Curragh review for Monday 7th May

Takar set himself up for a tilt at the Irish 2000 Guineas after his smooth success in the Dylan Thomas European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes at a wet and windy Curragh on Monday afternoon.

Held up at the rear of the five runner field by Johnny Murtagh, Takar was always travelling well in the seven furlong contest and Murtagh always looked confident that he could pick up his rivals whenever he wanted.

Quote Of The Day and Triumphant cut out the early running in the rain softened ground. Takar along with Coolnagree were content to give the leaders a degree of rope in the opening stages. It was Triumphant and jockey of the moment Joseph O’Brien that was the first to commit for home and he took a length out of the field with two furlongs to go.

Coming into the final furlong, Murtagh on Takar has yet to move and for a brief moment it looked that he may not get the gaps in time. However Murtagh was at his coolest. He picked up Takar, moved him to the wide outside and came with a smooth burst of speed to nab Coolnagree in the shadow of the post to land a cosy enough win in the end.

Speaking after the race trainer John Oxx was pleasantly surprised. “He had a few setbacks over the winter. In fact he had one in February which he had to have three weeks off so it was touch and go to see if he would make today.

“He has done it well out there. It may not have been the strongest contest in the world but he did it well.

“He is a speedy type of horse and wouldn’t be in love with the ground out there. The Guineas back here is a possibility at the moment. He has the talent and I’d be keen to give him a chance at a mile.”

Gossamer Seed caused somewhat of a turn up when he left her rivals for dead to take the  Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes in pleasing style.

Making her seasonal debut the daughter of Choisir was held up by her jockey Shane Foley in the early stages of the Group 3 contest alongside hot favourite Bulbul while An Ghalanta and Ishvana cut out the early running.
Coming into the closing stages of the seven  furlong it was Ishvana and Seamie Heffernan that struck for home first. However Foley and Gossamer Seed were travelling much the best of the field and Gossamer Seed, once given the office by Foely, quickened away in impressive style and never looked like getting beat once Foley asked her to go about her business.
She put clear daylight between herself and his pursuers and the further she went the better she looked. Foley even had the luxury to ease the filly down close to the finish line. They went by the post the easy 4 and 3/4 length winners from Bulbul who stayed on for pressure in second with the Aidan O’Brien trained Ishvana back in third.
Windsor Palace caused a major upset in the feature race of the day at the Curragh when he defeated his stablemate St Nicholas Abbey in the High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes.

The Danehill Dancer horse was sent off  at 66/1 and benefited from a clever tactical ride from his jockey Colm O’Donoghue. who along with Robin Hood took the 7 strong field along at a steady gallop in the opening stages of the Group 3 contest.

Hot favourite St Nicholas Abbey, under Joseph O’Brien was settled in third place behind his two stablemates and was as much as ten lengths off the pace turning for home.

O’Brien seemed content enough despite the huge gap however when he asked the son of Montjeu to quicken two furlongs out there was little response and favourite backers soon knew their faith when the whip came out on St Nicholas Abbey.

Up front, Windsor Palace kicked clear of Robin Hood and even with St Nicholas Abbey throwing down a late challenge the rank outsider would not be denied and he held on for only his second win in a career that has seen him been used mainly as a pacemaker for his more fancied stablemates.

Speaking after the race Aidan O’Brien admitted that the ground had gone against St Nicholas Abbey saying “We all know he (St Nicholas Abbey) is not a heavy ground horse. It was his first run back since Dubai and Joseph didn’t want to murder him on that type of ground.

“The winner is a solid horse who did it well. Colm gave him a great ride. We are not sure where he will go but St Nicholas Abbey will go to the Coronation Cup at Epsom for his next run.”

Rest of Curragh action
Jim Bolger unveiled another smart two year old in the opening maiden contest when he saddled Move To Strike to win in the colours of his wife Jackie.

The son of Lawman had finished third behind a well regarded colt from the Aidan O’Brien yard and he showed himself that he has a fair amount of talent himself.

Quickening off a steady gallop Move To Strike quickly put the race to dead as a 4/5 shot should and won by seven lengths hard held. Speaking after the race, Mr Bolger said “He is a smart horse, who wouldn’t have been in love with the ground. We will step him up in class now.”

Ondeafears provided jockey Shane Foley with a well deserved winner at the Co Kildare track when he came late and fast to land the Newbridge Credit Union Handicap from Winning Impact and the Dermot Weld trained Olfa.

Wrekin Rock,who was an unlucky faller in Punchestown on his last start got back to winning ways on the level when he took the Keadeen Hotel Wedding Specialists Handicap from Mahaazen and Tantalising.

Despite making her racecourse debut, Singing Bird proved well up to the task when she took the P.G. Duffy & Sons Citroen Maiden for trainer David Wachman and the Anne Deesse Syndicate.

While he may be better known for his exploits over jumps Colm Murphy proved his can mix it on the flat when saddling Bouliiabaisse to land the final race, the Irish Field INH Flat Race for owner Barry Connell to turn over the Willie Mullins trained Pique Sous and the Katie Walsh ridden The Mighty Milan


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