Constantinople wins The Kerrygold Gallinule Stakes at The Curragh

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore receiving their prizes following Constantinople's win in the Gallinule Stakes at The Curragh. Credit: Breandán Ó hUallacháin.

Constantinople (10/11f) put up an impressive performance when cheekily taking Buckhurst (6/1) on the outside in the dying strides of The Kerrygold Gallinule Stakes (Group 3) on Friday evening, the first day of the Grand Opening Weekend at flat racing’s headquarters.

The winning two-year-old son of Galileo and a brother of Doncaster St Leger runner-up, Bondi Beach, was always comfortable in the 1m 2f contest which was won last season by the subsequent Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Latrobe. The winning trainer’s son, Joseph, trained the runner-up for the same connections as last year, with the Lloyd Williams-owned Buckhurst prominent throughout the contest before eventually going down by half-a-length, with U S S Michigan, also trained by Aidan O’Brien, another four-and-a-half lengths back in third.

O’Brien Snr was impressed with the winner but admitted he would give the green three-year-old time to mature:

“He quickened well and was starting to come home, though he is still a baby. I was delighted with him but won’t rush him. He looks a good mover. We’ll go gentle on him.”

The Prince Khalid Abdullah-owned two-year-old colt Siskin (11/8f) retained his unbeaten record when taking The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Marble Hill Stakes Listed Race over six furlongs. The Ger Lyons-trained son of First Defence had two-and-a-half lengths to spare over King Neptune (3/1). The stable companion of the runner-up, Harpocrates, trained by Aidan O’Brien, was a further three-quarters-of-a-length behind in third place.

The same connections were soon in the winners enclosure for the second time this evening when Viadera (5/1) won The Extra.ie Spring Fillies Handicap over a mile. The winner fought on well to hold off Lady Wannabe (7/1), under Andrew Slattery, by half-a-length with Leagan Gaeilge a nose further back in third. The winner, a daughter of Bated Breath, gave weight to her rivals, as she registered her second career success.

Jassaar, made his debut in a handicap a winning one, when taking the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Handicap, a Premier Handicap, for trainer Dermot Weld and rider Andrew Slattery. The well-backed Hamdan Al Maktourm-owned four-year-old took the valuable handicap by half-a-length from Jim Bolger’s Flight Risk. The winning trainer later admitted he had been slightly concerned about the 7 furlong trip being too short for him prior to the race, and was full of praise for jockey Slattery, who was winning his first race for the Rosewell House maestro.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Albigna (10/1) took the opening race of Grand Opening Weekend at The Curragh, The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden over six furlongs. The two-year-old daughter of Zoffany came late through the pack, under Shane Foley, to beat Tango (9/4f) by a head with Precious Moments (100/30) a further three-quarters-of-a-length back in third.

Sonaiyla (4/1) got the better of Independent Missy (66/1) by a short head in The K Club Maiden over 6 furlongs, giving Michael Halford and Ronan Whelan a winner for the Aga Khan, while the final race of the evening, The Curragh Grand Opening Handicap, went to Jim Bolger’s Latchet under Kevin Manning.

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