El Astronaute wins The Tote Rockingham at The Curragh

El Astronaute, winner of The Tote Rockingham (Premier Handicap), pictured with connections at The Curragh. Credit: David Betts.

El Astronaute (7/1cf), trained in England by Irishman John Quinn, was a one-length winner of the evening’s feature race, The Tote Rockingham, under Jason Hart. The gelded son of Approved, who took a Listed race at Cork Racecourse, Mallow, on his most recent visit to Ireland a fortnight ago, beat fellow cross channel raider Manshood (20/1) from Paul Midgley’s yard, with Rapid Reaction (16/1) best of the Irish in third place, a neck ahead of Midgley’s other runner, Orvar (10/1) in fourth.

Winracer (11/4), a €240,000 purchase for connections last year, took the opening The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden over 7 furlongs, accounting for the Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Galileo favourite Love (11/10f) and Inversions (7/1) from the Willie McCreery yard.

Armory was an impressive winner of The Irish Stallion Farms (C&G) Maiden over 7 furlongs for Aidan and Donnacha O’Brien, when coming home a three-and-a-quarter length winner despite experiencing traffic problems in the home straight. Jim Bolger’s Arranmore (16/1), who was to the fore from the stalls, finished second, with Jungle Cove (28/1) third.

6/1 shot War Diary was first past the post in The Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Ragusa’ Handicap under jockey Niall McCullagh for John Joseph Murphy, and had to survive a Stewards’ Enquiry before being confirmed the winner. Sea The Lion (10/1), an excellent third in the Ebor at York last August, was second under 10 stone 4 lbs, while Rockabill (12/1) was best of the Joseph O’Brien-trained trio in third place.

Kattani (6/1), in the colours of HH Aga Khan, swept late and wide under Oisín Orr to claim The Troytown Grey Abbey Veterinary Hospital Irish EBF Median Auction Maiden over one mile. Prisoner’s Dilemma (25/1) took second, ahead of impressive debut for the Vocalised filly Mother Vincent (20/1) in third.

Jim Bolger and Gavin Ryan had back-to-back wins in The Curragh Supporting County Kildare Twinning Apprentice Derby when the Godolphin-owned Trossachs (15/8) was a seven-and-a-half length winner, ahead of De Name Escapes Me (13/2) for Oisín Orr and Noel Meade, with She’s A Novelty (40/1) in third. The winning trainer and jockey were successful with the three-year-old Dawn Hoofer last year. Today’s win was Bolger’s fourth victory in the race in the last 11 years.

Leo De Fury brought up a Jessica Harrington-Shane Foley double when taking The Silken Thomas & Lock 13 Irish EBF Maiden at 8.45pm.

Tomorrow’s feature race at The Curragh is the Group Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes with Friday’s seven-race card beginning at 3.15pm.


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