Shane & Joseph combine with A Wave Of The Sea for a double each



Healy racing Photos
31.05

It proved a good night for the Crosse family at Down Royal this evening as champion apprentice Shane Crosse notched a double on A Wave Of The Sea having earlier seen his brother Nathan also strike twice on the card.

Trainer Joseph O'Brien was also securing a brace as the Born To Sea gelding galloped on strongly in the closing stages to run out a comprehensive four length winner of the Kaizen Brand Evolution Handicap.

Crosse always had his mount handy and he slipped through on the inner to lead passing the half mile pole.

The 5/2 favourite was pressed by Conor Hogan early in the straight but stayed on stoutly as that rival ran around under pressure over a furlong out. Winiata eventually kept on for second.

Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said: "I think he's a horse that probably wants to be in the lead, but I think in Sligo there was no pace and we know he stays.

"Joseph said 'make use of him'. It was only his third run and he is taking on handicappers but he will probably be a mile and a half, a mile and six horse in the long run.

"He's tough and he's honest and he is going to win races. He's had three quick runs for a big baby and Joseph may just freshen him up. He can only improve - that was over a trip probably a bit short for him and on ground a bit soft for him.

"Shane is a lovely rider. I've only really noticed him since I've come over.

“For a 5lb claimer he is very cool. I didn't realise who he was until I noticed that his dad used to ride with me and he was my head lad back in England 10 years ago."

O'Brien and Crosse has also combined with Shakespear'sgalley in the mile-and-a-half handicap.


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Shakespear'sgalley wins again


Niall Scott Photo
31.05

The Joseph O'Brien-trained Shakespear'sgalley stayed on stoutly in the closing stages to run out a convincing winner of the Executive Marquees Handicap at Down Royal.

Shane Crosse soon settled the well-backed 7/4 favourite (9/2 in morning) in behind the leaders before producing him to dispute going to the three furlong marker.

He was driven to assert a furlong-and-a-half from home and was in control thereafter as he recorded a two-and-a-half lengths success over Walking On Glass.

The winner had finished sixth at the Curragh last weekend having previously won in Killarney.

Crosse said afterwards: "He's probably a proper two miler and we went slow which didn't suit and I got a gap kind of five (furlongs) out which was a bit soon, but I had to take it because I needed to kick on because he stays well. To be fair to him he is very genuine.

"He's had three quick races and he's still going, so hopefully he can keep improving. He sticks his head out and he tries, that's half the battle."
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Esprit De Lumiere breaks his Maiden


Healy racing Photos
30.05

Esprit De Lumiere, a half-brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Just The Judge, was claimed back by connections following his win in the opening Tattersalls Horse Trials Claiming Race at Fairyhouse today.

The winning son of Invincible Spirit today got off the mark at the tenth attempt when swooping late to score, under jockey Declan McDonogh, by a head over Cafe Sydney.

Winning trainer Joseph O’Brien later stated “he’s been disappointing to be honest. We thought he would have won by now but it’s nice that he has won and I’m delighted for Joan (Kearney-Dempsey, owner/breeder) as she’s been patient with him.

“Dec gave him a good strong ride. If we hang onto him we’ll try and get him to win again.”

Connections did hang on to Esprit De Lumiere, whose half-sister Just The Judge was an Irish Classic winner in 2013for Qatar Racing and trainer Charlie Hills, as the gelding was claimed back for E10,000.


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Altair earns a possible trip to Royal Ascot


Healy Racing Photos
29.05

Joseph O'Brien is targeting the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot with today's Gowran winner Altair, which landed the ElectroCity.ie (Fillies) Race under jockey Shane Crosse.

Altair stormed home to win on debut at Dundalk and having missed the break on her second outing at Navan in April, today again displayed signs of greeness when beating runner-up Fancy Feat.

Altair, a daughter of Australia, went in pursuit of leader Fancy Feat with over a furlong to race and while Fancy Feat stuck to her task gamely, Altair edged left in the final furlong but still managed to quicken lead close home and score by a neck.

Afterwards O'Brien said “she's a lovely filly. She was still very green today and was on and off the bridle and ran around a bit in the straight. Donnacha (O'Brien) said at Navan the last day that she was exceptionally green.

“She'll probably go up in trip now; she's in the Ribblesdale and I wouldn't be against thinking about going there. She's a nice filly and we think she will stay further. We think plenty of her.”


