Classic-bound Joan Of Arc spearheads 210-1 Ballydoyle four-timer
She might not have been as explosive as Bolshoi Ballet in the Derrinstown Derby Trial, but Joan Of Arc never looked like coming back to the pack in the Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial and will head to the Curragh on May 23 on the back of a convincing all-the-way success.
Joan Of Arc, a sister to Gleneagles, Marvellous and Happily, was the first leg of a 210-1 four-timer for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore and the step up to a mile certainly suited the daughter of Galileo as she galloped all the way to the line to fend off 50-1 shot Flirting Bridge by a length and three-quarters.
She was halved in price into 8-1 (from 16) by Paddy Power for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, and is 10-1 (from 20) for the Cazoo Oaks, but before then the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas is on the agenda.
O'Brien said: "The last day was a bit of a non-event for her, but she came out of it lovely and we were very happy with her. The plan was to come back here for this and then maybe go to the Irish Guineas, so that's what we'll do. Ryan said she might stay a bit further, so we’re very happy with that. She’s a very relaxed filly."
Moore was most certainly impressed, saying: "She's a high-class filly, a beautiful mover, and when the ground gets quicker it might help her again. She's beautifully bred and we're very happy with what she did. She deserves to take her chance at a higher level."
O'Brien and Moore also teamed up for the victory of Sir William Bruce in the 1m4f handicap, while 100-30 joint-favourite The Mediterranean won the concluding 1m4f maiden.
Shane Lyons, assistant trainer to brother Ger, was full of praise for Colin Keane after the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes. Not only for his winning ride on Irish Lincolnshire runner-up Maker Of Kings, but for the advice he provided beforehand.
Lyons explained: "It was an excellent ride and a very good call by Colin. He was unlucky in the Lincoln and after he got off him there he said we need headgear, but headgear for the big day. You can't get bigger than this, so we picked the right day to put the headgear on.
"He’s a fun horse for his owners. He loved the ground and will get further. We’ll probably put the headgear on and off. He just gets a bit lonely and with the headwind it helped."
Maker Of Kings tracked what appeared to be a generous early gallop and when Keane kicked for home two furlongs out it looked a long way to the line. He kept galloping, though, and was a length and a quarter in front of Erzindjan when it mattered.
It was a very enjoyable afternoon for owners Newtown Anner Stud as Ben Coen later carried their familiar colours to victory on Annerville in the 1m2f fillies' maiden for trainer Johnny Murtagh.
Shaman conjures win
Tauran Shaman has not been blessed with fortune of late, so few could begrudge him a third career victory in the 1m2f handicap under Shane Foley.
Winning trainer Jessica Harrington said: "He was unlucky last time at the Curragh, and was also unlucky at Galway last year. I suppose the plan will be to go back for one of the big handicaps at Galway."
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