War cruises to glory

Last Updated: 05/05/14 6:34pm

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The Great War saunters to victory under Joseph O'Brien

The Great War saunters to victory under Joseph O'Brien

Sky Bet

A review of the rest of Monday's action from the Curragh where The Great War stamped his class on proceedings.

The Great War had little trouble securing his second victory from as many starts as he scooted clear of his rivals in the Most Improved EBF Race.

Having justified long odds-on favouritism with an impressive racecourse debut at Tipperary almost a fortnight ago, Aidan O'Brien's colt was a 1/9 favourite for his second assignment over five furlongs.

Arriana and Bluerince Lady were quickly away and disputed the early running, but The Great War was never too far from the pace and Joseph O'Brien cut a confident figure as he prepared to unleash his mount over a furlong down.

The $1million War Front colt quickly put the race to bed without being extended, cruising home three lengths clear of Cork winner Bwana.

Newcomer Intense Style ran with plenty of promise in third.

O'Brien snr, who also struck on the card with Magician in the feature High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes, said: "I'm delighted with that. He's fast and he's made a lovely progression from Tipperary. He could come back here for the Marble Hill Stakes, if the ground was fast. If not he could go straight to Royal Ascot."

Dermot Weld is considering a tilt at the Irish 2,000 Guineas for Alkasser (10/1) after the Cork maiden winner turned in a smart display in the Listed Power European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes, with Leigh Roche standing in for suspended stable jockey Pat Smullen.

Weld said: "Leigh rode him with extreme confidence and delivered the goods.

"I'll speak with Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) and Angus Gold (racing manager), but it's quite possible we might run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

"Whether he'll get a mile is another thing.

"I was concerned today about him getting seven furlongs, but he got it well."

Flying Jib could also be in Classic contention after striking gold for Weld and Kevin Manning in the Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes.

A winner at Dundalk and at this track as a juvenile, the 2/1 favourite mowed down Peace Burg to take this Group Three by half a length on her seasonal reappearance.

Weld said: "Kevin gave her a strong drive and the filly responded. You'd have to consider her for the Irish 1,000 Guineas now.

"She won a Listed race well here last year and I think she'll appreciate a mile."

Trainer Eddie Lynam and apprentice jockey Robbie Downey combined to take the Irish Field Handicap with 14/1 shot Lady Mega.

Lynam said: "She did it well. The kid rode her very well and rode to instructions. We might take a chance and go up a furlong and run her at Naas next week."

There was a thrilling climax to the Keadeen Leisure Club & New Beauty Room Handicap, with the judge unable to split 11/2 shot Azurite and Roche-ridden 10-1 chance Breathe Easy.

Fran Berry produced 9/1 shot Woodsophiesmile with a withering late run to clinch the PG Duffy & Sons Citroen Handicap for trainer Tony Martin.

Trainer Eddie Lynam and apprentice jockey Robbie Downey combined to take the Irish Field Handicap with 14-1 shot Lady Mega.

Off the track since finishing fifth in a Dundalk handicap back in mid-November, the Kodiac filly found enough for pressure to edge out Catwilldo by a length.

Lynam said: "She did it well. The kid rode her very well and rode to instructions. They went very hard up front. "We might take a chance and go up a furlong and run her at Naas next week."

Runaway Cork winner Alkasser took a step up to Listed class in his stride with a smart display in the Power European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes.

Dermot Weld's charge won by six lengths in Mallow little over a fortnight ago, but was a 10-1 shot for this much tougher assignment, with Leigh Roche standing in for suspended stable jockey Pat Smullen.

The Jim Bolger-trained Focus On Venice made a bold bid for home on the far side of the track, but Alkasser wore him down inside the last of the seven furlongs to take the prize by three-quarters of a length.

Bolger's second string Intensical made late headway to grab third spot, but favourite Shining Emerald was unable to make his presence felt.

Weld said: "It was a confident ride by Leigh. I told him to do exactly the same as he did on Tested at Gowran Park on Sunday. "He rode him with extreme confidence and delivered the goods.

"I'll speak with Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) and Angus Gold (racing manager), but it's quite possible we might run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Whether he'll get a mile is another thing. "I was concerned today about him getting seven furlongs, but he got it well."

Weld completed a double on the afternoon as Flying Jib made a winning return in the Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes.A winner at Dundalk and at this track as a juvenile, the daughter of Oasis Dream (2-1 favourite) completed the hat-trick in the hands of Kevin Manning.O'Brien's Peace Burg looked to have pinched it but Flying Jib gradually reeled her in to take the Group Three by half a length.Wannabe Better was third.Weld said: "Kevin rode a double for me a number of years ago at Leopardstown when Pat was away in Australia."He gave her a strong drive and the filly responded."You'd have to consider her for the Irish 1,000 Guineas now."She won a Listed race well here last year and I think she'll appreciate a mile."My one concern today was that this would be a furlong too short for her, but she battled well and the extra furlong will suit."
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