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Improving Real Appeal makes the step up in class to land Ballycorus

Real Appeal and Shane Foley get on top close home in the Ballycorus Stakes
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The Jessica Harrington-trained Real Appeal made the successful transition from Premier Handicap to Group 3 company with victory in the Ballycorus Stakes under Shane Foley.

He quickened up well from off the pace to collar front-running Lord Of The Lodge inside the final furlong and was only doing enough on the run to the line to score by half a length.

"He really does love Leopardstown and good ground," said Harrington.

"His handicapping days are probably over now so we'll just see where we go with him. He has really stepped forward this year and seems a different horse. This trip seems ideal for him.

"We'll see what's in the programme but we can aim for the Boomerang Stakes here on Champions Weekend." 

Maritime sprouts wings

The opening juvenile maiden was supposed to be one of the more straightforward contests of the evening, but drama ensued at the start with the withdrawal of Nawraq and Point Gellibrand after some ructions in the stalls, reducing the field to five.

It continued in the race when 2-5 shot Moony Beams was beaten by 22-1 outsider and debutant Maritime Wings under Dylan Browne McMonagle.

Despite displaying greenness, the son of Gleneagles showed plenty of quality in seeing off the favourite by half a length.

"That was a little bit of a surprise," said trainer Joseph O'Brien's assistant Brendan Powell.

He added: "Joseph has always thought a lot of him and Dylan was able to get him settled today, he's a bit headstrong at home. He showed a nice turn of foot and stayed well, so he will probably go up in grade now."

Drought ended

Veteran Rathangan trainer Dermot Murphy saddled his first winner since September 2007 when the Nikita Kane-ridden Sasvana landed the 7f apprentice handicap.

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He has really stepped forward this year and seems a different horse
E.W. Terms