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Joseph sends a raiding party to Mussleburgh

photo
Healy racing photos 
28.05

Joseph O’Brien has taken aim at Musselburgh’s Listed Stobo Castle Ladies’ Day Gold Cup Fillies’ Stakes on Saturday with three entries.

Registered as the Maggie Dickson Stakes, the race has attracted 19 possibles, including last year’s Qipco 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook from Richard Hannon’s yard.

However, it is O’Brien who holds the strongest hand numerically with Cava, Rainbow Moonstone and Wisdom Maid entered by the Owning Hill handler.

Cava won on her debut last season and has been highly tried in three runs since winning her maiden at Naas, just coming up short in the search for black type to date.

Wisdom Maid was not disgraced in a decent even last time out having begun her career with Criquette Head-Maarek.



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Centaur wins for the Joseph O'Brien Racing Club 

Healy racing photos 
24.05

Centaur made it third time lucky in the concluding Molson Coors I.N.H. Bumper at Downpatrick today as the Joseph O'Brien trained four year old scored under jockey Tom Hamilton.

Centaur was bred by the winning trainer's father Aidan O'Brien's Whisperview Trading Ltd, carries the colours of the Joseph O'Brien Racing Club and today beat runner-up Global Society by two and a half lengths.

Hamilton later said "he's a nice horse, is flat bred by Canford Cliffs and had two runs before today and he put his experience to good use today.

"He bounced off the good ground. He travelled around there very easily and he picked up well.

"Joseph (O'Brien) is obviously in the Curragh but he had two good runs earlier and has progressed from run to run."

Quotes by Michael Graham


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23.05

Lot 767 Little Light sold to Highflyer Bloodstock for £34,000

Lot 768 Christopher Robin sold to Tom Lacey for £30,000


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Deilginis Delivers


Healy Racing Photos (c)
22.05

An eye-catcher last time when making Shane Shortall work through a Fairyhouse contest, Deilginis delivered today in the Rosslare Mares Handicap Hurdle at Wexford. The midlands rider again earned his fee.

Shortall was definitely seen ‘after’ the Joseph O’Brien-trained Deilginis (the Irish name for Dalkey, Dublin) with a circuit to go.

Local hope Trans Wood made the best of her way home in the straight, but she couldn’t resist Martin O’Sullivan’s Flemensfirth victor, the 9/4 favourite, up the inner in the closing stages.

Two and a half lengths split them.

"She made me work for it. She flew home the last day in Fairyhouse and I knew what to expect today, I didn't let her ease up," said Shortall.

"The ground probably wasn't ideal for her, she didn't really let herself down on it.

"She won by two and a half lengths in the end so I'd say the further the better and a little bit of softer ground might help her as well."

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Plucky A Wave Of The Sea holds on to win Sligo Maiden



Healy Racing Photos (c)
21.05


A Wave Of The Sea battled gamely to land the last at Sligo this evening, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.

An eye-catching third on debut at Dundalk earlier this month, the Joseph O'Brien trained three-year-old was sent off at 7/2 under Shane Crosse.

Alakahan, who was fifth on his first start at Cork, was the first choice of punters, with this one returned the 11/10 market leader under Ronan Whelan for Mick Halford.

Having lead from the start, the winning son of Born To Sea was tackled and joined by the favourite with over a furlong to go.

The pair had a good scrap from there, with the Demi O'Byrne owned victor getting on top close home, prevailing by half a length.

"He's a lovely big horse. He had a lovely run in Dundalk the first day," said Crosse.

"We said we'd use his stride as he stays well. He has a massive big stride and he gallops well so we bounced out.

"He was still green, having only his second run. He had to be good to do it today and he was to be fair to him.

"Hopefully there is a lot more to come from him."

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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Arthurian Fame wins the inaugural running of the Microsoft Cup Lady Riders Handicap


HRI photos

17.05

Hayley Turner made her first visit to Leopardstown a winning one as she partnered Arthurian Fame to victory in the inaugural running of the Microsoft Cup Lady Riders Handicap.

The top weight, and 100-30 favourite, made light of a welter 10st 10lb to win the mile-and-a-half contest by three-quarters of a length from Take A Turn.

Turner added success in this 50,000 euro race, the richest in Europe for lady riders only, to her claims to fame as a Group One-winning jockey elsewhere.

Arthurian Fame had been bumped up 10lb for his win over the re-opposing Ciao at Naas, on his first run of the season last month.

Turner sat off the pace on Joseph O’Brien’s four-year-old gelding, allowing outsider Torcello to build up a healthy lead – with Ciao the closest pursuer into the straight.

