EUROPE’S richest two-year-old was one for the visitors as the Charlie Hills-trained Galeron led home a battalion of raiders from across the Irish Sea to claim a famous success in the Goffs Million.
In a race where eight of the first 10 places were filled by English-trained runners, Hellsing made a brave bid to keep this prize at home for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.
However, the day belonged to Galeron (16/1) and Shane Foley as the son of Camacho provided his connections with a dividend of just over €600,000 having cost a mere €45,000 at Goffs last year.
Bred by Gigginstown House Stud and sold by Eddie and Wendy O’Leary’s Lynn Lodge Stud, the colt lined with a rating of 91 that had been achieved off a season that yielded a couple of respectable efforts at Group 2 level and in a sales race.
The balance of his form suggested that he had a bit to find to get closely involved as the Goffs Million series returned to the Curragh following an absence of 13 years.
As the 19-runner field passed halfway, Galeron still had plenty of horses in front of him but he soon began an untroubled and unfaltering challenge over on the far side of the track.
Indeed he found himself in front around two furlongs from home on his first try at seven furlongs.
To his considerable credit he never wavered and he kept on bravely to hold the persistent Hellsing by half a length.
Ramazan was the same distance back in third for Richard Fahey while Magical Sunset took fourth for Richard Hannon.
“We’re relatively new to owning racehorses and we’ve been at this around 18 months,” exclaimed Gary Robinson who owns the colt with his wife Leanne.
“I remember it was around October midterm last year and we were at Newbury one day and I bought him off Charlie.
“He told me he had this horse who was eligible for the Goffs Million. At the time I didn’t really know what the Goffs Million was, but I do now.
“We worked out this morning that if he finished anything better than ninth he would cover the costs of a trip over. We were worried about the ground, the trip, the draw but he’s gone and done it which is incredible.
“I think the most valuable race we’ve won before today was worth £25,000. I vaguely remember promising Charlie I’d take him and his wife to Las Vegas if this horse won!”
Meanwhile, the trainer added: “As soon as we bought him from the Orby Sale we had this race in mind. To get here is an achievement but to win it is fantastic.
“I’ve never been to Dublin so we’re off there tonight. Gary, who is a plumber, and his wife Leanne are fantastic. Gary wants to go to the Orby this week and we’ll look for another one.”
CRYPTO Force, who looked such a fine prospect when bolting up on his debut here in June, returned from a 98-day layoff to shock Adelaide River in the Group 2 Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes and serve notice that he is a colt of very considerable potential.
An especially taking debut victory over Auguste Rodin paved the way for Crypto Force to make €900,000 at the Goffs London Sale, but a few days later this Amo Racing-owned son of Time Test failed to fire when seventh in the Chesham Stakes.
However, a patient approach and a three-month break enabled the 15/2 shot to make a resounding return to form.
For much of the race everything looked to be going perfectly for the odds-on Adelaide River but from over a furlong out Crypto Force and Colin Keane began to close in ominously.
Inside the distance, it was clear the market leader was in big trouble and he could muster no response as Crypto Force forged on to score by two and a quarter lengths.
Incredibly this was the first time since 2010 that Aidan O’Brien has failed to win the Beresford.
“That’s massive and I’m delighted for Amo Racing and Kia Joorabchian who have been such great supporters of mine this season. After this horse won first time out Kia was listening to me raving about him and he went off and paid a lot of money for him at the London Sale,” stated O’Callaghan who was saddling the biggest winner of his career.
“It just didn’t happen for the horse at Ascot but Kia has been very patient since then and we’ve just crept along and trained him with this weekend in mind.
“He could well be a Guineas horse in the spring but as a three-year-old I’d expect him to come into his own at a mile and a quarter or even a mile and a half. Colin said he’d be better on better ground.”
MICHAEL Grassick has a very smart juvenile on his hands in the fillly Small Oasis (8/1) who built on an encouraging debut third at Naas nine days previously to annihilate her rivals in the William Hill Free Or 4 Irish EBF Maiden over six furlongs.
