Last year’s Derby third White Birch made the perfect start to his four-year-old season with victory in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh.

Behind only the esteemed Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel at Epsom, John Murphy’s stable star was out of luck in two subsequent starts.

Sent on his way here as the 100-30 favourite, he showed he will be a force to be reckoned with this year, making ground from two furlongs out and keeping on strongly over the 10 furlongs of the Group Three affair to hold Maxux by a neck.

George Murphy, assistant to his father, said: “That was lovely, we’re delighted with that.

“You’d always be worried a bit about fitness on that sticky ground but he did it lovely in the end, behaved very well and we couldn’t be happier with him. It was a lovely way to start.

“He did everything right today, he was at the start for a good while and he was very chilled out. He travelled lovely throughout the race and did what he had to do when it mattered. He seems more mature.

“He’s in the Coronation (Cup) and in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, we’ll have a chat with the owners and see what they want to do from here. We’ll see how he comes out of it first and go from there.

“He’s clearly fairly good at a mile and a quarter, but obviously going back to a mile and a half is no issue either.”

Adrian Murray is keen to give Arizona Blaze more match practice ahead of a planned appearance at Royal Ascot following his impressive debut at the Curragh earlier this month.

The County Westmeath trainer saddled subsequent Group One winner Bucanero Fuerte to claim the first two-year-old race of the Irish turf campaign last year and repeated the feat with this son of first-season sire Sergei Prokofiev.

While Arizona Blaze’s victory was achieved in testing conditions, Murray would not be afraid to run him on a quicker surface as he looks to continue his education ahead of the showpiece meeting in Berkshire in mid-June.

“We were thrilled with the run and he’s come out of the race great. He was doing his best work at the finish on very testing ground and he looks like a decent horse,” said the trainer.

“He’ll probably have one more run and then we’ll go to Royal Ascot, all being well. We’ve no plans yet as we want to give him a bit of time to get over that first run.

“It’s hard to say what sort of ground he wants, he handled that heavy ground very well, but you’d be looking forward to getting him on a bit of better ground.”

Content put her experience to good use in reversing form with Kitty Rose in the Curragh’s Staffordstown Stud Stakes.

Natalia Lupini’s big-race favourite was two and a half lengths clear of Content when maintaining her unbeaten record at Leopardstown last month, but reopposing over a mile in this Group Three contest, it was Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of Galileo who came to the fore.

Sent off an unfancied 20-1 in the hands of Chris Hayes, Content cruised into the race stylishly from a patient start and entering the final furlong looked well placed to hunt down Kitty Rose, who was making a bold bid on the front end.

Content was soon matching strides with the 11-10 market leader and had enough in reserve to cruise two and a half lengths clear at the line, earning a 33-1 from 100-1 quote from Betfair for next year’s 1000 Guineas.

“It was a nice spare to get,” said Hayes, who has won on two of his three rides for O’Brien.

“She’s obviously well bred and if you ignored her last run and came straight here from Champions Weekend she had to have a chance.

“She rolled around a little bit late on, but it’s holding ground and we were after going an even tempo.

“Aidan wanted to teach her so it was important to get cover and a smooth run. I think she will improve and she won snug in the end.”

Illinois could have a bright future after making a taking introduction at the Curragh on Saturday.

Aidan O’Brien’s son of Galileo is a half-brother to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe champion Danedream as well as being a full-brother to Chester Vase scorer Venice Beach, although even with that bloodline he was relatively easy to back in going off at 4-1 for his first start in the Shoda Market Cafe Irish EBF Maiden.

He produced a professional performance in the hands of Seamie Heffernan and once easily making his way to the head of proceedings two furlongs from home, kept on stoutly in the closing stages for a three-length success.

Having advertised his potential over nine furlongs here, Betfair introduced the smart-looking colt at 20-1 for next year’s Derby.

An impressed Heffernan said: “He’s a beautiful colt. There’s not too many that you go down past the two and a half and they say ‘point me’. I actually got there a little sooner because I thought he’d take a bit of stoking.

“He has a lot going for him – pedigree, scope, size, action, wind. He’s pretty much a steering job and I’m going to miss these Galileo’s.”