But as the field closed, and then swamped the two leaders, Arthurian Fame was to the fore and had the best turn of foot before seeing out the trip well enough to hold on from Take A Turn – with The Mouse Doctor a neck further back in third.

Turner was thankful to have chosen the winner from several possible mounts in the race.

“It’s a very good prize,” she said.

“I was quite lucky, because my agent Steve Croft had a few to pick from and he chose the right one – so thank you to him.

“The standard of girl jockeys has risen so much in the last few years. They are getting better and better, and days like this give them the opportunity to show how good they are.

“It’s great for racing to have such a big brand as Microsoft sponsoring, and the day is for such a good cause in breast cancer research.”

O’Brien is already planning another big target for Arthurian Fame.

“There was plenty of pace on, and Hayley gave him a lovely ride – and it worked out well,” said the trainer.

“He’s an improving horse.

“The boys (owners Blackrock Racing Syndicate) have a few top hats that they want to dust off – so there might be something (at Royal Ascot) for him.”

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Touch Of Oscar wins his Maiden hurdle


Healy racing photos

16.05

Touch Of Oscar justified 4/6 favouritism in what was an eventful Clonacody Maiden Hurdle,

Three of the eight who set out for this near two and a half mile contest got no further than the second, with Game Present falling, bringing down Gone Racing, with Pass Cross also brought down in the melee.

The Joseph O'Brien trained victor avoided the drama under Shane Shortall, and took closer order into second from three out.

The son of Touch Of Land, who was placed on his last two starts, had a good battle with the front-running Rip Rocks Paddy Ok in the straight, and just three parts of a length separated them at the line.

The front pair went thirty-six lengths clear of Pass Cross in third.

O'Brien, who trains the winner for Donal O'Connor, said afterwards: "He's a consistent horse and would probably love a bit of easier ground. It's nice to get him to win his maiden hurdle, and he'll probably have a little break now.

"It was a very messy race as they went slow and sprinted up over the last two. I was worried as he's a staying type of horse while the other one (Rip Rocks Paddy Ok) was a pacey horse off the Flat.

"He jumped the last two very well."

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Master Of Reality Takes in the Saval Beg


Healy Racing photos

16.05

Master Of Reality bids to prove his surprise recent victory at Navan was no fluke in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown on Friday.

Having been gelded during the off-season, the son of Frankel was a largely unconsidered 33-1 shot for the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes little under three weeks ago, but knuckled down admirably to prevail in the hands of Wayne Lordan.

The four-year-old must shoulder a penalty for his latest assignment and trainer Joseph O’Brien is keeping his fingers crossed his charge can prove up to the task.

He said: “He’s in good shape and obviously we were delighted with him the last day.

“He’d been working well before Navan. It was a surprise to see him go and win, but we thought he’d run well.

“We’ve been happy with him since and although he has a penalty to carry, hopefully he’ll run well again.”

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Joseph's thoughts on his Oaks runners

Image result for iridessa fillies mile

CME. Photos

16.05

Joseph is responsible for two Oaks runners, last season's G1 Fillies Mile heroine Iridessa, who was eighth last time out in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, and Altair, who was a staying-on fifth behind Pink Dogwood at Navan.

 Both fillies are sired by Investec Derby winners, with Iridessa a daughter of 2013 hero Ruler Of The World and Altair by 2014 scorer Australia. The duo are owned by Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, who saw her colours carried to success in the 2015 Investec Oaks by shock 50/1 winner Qualify.

Co Kilkenny-based O'Brien revealed today: "Iridessa has been doing fine since Newmarket and it is likely that she will run next in the Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1, 1m, the Curragh, May 26).

"There has been no decision made yet about whether or not she will run in the Investec Oaks.

"Altair ran well in an Oaks trial last time behind Pink Dogwood. I felt our filly was a bit unlucky, but she will have learnt plenty from that.

 "We have left her in the Investec Oaks as we want to keep all options open."

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Hayley Turner on Arthurian Fame 


Healy racing photos

16.05

Group One-winning jockey Hayley Turner is among those taking part in the inaugural running of the Microsoft Cup at Leopardstown on Friday.

With a total prize fund of 50,000 euros up for grabs, the mile-and-a-half contest is the most valuable ladies race ever to be run in Europe.

Turner partners last-time-out Naas winner and top-weight Arthurian Flame and trainer Joseph O’Brien is delighted to have secured her services.

He said: “The Microsoft Cup is a great initiative and I’m delighted to have got Hayley Turner for Arthurian Flame.

