tapatino gives Seamie another Derby win

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Seamie Heffernan wasn't letting the minor detail of dropping his whip spoil a first Cork Derby success today as last month's Epsom Derby hero landed the Munster version on the Joseph O'Brien trained Perfect Tapatino.

Heffernan, a winner of three Irish Derbies, gained a famous first Epsom Derby success on Anthony Van Dyck at Epsom on June 1 and today completed a daily double at Cork when steering Perfect Tapatino, whose dam is a sister to top class racemare Bosra Sham, to a neck win over Massif Central.

Heffernan dropped his whip with a furlong to race in today's race but the jockey, who began race-riding in the late 1980s, later quipped “I'm trying to improve my whip-style but I dropped it!”

He added “Joseph thought he was strong enough and mature enough now to go up in trip and he was hoping he'd run well and said to ride him forward. I'll leave plans up to the O'Briens and I enjoy riding for them.”

Heffernan earlier initiated a double for trainer Joseph O'Brien in the opening race with Royal Affair.


Royal Affair & Seamie take the opener at Cork

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He was beaten in the first at Fairyhouse with second placer Never Before but Joseph O’Brien gained quick Cork compensation courtesy of Royal Affair in the Matchbook Irish EBF Fillies Maiden (Plus 10 Race).

Seamie Heffernan rode this daughter of Kingman for the HLT Partnership and after breaking smartly to lead she dictated through the five furlong event.

At the end she had three parts of a length and a head in hand of Mienvee Flyer (33/1) and Aqueliga (4/5 fav).

"She had two good runs and Joseph's are inclined to improve from run to run. She is quick and is improving," said Heffernan in the aftermath.


Cnoc An Oir impresses on handicap debut 

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Cnoc An Oir (8/1) came from last to first to land the 'Coolio' Handicap under Donnacha O'Brien for his brother Joseph.

Successful on her first start at Dundalk in October, the daughter of Born To Sea finished fourth to Decrypt on her seasonal reappearance at Cork.

She was since a disappointing fourth of five at Killarney, and was fitted with a hood on what was her first start in handicap company this evening.

Settled towards rear, the Joan Brosnan owned bay briefly dropped to last from the three furlong pole.

She was soon angled to the wide outside and was ridden with a furlong left to race, powering home in the closing stages, getting up to prevail by a head.

Jupiter Road, also trained by O'Brien, was the other joint-favourite, and he finished a disappointing eighth.

The winning trainer said afterwards: "She was disappointing the last time.We stepped into handicaps today and she came home well. Donnacha gave her a nice ride.

"We'll try and get some black-type now. She is a small filly and she is half-sister to Cabaret who is the dam of Magna Grecia. Caberet was small herself.

"This filly has a big heart and I think she'll be close to getting black-type anyway."

Ash Hill impresses on debut

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Joseph O'Brien's Ash Hill was the ready winner of the two and a half mile maiden hurdle at Punchestown on his jumping debut.

The five-year-old gelding travelled smoothly as he tracked Robin Des Sivola in the home straight.

He was soon switched out by Davy Russell and took over before the final flight. He popped the last and strode away by seven and a half lengths.

Robin Des Sivola finished second at 6/1 with Behind The Curtain third at 9/2.

Ash Hill had run in three bumpers - winning at Leopardstown over Christmas before finishing unplaced in a Grade Two bumper at the same track when last seen in February.

Joseph O’Brien said: “I’m delighted with him. I thought Davy gave him a lovely ride and he’ll learn loads in amongst horses. He jumped very well for his first run over hurdles.

“He’s a nice novice for the summer and something like Galway would be the obvious route with him. He won well as I thought he’d need the run a little bit.”

Home By The Lee leads home a 1 -2 for Joseph

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Joseph O'Brien enjoyed a one-two in the bumper at Roscommon as Home By The Lee beat Centaur by three parts of a length.

Home By The Lee took over from Belper Rose turning in and was ridden under two furlongs out.

Stablemate Centaur loomed large on his outer with over a furlong to travel. Home By The Lee looked vulnerable in the final 150 yards but toughed it out along the rail to the cheers of favourite backers who supported him down to 15/8.

Runner-up Centaur was a 7/1 chance and he came in two and a half lengths clear of Belper Rose (5/1).

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: “He’s a nice horse going forward. He was very timid at home and Joseph has given him plenty of time.

"He’s a big frame of a horse and one to look forward to next season.

“Centaur keeps improving and it’s a great result to have the first and second.”

Home By The Lee is now two from two having won a bumper at Killarney last month

Little Clarinet gives Joseph an across the Card Double 

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Little Clarinet completed a treble for Donnacha O'Brien and a quick cross card double for his brother Joseph, as she took the concluding TRM's 'Kurasyn' Handicap.

Previously trained by David Marnane, the daughter of Requinto had been knocking on the door of late, and was unlucky over the course and distance on her last start, when hampered in the closing stages by a loose horse.

