A stylish victory for Toronto and Emmet McNamara as the pair take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Leopardstown Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post
Ballingarry trainer Charles Byrnes has the Galway summer festival on his mind for Doctor Duffy after he landed the novice hurdle over three miles at Kilbeggan on Monday evening. The 11-10 favourite showed a smart turn of foot in a slowly run race to beat Jerandme by one length. Tralee native Phillip Enright was the winning jockey on board.
With Ballydoyle's main riders in action at Royal Ascot, the way was clear for one of their other riders to seize an opportunity, and it was Rathkeale native Emmet McNamara who didn't spurn his as he partnered the once-raced Toronto to victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2-y-o Maiden at Leopardstown on Thursday. The 8-11 favourite disputed the lead for the first half of the race, was kicked on by McNamara turning into the straight, and despite losing concentration a little in the last furlong, had more than enough in hand to hold off stable companion Arthur's Kingdom by a length.
Anthony Van Dyck and Broome bound for Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
Anthony Van Dyck, the Investec Derby winner, and Broome, who finished fourth in the Epsom Classic, will head Aidan O’Brien's bid for a 13th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby win at the Curragh on Saturday.
However, impressive King Edward VII Stakes winner and Derby third Japan will be kept in reserve for a choice of targets next month. Ten Sovereigns, who finished fourth when favourite for the Commonwealth Cup, is likely to be kept to sprinting. The Kerry gold Irish Oaks is a possible target for Fleeting, who came from behind to finish second in the Ribblesdale Stakes on Thursday. Arizona, who gave O'Brien his ninth Coventry Stakes win on Tuesday, is likely to head next for the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 9.
Tenth trainers title for O’Brien at Royal Ascot
Aidan O’Brien was crowned top trainer at Royal Ascot last week after sending out five winners over the five days. O'Brien extended his record as the most successful trainer in the Coventry Stakes when Arizona gave him a ninth victory in the most prestigious two-year-old race at Royal Ascot on Tuesday. The son of No Nay Never, who won the Norfolk at the 2013 royal meeting, was an impressive winner at the Curragh last month and showed guts and heart to prevail, picking up well for Ryan Moore to reward those who had sent him off the 15-8 favourite. Circus Maximus gave O'Brien a record eighth win in the St James's Palace Stakes as he first out battled Too Darn Hot before holding the late lunge of King Of Comedy. Supplemented after finishing sixth in the Derby, Circus Maximus was the beneficiary of a fine ride from Ryan Moore, who kicked at the perfect time on the winner to secure a second success in the race after Gleneagles in 2015. Circus Maximus was returned at odds of 10-1.
It took until the final race for the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore to get on the board on day two of Royal Ascot as Southern Hills won for the first time in the Windsor Castle Stakes. The son of exciting first-season sire Gleneagles, sent off a 7-1 shot, saw off the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Platinum Star in second by half a length. The striking chestnut was always handily positioned throughout but saw daylight from the two-furlong mark and, in another excellent ride from Moore, came clear of his rivals. The juvenile holds an entry for the Group 2 Railway Stakes later this month and the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes in August, a race his trainer has won 16 times previously including with Air Force Blue and Caravaggio. It was a similar story on Thursday as O’Brien’s only success on the day arrived in the concluding King George V Stakes as 22-1 outsider South Pacific led home a 1-2-3 for the Ballydoyle maestro with Constantinople in second and Eminence in third. Perhaps the victory which would have given O’Brien most pleasure was that of Japan in King Edward VII Stakes as the Derby third burst clear in the closing stages under Moore for a four and a half length victory. He was 5-4 favourite.
Ballinrobe - Monday, June 24 (First Race 5.50)
Naas - Wednesday, June 26 (First Race 6.00)
Curragh - Thursday, June 27 (First Race 5.45)
Curragh - Friday, June 28 (First Race 3.15)
Curragh - Saturday, June 29 (First Race 1.45)