“It’s a great opportunity for lady riders to ride at one of Ireland’s premier racecourses and for such a big pot.

“The horse is in good form since Naas. The Blackrock Racing Syndicate (owners) are an enthusiastic bunch of lads and they’re very much looking forward to having Hayley Turner on the horse. It should be a great evening.”

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Dlauro becomes Joseph's 200th NH winner




Healy Racing photos

15.05

Dlauro ran out an impressive winner of the last at Punchestown, the Punchestown On Instagram Flat Race.

An easy winner of a point-to-point at Belharbour in February of 2018 when trained by Donnacha Doyle, the son of Lauro subsequently changed hands for a massive 410,000 pounds.

As short as 8/13 in early shows, the Joseph O'Brien trained six-year-old proved easy to back on-course, touching 9/4, before going off a 2/1 chance.

All the money was for Argent Et Or, with this one available at 9/4 in the morning, opening on-course at 6/4, before going off the even money favourite.

Out on the track, Dlauro raced in mid-division on the inner under Derek O'Connor, and made good headway from the three furlong pole.

The Lloyd Williams owned bay eased to the front from early in the straight and soon shot clear, coming home eleven lengths to the good.

Ballymacaw finished second under Barry O'Neill for John Halley at 33/1, while Above The City (50/1) was a further two and a half lengths back in third.

Argent Et Or faded when headed by the winner under two furlongs out, and he eventually came home in fourth.

O'Brien said afterwards: "He was impressive. He's had a few setbacks since we got him. The ground was nice and safe here today and it was good to get a run into him.

"I was a bit surprised that he was keen for the first couple of furlongs. They set off in a bunch and it lit him up a bit. He would have learned plenty today.

"He made all in his point-to-point and the main thing today was that he learned a bit. It was a surprise to see him win that well but he's a lovely horse.

"He'll have the summer off and go novice hurdling then."

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Shakespeare's Galley gives Joseph a double 



Healy Racing Photos

14.05

Shakespear'sgalley (8/1) relished a step up in trip for the two mile one furlong handicap in Killarney to bring up Joseph O'Brien's brace.

He shot through a gap a furlong out and stayed on well to win by three quarters of a length with 7lb-claimer Alan Persse in the saddle.

Venezia kept him honest all the way to the line but had to settle for a runner-up berth at 3/1. Jake Peter, the 6/4 favourite, finished out of the placings in third in this seven-runner race.

Alan Persse said: “He needed every bit of it. Thankfully when the gaps came he was there.

“Once he passed one horse he flew home then and stayed going.

“He had a good run in the charity race at Punchestown and we were hopeful he'd come forward from that so thankfully he did. Onwards and upwards with him now.

“Hopefully the handicapper won't kill him and he can pick up another few of those mile-and-six or two mile handicaps.”

This was Shakespear'sgalley's handicap debut.

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Eminent Authority Wins on Debut


Healy racing photos 

14.05

The Joseph O'Brien-trained Eminent Authority overcame greenness to get up late on and make a winning debut in the opening maiden at Killarney.

The son of Frankel went to post a 13/2 shot in the mile-three contest and took time to find his feet around the sharp bends.

Once Declan McDonogh got him straightened up in the closing stages he chased down Lancastria inside the final furlong to record a length victory.

The winner is a full-brother to recent Vintage Crop Stakes winner Master Of Reality.

“They went a nice even pace and it just took him a while to negotiate the bends as he's so big,” said McDonogh.

“The second time around up the straight he came on the bridle and I got a nice split down the inside. He hit the line well and is a grand big horse.

“He didn't really realise that there was a sharp bend coming up first time around but then he gathered himself half way down the back and started to carry me better.

“The penny dropped well in the straight, I got a bit of room, and I was always going to win then when I got out.

“He battled because he had a hard time getting around the track. He'd be nicer horse somewhere like the Curragh.”


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Joanne wins on her first ride for Joseph 



Healy Racing Photos 

13.05

Joseph O'Brien's 5/4 favourite Baboin got up in the closing stages to deny Eugene and Maxine O'Sullivan a quick double in the finale at Killarney, the Betvictor (Ladies Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.

The O'Sullivans had taken the preceding hunter chase with It Came To Pass and their representative Dubai Days was a nicely supported 7/1 shot.

He performed very well, eventually only losing out by a head to Baboin.

Successful pilot Joanna Walton was registering a first win on the track since February 2017.

Miss Walton is a native of the Scottish Borders.

She said afterwards: "Things didn't really go to play through the race but we got there in the end and it was all worthwhile.

