Bracelet (right) wins the Irish Oaks under Colm O'DonoghuePICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Bracelet sparkles in Irish Oaks for O'Donoghue
Report: Curragh, Saturday
Darley Irish Oaks (Group 1) 1m4f, 3yo fillies
COLM O'DONOGHUE captured his second Irish Classic when Royal Ascot winner Bracelet recorded a narrow victory over her Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemate Tapestry in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday.
Ballydoyle stalwart O'Donoghue, who landed the Irish Derby on Treasure Beach in 2011, had the 10-1 shot in a lovely position just off the leaders and the Ribblesdale Stakes winner picked up well in the straight to deny 13-2 chance Tapestry - ridden by O'Brien's son Joseph - by a neck.
The Luca Cumani-trained Volume, who was third in the Oaks at Epsom last month, caused a near 20-minute delay to the race because she had the wrong shoes on, although that did not stop her claiming third at 4-1 after making the running under Kevin Manning.
Beyond Brilliance gave O'Brien, who was winning his fourth Irish Oaks, a 1-2-4 in the race, an effort which will particularly please the master trainer as his daughter Ana was aboard, becoming the first female jockey to ride in the 1m4f fillies' Classic in the process.
Owner Hamdan Al Maktoum's decision to divert ante-post favourite and Oaks heroine Taghrooda to next Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes failed to pay off as Tarfasha, who was second at Epsom, struggled, finishing fifth as the 7-4 favourite.
O'Donoghue spent the second half of last year riding in Hong Kong, but things did not go as well as he would have hoped and he rode just one winner from 75 rides.
In January, he returned to Ballydoyle - where he has been a key part of the team for a number years, often excelling on O'Brien's overseas raiders. He was grateful to Bracelet's owners, the Coolmore team of John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith for his Classic triumph.
"It's great," he said. "I'm very thankful to Mr Magnier, Mr Tabor, Mr Smith and Aidan for giving me the opportunity.
"Bracelet came into the race with a very good profile off the back of a real solid Ribblesdale win. She's bred to win the race and now she's done it.
"The jockey ranks here are very tough and you've got to fight for your position - that's something I'm looking forward to doing," he added of his return from Hong Kong.
Colm O'Donoghue: rider is a key part of the team at BallydoylePICTURE: Mark Cranham
O'Brien was quick to praise Bracelet, a daughter of the great Montjeu, and her rider.
He said: "She's a seriously well-bred filly. I'm delighted for everybody involved with her and Colm gave her a marvellous ride - he's a world-class rider.
Bracelet was one contender not to be troubled by the delay because of Volume's shoes, something Cumani apologised for.
The Newmarket trainer said: "As far as I'm concerned it wasn't a controversy because it's never been one in England. As a policy, because horses can knock themselves behind, we put what we call trailers on their hind shoes which helps them keep their feet apart and therefore stops them knocking their hind legs. We've done this in England many times and around the world and it never entered our calculations that it may not be allowed here."
Cumani, who was using the equipment for the first time in Ireland, added: "Rules are rules and we took them off. I apologise for the delay, but we didn't know it would cause a problem. Those shoes have helped her in the past and we did what is best for the filly."
Regarding the race, Cumani, who will aim Volume at the Darley Yorkshire Oaks next month, added: "I got a bit hopeful a furlong out when the ones behind were off the bridle and she wasn't going too badly, but the two fillies quickened by her. All credit to her though - she's run a great race."
Pat Smullen, who partnered Tarfasha, said he had no immediate excuses for her performance, adding: "I was never comfortable and she didn't feel like the same filly I rode earlier in the season."