THE promising Princess Highway delivered on the considerable promise of her reappearance win in a Leopardstown maiden in March with a fine victory in the Group 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes.
Only six runners went to post for this 10-furlong contest, but it looked an intriguing affair with a number of promising and lightly-raced fillies in the line-up. The outcome was a clear cut win for Princess Highway, who will now bid to emulate her dam, and continue her steady progression through the ranks, at Royal Ascot next month.
The market was headed by Shebella and Aloof at 3/1, and it was the last-named that took the field along, with Pat Smullen content to look on from second aboard the Moyglare Stud-owned filly. With the field swinging wide off the final bend in search of better ground, Princess Highway was perfectly placed to challenge, and she made her way to the front two furlongs from home.
Even at this stage her rivals were struggling to make a telling impression, and the Street Cry filly kept on strongly to succeed by a length from Aaraas, with the once-raced Was taking third ahead of Cleofila.
“That was nice,” said winning trainer Dermot Weld. “Her dam, Irresistible Jewel, won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, and that race looks the logical place for her. Epsom might be a bit premature for her, so we will head to Ascot which is the right step. She’s a lovely, progressive filly.”
[Next time out Princess Highway won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes from four-time Group 1 winner The Fugue.
The field she beat at Naas comprised the multiple stakes-placed Aaraas, dam of Group 2 winner and Group 1 Derby runner-up Madhmoon; the Group 1 Oaks winner Was; stakes-placed Cleofila; the multiple stakes-placed Shebella; and Group 3 winner Aloof]
Frankie gets Authorized
AS the racing world well knows, Frankie Dettori has never won the Derby at Epsom.
The elusive dream moved a big step closer to reality at York on Thursday as Authorized, the long-time ante-post favourite for the Blue Riband, won the totesport.com Dante Stakes very easily.
The 2000 Guineas failure Adagio took the six-runner field along and quickened early in the straight, but he was under pressure before the furlong marker, where Dettori swooped. He quickly opened up a decisive lead and, at the line, Authorized had four lengths to spare over Raincoat.
“I’ve said he could be the best horse I’ve ever trained, and I don’t go back on that,” said Peter Chapple-Hyam of the Montjeu colt. “He just has so much class. Anything he does he does so easily, and he will improve from today to Epsom. I feel really excited now. He’s a very good horse indeed.”
Dettori had never won the Dante before this week, so maybe two gaps in his CV will be filled in, one after the other. He was given the green light by Godolphin to take the ride on Authorized in the Derby. “Authorized quickened up really well,” said the jockey. “He sure found plenty, and it was fabulous. He has class, pace and can travel, so he’s a worthy favourite now.”
[Authorized duly won the Derby, beating a high-class field that included Group 1 winners Eagle Mountain who was runner-up, some five lengths behind the winner, Lucarno, Soldier Of Fortune, Salford Mill (aka Helene Mascot), Mahler and Archipenko.
Now at stud in Turkey, Authorized is the sire of the Group 1 flat winners Hartnell, Santiago, Pounamu, Seal Of Approval, Complacent and Ambivalent, while his Grade 1 winners over jumps include Tiger Roll, Nichols Canyon, Let Me Love and Echoes In Rain]
Horses in Dublin city centre
THE Commissioner of An Garda Síochána, Noel Conroy, officially opened The Irish Landmark Trust’s latest restored property on Thursday.
Known as The Merrion Mews and Stables, the property is located at 63 Fitzwilliam Lane, behind the Merrion Hotel and adjacent to Leinster House. What makes this architectural gem such a rarity is that it includes the only intact Georgian stables in full use on the city of Dublin.
On a daily basis the stalls, immaculately restored with almost all of its original fittings, will be used by the members of the mounted unit of An Garda Síochána, and two of its members were present at the opening.
Founded in March, 1998, the mounted unit comprises 10 horses and 16 gardai, and they are housed permanently at Áras an Uachtaráin. As they principally operate in the city centre, this new home will provide a rest point for the horses and the gardai on duty.
The property is understood to be the only surviving intact example of Georgian domestic architecture with its 18th century house, garden, mews and stables.
The accommodation will also be used for self-catering holidays and special events. The coach house sleeps six people and includes a parking space. Many of the rooms incorporate equine-themed pictures.
The Irish Landmark Trust saves important heritage buildings throughout Ireland, and these properties are then let for short-term holidays. They range from gate lodges sleeping two people to lighthouses, and from tower houses to schoolhouses. They can be viewed and booked online at www.irishlandmark.com
Commissioner Conroy recounted that when the idea to instigate the mounted unit was first mooted, news filtered through that the Yorkshire Constabulary was disbanding its unit. Consequently, seven horses, tack, utensils and a transport were acquired for the princely sum of £36,000.
Major shock as Ballymoss lands Trigo Stakes
BIGGEST surprise of the evening meeting at Leopardstown yesterday week was the victory of Mr J McShain’s Ballymoss in the Trigo Stakes (1m 4f), the American-owned colt starting at 20/1, with stable companion Gladness (fifth) a 10/11 favourite.
Gladness had finished a good second under a big weight in the Irish Lincolnshire, but at Leopardstown was under pressure before the straight was reached. Ballymoss went clear rounding the final bend, and seemed likely to finish a comfortable winner, when Chevastrid, last into the straight, came with a powerful run.
[What a quality renewal of the Trigo Stakes that proved to be in 1957. The three-year-old Ballymoss, a son of Mossborough trained by Vincent O’Brien, ended a stellar career as a racehorse with eight wins, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Irish Derby, St Leger, Eclipse Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Coronation Cup. He was runner-up in the Derby at Epsom.
When Ballymoss was retired at the end of the 1958 racing season, his earnings of £114,150 were a record for a horse trained in Ireland or Britain, beating the mark of £76,577 set by Tulyar in 1952. His record stood until it was broken by Ragusa in 1963. At stud his most notable winner was Royal Palace.
The four-year-old Gladness, a daughter of Sayajirao, was also successful eight times, her principal victories being gained in the Ascot Gold Cup, the Champion Stakes at the Curragh and the Ebor Handicap at York. She bred the Irish Oaks winner Merry Mate, and she had a strong influence at stud through her daughters.
Her descendants include Royal Gait, winner of the Group 1 Prix du Cadran, Group 1 Prix Royal Oak and the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, champion Australian filly and Group 1 Victoria Oaks winner Taj Eclipse, Fawkner who is a three-time Group 1 winner, including the Caulfield Cup, South African Group 1 winner Noah From Goa, the Grade 1 Arkle Chase winner Contraband, and the brilliant sprinter Overdose]