"I ride out a couple of days a week for Joseph and I love it there as it is good fun and all the lads are a good team. That's my first ride for Joseph and I'd like to thank him for such a nice first ride.


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Home By The Lee wins on debut


Healy Racing photos

12.05


Home By The Lee (7/2 favourite) made a winning debut for Joseph O'Brien and Tom Hamilton by a length and a half in the bumper at Killarney.

The Fame And Glory gelding saw off Pipers Meadow (4/1) with Flash De Touzaine showing ability in third, on debut, at 7/1.

Tom Hamilton said: “I won on Beautiful Citi (full-sister) at Clonmel and then here, and she was a lovely filly.

"This lad is a lovely big horse but he’s still a big baby, and whatever he does in this campaign is going to be a big bonus. He’s a good-moving horse and I was very happy with him.”

Home By The Lee gave Joseph O'Brien an across-the-card double as King's Vow also scored in Leopardstown.

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King's Vow impresses in H'cap win


Healy Racing photos

12.05

Top-weight King's Vow ran away with the mile and a half handicap in Leopardstown and brought up Donnacha O'Brien's double on the day.

The Frankel colt shot clear of his rivals passing the furlong pole and galloped away to win by three and a quarter lengths from his 20 rivals.

He justified favouritism at 9/2. Laura Bullion (9/1) won the race for second from Kastasa (13/2) and 33/1 shot Pearl Warrior.

Trainer Joseph O'Brien said: “He won well. The form of the race in Navan worked out well and that was a good race I'd say.

“It was an extremely messy race. Donnacha moved up halfway and it made plenty of sense, he could strike then whenever he wanted.”

When it was put to him that he stayed the trip well he added: “The only thing I'd say is that probably wasn't a real test, it was very messy, but I think he should stay that trip well.

“It'll be more of the same for him and we'll see what the handicapper does.”

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Snapraeceps gives Joseph a double 



Healy Racing Photos 

08.05

Trainer Joseph O'Brien and stable apprentice Shane Crosse completed respective doubles at Gowran as Snapraeceps landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.

Jockey Crosse won the half-hour earlier maiden with the Johnny Feane trained Miss O Connor and doubled his score on Snapraeceps, which beat runner-up Shennan by three parts of a length.

O'Brien won an earlier handicap with Linger and following his second win stated “she (Snapraeceps) had a lovely run first time out and the race worked out very well. Shane was very happy with her and said she had come forward.

“She travelled much better today and she's a nice filly, I'd say.

“With any fillies like that black-type is the thing. Whether we take in a winners race on the way or not we'll see what races are there for her.

“She's a decent filly and the second (Shannan) was well thought of.

“She should stay a bit further but I'll stick to a mile with her for the time being as she's not slow.”

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Linger wins on debut for Joseph


Healy racing photos

08.05

Last Sunday's 1,000 Guineas winning jockey Wayne Lordan was on the mark at Gowran today as Hermosa's jockey landed the BetVictor Handicap on Linger, which registered a fourth career success on his first start for new trainer Joseph O'Brien.

Linger had won three times for previous trainer 'Shark' Hanlon and having been purchased for GBP8,000 last December, today scored a length and a quarter success over Molly Kaye.

Following the race O'Brien stated “they went quick up front and the race probably fell apart a bit in front of him. Wayne gave him a lovely ride.

“He's been off the track for a while and he won off 49 so hopefully he'll get another go.

“These races over this trip (1m6f) in this grade are few and far between so our hand will be forced where we go next. He obviously has the option of going hurdling and chasing as well.”


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Red Tea Wins the last 


Healy racing photos

06.05

Red Tea powered home to take the last at the Curragh, the Curragh On Hallowed Ground Handicap.

A luckless fourth on her debut for Joseph O'Brien at Gowran last month, the daughter of Sakhee was well-fancied to go a few places better today.

Sent off the 5/1 favourite, the Capel Street Syndicate owned six-year-old raced towards rear under Donnacha O'Brien.

She made some progress into mid-division from halfway, and was ridden to lead over a furlong out, keeping on strongly from there, scoring easily by four and three parts of a length.

Joseph O'Brien said afterwards: "She had a good run first time out for me in Gowran. Donnacha got a nice clean run up the outside and she was quite impressive.

"She's a decent filly and could go for something like a Hunt Cup before aiming at Stakes races.

"I think they went fast and a good few winners have come up that stands’ rail today so that was probably a help to her."

