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By PA Sport Staff. Last Updated: 04/05/09 5:45pm
Curtain Call - impressive winner.
Curtain Call returned to winning ways with a clear-cut victory in the High Chaparral EBF Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh on Monday.
The four-year-old was making a flying start to the season following a disappointing Classic campaign.
Winner of the Beresford Stakes as a juvenile for trainer Jessica Harrington, he was switched to Luca Cumani's Newmarket stables last term.
However, the Derby at Epsom was not run to suit while he suffered serious interference when looking likely to make the frame in the Irish equivalent.
Curtain Call managed to put all that behind him in this Group Three though, with Fran Berry riding a shrewd race from the front.
He kicked for home three furlongs out in the mile-and-a-quarter heat and although Famous Name came with a wet sail in the final furlong, Curtain Call had already flown.
The 3-1 shot ran out a three-length winner with Moiqen back in third.
"We didn't want to make the running, but that was Plan B if no-one else made it. Plan A was to sit in behind," said Cumani.
"He has a good turn of foot and Fran gave him a peach of a ride. He did the perfect job out in front and you could call him the winner a long way out.
"He was in front a long time and was idling a bit. He knows where the unsaddling boxes are here and wanted to go back to them.
"I'm happy to start the season off like that and I hope I do a better job than I did with him last year.
"We will keep him to good or soft ground. He won't run on fast ground again.
"He will go wherever it rains and he could quite possibly come back to Ireland for the Tattersalls Gold Cup."
Trainer Jim Bolger and jockey Kevin Manning landed a 22-1 double highlighted by the victory of Vocalised in the Dylan Thomas EBF Tetrarch Stakes.
The 8-15 favourite followed up his Greenham Stakes victory with a further Group Three success.
Chief Lone Eagle cut out the early pace but Vocalised was settled on his heels and Manning just bided his time before kicking on in the final furlong and a half.
Count John looked ready to make a battle of it briefly, but Vocalised had too many guns and Manning just had to give him a crack to pull away by a comfortable length and three-quarters.
Chief Lone Eagle stayed on for second again with Count John taking third.
Vocalised has won three of his four career starts with his only defeat coming at the hands of subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Sea The Stars on his racecourse bow.
Bolger is now hoping Vocalised can land his own Classic success and is targeting a crack at the Boylesports Irish 2000 Guineas back at this track on May 23.
"He will go for the 2000 Guineas and I just hope for better ground as he struggled a bit in that," said the trainer.
The Coolcullen team had struck earlier with Atasari (14-1) in the Strategic Prince EBF Maiden.
The filly rallied well to deny newcomer Clashnacree by half a length, with evens favourite Alfred Nobel third.
Bolger said: "Her mother (Azra) was placed in the National Stakes and Moyglare Stakes and she needs a mile already. She handles that ground better than the others and is a nice filly."
Emily Blake made every yard of the running for a surprise success in the Group Three Oratorio European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes.
Murtagh had the filly smartly away and just let the 9-1 shot bowl along in front before starting the push for home around two furlongs out.
Mad About You, the 5-4 favourite, came through to challenge but she could not peg back the gutsy winner, who came home a length and three-quarters to the good.
It was a fourth career success for Emily Blake, who was runner-up in this race 12 months ago.
"She loves that ground and it makes all the difference to her and we delighted to have the services of Johnny Murtagh today, he is a great help to us every season," said trainer John Hayden of the filly named after his granddaughter.
"I never thought she would be good enough to win a Group Three so I am delighted and if all is well, she will run over six furlongs in a Group Three for fillies next."