The John Nolan-owned daughter of Sioux Nation cruised up on the outer for Gavin Ryan to ease to the front over a furlong from home and quickened clear in great style to reach the line just under five lengths ahead of the 90-rated Ardad’s Great.
“It’s nice to have an exciting one. She was just a bit green at Naas but never really got into top gear. I’d say she’s a filly who really appreciates a bit of ease in the ground,” remarked the trainer. “We’ll look for a stakes race next. Seven furlongs won’t be a problem for her.”
The Beresford Stakes winner defied a near 100-day absence but Life In Colour came back off nearly twice as long in the six-furlong William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Maiden on her first outing for 174 days.
Willie McCreery’s charge and the 100/1 chance Daisy Jones pulled clear of their 20 rivals over the course of the final furlong and the Rory Cleary-ridden and Wendy O’Leary-owned Life In Colour dug deep in a first-time visor to shade the bobbing finish by a nose.
“She had a little setback after she ran in Cork but Rory was good on her there and we felt the pace would be over on the stands’ side and Rory did a good job getting her across to this side,” stated the trainer.
“She’ll be back here in a few weeks for a six-furlong listed race.”
There was a monster surprise lying in wait towards the end of the card where French Rescue struck at 80/1 for John Geoghegan and jockey Tom Kiely Marshall.
On his sixth start, the lightly raced gelding ran down the Listowel winner Star Of Cashel inside the distance to score by a length and a quarter.
Geoghegan trains the winner for his brother Brian.
“We were disappointed with his last run at Punchestown but Gary (Halpin) said he needed the run,” remarked Geoghegan.
“For a small horse he’s very stuffy and he’s obviously come forward from the run the last day.
“We’re only a small yard, with two riding out at the moment and when he’s in among horses he’s probably a bit babyish.
“He’ll keep going while there is a bit of juice in the ground.”
as Brabazon points in the right direction
DICK Brabazon has certainly worked the oracle with Gordon Bennett this season and the four-year-old credited his restricted licence holder with his biggest success to date with a commanding success in the Willie Hill Joe McGrath Handicap.
There was a time when this four-year-old’s idiosyncrasies were threatening to undermine his considerable talent but a patient Brabazon now has his charge channelling his energies in the right direction.
Indeed, such is his progress that he will head into 2023 as one of the most exciting sprint handicappers around while also offering the promise that he could even hold his own at a higher grade.
The Out All Night Syndicate-owned 4/1 chance picked up in great style for Gary Carroll approaching the last furlong to quicken into a clear lead and defeat the metronomic Curraheen Princess by a length and a quarter.
“He seems to be getting more professional and Gary said he was never as calm as he was today. He’s a horse I’d love to travel as he’s getting to that level but that could be hard,” stated the trainer.
“Plenty of sprinters seem to get better with age so we’ll spend the winter building him up.”
A good afternoon for Johnny Murtagh yielded a double which he completed with a back to form Half Nutz and Jamie Powell in the William Hill-sponsored seven-furlong handicap.
The 11/1 chance had run plenty of solid races through his first 10 races this season but he took a marked step forward here just four days after running at Listowel.
The strong-travelling five-year-old looked to have everything covered as the final furlong loomed and he led 100 yards out for a length and a half triumph over the five-timer-chasing Dunum.
“I was nearly losing faith but the lads (the successful Go Nutz Racing Syndicate) said that he always comes good at the end of the year,” declared Murtagh.
“When we got him he worked like a really good horse, his work was very good but it just didn’t fall right for him a few times.”
Murtagh struck earlier with Mile End in the 47-70 Barberstown Castle Nursery Handicap over the six furlongs.
The 3/1 favourite, who sports the famous Gredley family colours, blazed a trail in first-time blinkers on her fifth career start.
Ben Coen’s mount sustained her effort in willing style over the last furlong to reach the line three-parts of a length ahead of Biggerthanbigtime.
“We worked her in blinkers and they seemed to have brought her alive. She got out there in front, flowing along, and Ben said she did it well and liked the ground,” said Murtagh.