The winner was previously trained in the UK by Peter Hiatt, and was bought for 42,000 guineas at Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale last October.


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Plans not confirmed for Iridessa's next target 



06.05

Plans are fluid for Iridessa after she finished eighth in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.

Joseph O’Brien's daughter of Derby winner Ruler Of The World won the Fillies' Mile last term and ran a fine race under a penalty over a trip short of her best on her return to action this season.

She was expected to turn the tables on Leopardstown winner Lady Kaya with a turn around at the weights but Sheila Lavery's filly confirmed the form with a fine run when beating all bar Hermosa in the Classic.

"She ran a good race. She just flattened out a little in the dip and probably lost a couple of lengths and then stayed on when it was all over," said O’Brien of Iridessa.

"We will see how she comes out of it then make a plan.

"I’ve not thought about anything regarding what trip to go with her."


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Joseph tries to win his first Classic in England

Image result for iridessa horse
Oddschecker photo
04.05

Joseph O’Brien has already achieved more than most in his fledgling training career and he is banking on Iridessa to tick off a first British Classic in Sunday’s Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

With a Cheltenham Festival win, a Melbourne Cup and an Irish Derby already in the locker, O’Brien looks sure to break all kinds of records following his trophy-laden — albeit brief — career in the saddle.

Iridessa is already a Group One winner having won the Fillies’ Mile last season and she made a fine comeback in a trial at Leopardstown under a penalty behind Lady Kaya.

“Iridessa is in good shape and ran very well in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial,” said O’Brien.

“She was drawn out wide which did not help on that tight track, but I was happy with that run and the plan has always been to go straight on to the 1000 Guineas.

“The step back up to a mile should suit, she seemed to handle the course and distance well last year, and hopefully she will go on to be an Oaks filly.

“It would be a dream to win my first British Classic. It’s great to even be taking part in these kind of races and it is why we get up every morning.”

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Vivax gives Joseph a treble


Healy Racing photos
04.05

The judge couldn't separate Vivax and Aneczka, as they dead-heated in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.
Vivax was completing a double on the card for Joseph O'Brien and Donnacha O'Brien, with this one returned at 6/4.
Joseph O'Brien was himself completing a treble on the day, having also scored at Punchestown with Gardens Of Babylon.
A E50,000 purchase as a yearling and related to a whole host of winners, Vivax was a fine fifth on his debut at Gowran last month.
Five horses were still in with every chance from the furlong pole, but it soon revolved around two, with both Vivax and Aneczka giving it their all to the line.
Ultimately the had to settle for a share of the prize money, with newcomer A Wave Of The Sea (7/1), also trained by Joseph O'Brien, running a fine race on debut, another half a length back in third.

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Gardens Of Babylon gains a well deserved victory 


Healy Racing Photos
03.05

Gardens Of Babylon gained reward for a series of solid placed efforts this year when taking the Salessense International Novice Hurdle at Punchestown.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained gelding was placed in Grade 1 events at Leopardstown and Cheltenham and was sent off a 5/2 chance here.

Derek O’Connor took over in the saddle after Mark Walsh, who also missed the winning ride on Buveur D’Air in the Betdaq Punchestown Champion Hurdle, was sidelined after the second race with a suspected fractured ankle.

J P McManus’ juvenile led approaching the final flight, and stayed on really well on the run-in to beat Notebook by six and a half lengths, with Dunvegan a further three and a half lengths adrift in third.

Breaken took a keen hold in front but still appeared to be going well inside the final half-mile. However the 13/8 favourite found little when headed in the straight and eventually weakened to into fourth.

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Downdraft keeps up his winning ways on his seasonal debut 


Healy Racing Photos
03.05

Downdraft ran out an easy winner of the LMFM Race, scoring under Donnacha O'Brien for his brother Joseph.

Successful three times last year, the son of Camelot was last seen winning at Naas in October, and was expected to follow-up this evening, going off a clear favourite at 1/3.

Settled in third, he cruised through to challenge on the inner from early in the straight.

The OTI Racing owned four-year-old got to the front with over a furlong to race, and stretched clear in the closing stages, going on to prevail by four lengths.

Kerosin finished second while Park Row and Play The Game were third and fourth respectively.

Donnacha O'Brien said afterwards: "He's a grand, little horse and skips along that surface. It worked out nicely as the horse that made the running went nice and even for him. It was a lovely race to start off in.

"That's what you'd be hoping (to go for a premier handicap). I think he had a little blowout down the back, so probably fitness-wise there is a bit more improvement in him."