One Look fairly bolted up in the Goffs Million at the Curragh on debut to ensure Paddy Twomey had a day he will never forgot.

Just over an hour after Deepone won the Group Two Beresford Stakes in fine style, One Look landed some hefty bets at 5-1 in the seven-furlong contest, worth €610,000 to the winner.

A filly by Gleneagles, she was smuggled into the race by Billy Lee before sprinting clear.

With just over a furlong to run Aidan O’Brien’s Cherry Blossom and Frankie Dettori had fought their way to the front and it seemed as if the pair were going to enjoy another big race success together.

However as soon as Lee released the handbrake on One Look she put the race to bed in a matter of strides, winning by six lengths.

“She’s a nice filly and she’s been a nice filly all year. I thought I would have run her earlier but it’s just the way it worked out and she was just ready to run this week,” said Twomey.

“I think she’s a nice filly and I gave her an (Irish) Guineas entry on Wednesday.

“I thought she was ready to start and good enough to be competitive. The plan was to track Frankie and see how we got on.”

When asked if the winner could run again this year he added: “I wouldn’t think so. That was a big performance to do that on debut. Maybe she’ll say yes but I doubt it.

“We have nice two-year-olds. I’m delighted as the owners (Connolly Racing Syndicate) sent me two horses this year for the first time and both have won first time out now. Juxtaposition won the first mile maiden at Leopardstown.”

Ger Lyons’ Pipsy (11-4) had beaten all bar the classy King Cuan on her debut and made no mistake in the Bermingham Cameras Photo Finish Irish EBF Maiden under Colin Keane.

“It was lovely and it was no more than you’d expect after seeing King Cuan, the first day in Cork and definitely the last day in Naas. He impressed me both times,” said Lyons.

“This filly has always been a filly we like and definitely a maiden winner. I said if she handles the ground she wins and if she doesn’t we’ll go to Dundalk – no problems.

“Colin was adamant she’d handle the ground and that she’ll handle Dundalk so we’ll go for the stakes race up there, the (Group 3) Mercury Stakes, and then we’ll put her away.

“It was her first day away at Cork, Paddy (Twomey’s) are always tuned to the minute and there was no third. I said ‘we’ve walked into one’.

“I felt a bit sorry for her then as she did everything right on her own that day.

“I said we’d see the truth of the race in Naas and I don’t think you could be any more impressed with the winner as he was beat, found a gear and took off again. I though then ‘he’s alright and we definitely walked into one’.

“We knew we had natural improvement and she’d win a good maiden but I was just worried about the ground.”

Deepone ensured a new name will go on the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes trophy as he provided Paddy Twomey with his first win in the Curragh contest.

Aidan O’Brien has won the Group Two a remarkable 21 times and fielded three runners on this occasion, all last time out winners and he had hired the services of Frankie Dettori for Navy Seal.

Colin Keane took the ride on Grosvenor Square while Gavin Ryan was on Chief Little Rock and with Joseph O’Brien running dual winner Stromberg, Twomey’s Study Of Man colt was almost fighting a lone battle against the O’Briens given the only other runner, Andy Oliver’s Ozark Daze, went off at 150-1.

With that possibly on his mind Billy Lee was ultra-positive on Deepone (3-1), who after winning his first two starts had finished second in a Listed race and fourth behind Diego Velazquez in a Group Two.

With two furlongs to run he had kicked almost five lengths clear and while the gap dwindled close to home, he still had a length and three-quarters to spare over Chief Little Rock who just edged out Grosvenor Square for second with Navy Seal and Dettori only fourth.

“He’s a nice horse, he’s been a work in progress and we’ve been educating him,” said Twomey.

“I felt he had come out of the last race in great form. I said to Billy that I was going to run him again and he kind of looked at me but I said I felt he was in good form.

“He’s a strong traveller and he finds plenty, I think he’s a mile-and-a-quarter or mile-and-a-half horse next year.

“Hopefully for Vimal (Khosla, owner) he’s a Derby horse for next year and that’ll be it for this year now.

“I’ve been dropping him in on turning tracks and there was plenty of traffic. I said to Billy ‘no nonsense today, get out there and let’s go and see if they are good enough’.

