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Steel Bull justified 2/1 favouritism for trainer Michael O’Callaghan and jockey Colin Keane with an impressive win in the Group 3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood this afternoon.
The grey son of Clodovil was making just his second career racecourse appearance in the five furlong race for two-year-olds, having made an eye-catching winning debut at Naas a week ago.
Entering the final two furlongs, Steel Bull had a wall of horses in front of him but the Irish-trained runner made rapid headway under Keane to move into a challenging position a furlong from home. The eventual winner overhauled the Kevin Ryan-trained 16/1 shot Ben Macdui (Kevin Stott) half a furlong out and went on to score by a comfortable three-quarters of a length. Internationaldream, trained by England-based Irishman Richard Fahey and ridden by Irish-born jockey Paddy Mathers took third at 50/1, a further length and a half behind the second.
The winning handler, Michael O’Callaghan, speaking from his base at The Curragh said:
“Colin was as good as ever – he is top-class and has done a great job on him. Obviously, we have a nice horse on our hands, thank God. We had a little bit of interest in him after winning his maiden but, at the end of the day, it was a five-furlong maiden and he had to go and prove he could do something like that. I don’t own him myself – I am involved with my father and another man called John Fleming.”
Colin Keane who, like O’Callaghan, was having his first Goodwood success, commented:
“Looking at the replay of Steel Bull winning his maiden, he won it very well and when I was talking to Michael beforehand, he was very confident that he would have a lot of speed. He showed a very good turn of foot. He puts his head down and tries very hard. I would imagine he is a horse who is going to keep progressing. I think he would get an extra furlong, because he settles. He is a nice colt.”
The top-class Irish rider continued:
“It was an unknown as to whether he would handle the track, but he’s a very straightforward horse. He handled it very well. I had to wait, but the lads beforehand were very adamant he had a good turn of foot, and that’s what I was hoping and hanging on to, and when I got out, he did have it. When you are on a horse like this, it makes it easy for you. He travelled everywhere and, when I gave him a squeeze, he picked up very well.”
2.45pm Group 3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes 5f
1 Steel Bull – Michael O’Callaghan and Colin Keane 2/1f
2 Ben Macdui – Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott 16/1
3 Internationaldream – Richard Fahey and Paddy Mathers 50/1
Distances: ¾, 1½