Sent off the 11/4 favourite this evening, the five-year-old bay was prominent throughout in the centre of the track.

She was pushed along and led from the two furlong pole, keeping on well when ridden inside the final furlong, going on to prevail by three parts of a length.

Miacomet (12/1) flew home to finish a never nearer second under Gary Halpin for Jack Davison, while Handsome Maverick (12/1) and Fugacious (16/1) were third and fourth respectively.

"She was probably due one of them because she was unlucky here on Guineas weekend," said Joseph O'Brien.

"She's a grand straight-forward filly and it's nice to get a win with her.

"Donnacha said a stiff six is good for her, so we'll keep her to that, and look for something similar again.

"She's a nice consistent sprint handicapper and we'll be able to keep her busy for the summer, hopefully.

"I think she's a little bit better on a straight track but other than that she's very versatile."

Donnacha O'Brien was earlier successful on Lope Y Fernandez and Micro Manage, while Joseph O'Brien struck with Treasure Chest at Clonmel.


Treasure Chest survives being hampered twice

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The Joseph O'Brien trained Treasure Chest defied top-weight in what was an eventful Clonmel Show Sunday 7th July Handicap Chase.

Successful in a handicap hurdle at Kilbeggan in June of last year, the son of Galileo failed to make an impact on his first four starts over fences.

He pulled up on his handicap debut at Punchestown in December, and was sent off at 8/1 this evening with Shane Shortall in the saddle for owner JP McManus.

Disko Musik fell at the first and hampered Comehere Hi who was subsequently pulled up after his rider lost his irons.

Captain Cobajay then fell at the fifth, with Treasure Chest hampered by both incidents.

The bay victor was sent to the front before the two out and despite an awkward jump there, he battled gamely on the run-in to see off challenge of Perfect Leader by half a length.

The runner-up was returned the 4/1 favourite under Danny Mullins for his mother Mags, while Allied Victory (12s to 8s) was a further two lengths back in third.

Brendan Powell, assistant to Joseph O'Brien, said: "In fairness to the horse something knocked into him at nearly every fence and he did jump a bit indifferently but he's tough in-between and stuck it out well to the line.

"He's hardy and hasn't run for a bit. He likes this sort of ground and will keep going over the summer."

Lustful wins despite being slowly into stride.

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Lustful was slowly away but swift in the finish of division two of the extended mile and a half handicap at Tipperary.

The four-year-old filly soon recovered on the inner to track Bog War and travelled well to lead approaching the turn in.

She was in charge in the final couple of furlongs and was given the office by Donnacha O'Brien to go on by two and three quarter lengths at the line.

The 7/2 joint favourite obliged on her second start for Joseph O'Brien having been with Willie McCreery last year.

Danehill Quest came in second at 14/1 while gambled-on Yo Tambien (14/1 - 9/1) rewarded each-way punters in third.

Joseph O'Brien said: "She had a nice run for us the first day in a competitive race at Gowran and came forward from that and the bit of juice in the ground is a help to her.

"She goes back to Six Perfections and it is a great pedigree and she was bought for breeding. The aim was to get her to win and she'll be covered next year.

"We'll try and win a couple with her and try to win as much prize money as we can."

Light Breeze gives Joseph a double

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Joseph O'Brien doubled up at Navan when Light Breeze took the 18-runner mile-handicap.

The 10/1 shot challenged Luminent (20/1) at the furlong pole and worked his way to the front over 100 yards out.

He kept on nicely to draw a length clear of that aforementioned opponent.

There was a two and three quarter length gap back to Light Breeze's stablemate Rehoboth Beach in third at 16/1. Njord, the 3/1 favourite was a head away in fourth.

Jockey Alan Persse said: "She did it nicely. She had a good run in Cork over a mile-and-a-quarter and was still a bit green that day.

“She improved a lot today and it looks she could pick up another few of those little handicaps.

“She can go up again in trip, a mile is probably ideal for her, but she'd have no problem getting further in time again.”

Air Force Jet wins on 2nd start

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Air Force Jet justified 4/11 favouritism in the opening five-furlong maiden at Navan but not without giving his backers a few moments of worry.

Joseph O'Brien's colt raced second to Southern Hills with a quarter of a mile to travel but soon came off the bridle as the leader attempted to assert in the final furlong.

Air Force Jet was switched out with 150 yards to go and zoomed home to get up in the final strides by a neck from his 2/1 rival.

Jockey Shane Crosse, fresh from a double in Down Royal yesterday, said: “He's a lovely colt. He was a bit unlucky the first day and today he knew his job a bit better.

“I thought I was in a bit of trouble coming down the hill but once he balanced himself up he hit the line well and won going away.

“He's still a big baby and once he puts it all together five will be no problem and six, I don't think, will be an issue either.”