“He put them to the sword and I think he’s a good horse.”

Paddy Power cut him to 20-1 from 33s for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

Moss Tucker is being readied for a second tilt at the Prix de l’Abbaye following his Group One breakthrough at the Curragh earlier this month.

Having landed the Phoenix Sprint at the track in August, the five-year-old followed up in the Flying Five Stakes to provide trainer Ken Condon with his first top-level success in over two years.

While Moss Tucker was undoubtedly aided by the fact the likes of Highfield Princess, Bradsell and Art Power underperformed in Ireland, he was not beaten far when fifth in last year’s Abbaye and Condon is looking forward to seeing him head back across the Channel on Arc weekend.

“All being well, he goes to Longchamp. He was good at the Curragh obviously, and he seems to have come out of the race well,” said the Kildare-based trainer.

“He did run well in the Abbaye last year. Obviously, the draw is very crucial there and we’ll just have to see how that works out, but we’ve been happy with the horse so far.

“He’s upped his form again this year. He won the Phoenix Sprint prior to the Flying Five, which was a career-best, and he obviously stepped forward again then to win a Group One.

“He’s five years old now and he’s had a good few starts, but he’s obviously on very good terms with himself and seems to be improving.”

While Moss Tucker appears versatile when it comes to underfoot conditions, Condon is keeping his fingers crossed the ground is on the soft side at ParisLongchamp to give him the best possible chance of success.

He added: “We got the rain on the day at the Curragh and maybe that inconvenienced some of the quicker horses, whereas when there’s cut in the ground we know our horse is capable of running very well.

“Nine times out of 10 it’s relatively soft on Arc weekend and that won’t be a problem for this horse. He’s tough and reliable and he tries, so he has all the attributes for soft ground.”

Moss Tucker’s Flying Five win was a first Group One triumph for Condon since Laws Of Indices landed the Prix Jean Prat in the summer of 2021 and he admits it was nice to be back in the big time.

Condon said: “Group One wins are hard to come by and those kind of horses that are competitive in Group Ones are difficult to come by.

“It’s been a couple of years since we won one and the likeable thing about this lad is where he started and where he’s got to. It’s definitely been a good journey, he’s kept improving, he likes training and likes racing and has given his owners fantastic sport.”

Noel Meade is excited to see his promising juvenile Catch U Looking return to action in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Sixth behind subsequent Group Three winner Ylang Ylang on her debut, the daughter of Harzand opened her account in some style at the second time of asking when powering five lengths clear of her toiling rivals at Leopardstown.

Caught U Looking, who holds a Group One entry in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket in mid-October, has not been seen since that dominant success two months ago, but has been pleasing her trainer at home ahead of this weekend’s Group Three assignment.

“She had a little bit of a dirty nose and we just got held up so I had to wait until now,” said Meade.

“I think she’s in good shape and I’d be expecting a good run.”

Another Meade runner who will head to the Curragh with claims this weekend is Jesse Evans, who is due to contest the Friends Of The Curragh Irish Cesarewitch.

The seven-year-old has won his last two races on the Flat, with a narrow defeat to Zarak The Brave in the Galway Hurdle sandwiched in between.

Meade is keen for him to line up in the €600,000 showpiece, even if conditions may not be ideal.

He added: “The ground is the danger, if it gets very soft that might be a problem, but we’ll run anyway as it’s worth a lot of money.”

Clive Cox was left beaming with pride after Get Ahead came agonisingly near to breaking her Group One duck at the Curragh on Sunday – and is now keeping a close eye on the weather with a trip to Paris a possibility for his progressive filly.

The daughter of Showcasing has always been a consistent performer for the Beechdown Stables handler and owners Hot To Trot Racing but has excelled this season in claiming the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes earlier in the campaign before going close in a Chantilly Group Two in her next start.

Further respectable efforts have followed, including when tasting Group One action for the first time in the Nunthorpe, but she took her form to the next level when beaten half a length by Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker in the Flying Five Stakes.

The unfancied 22-1 shot looked to have done enough to secure the big-race shock before being passed late in the day, but having displayed she is still progressing, Cox is now crossing his fingers that conditions remain dry at ParisLongchamp over the next few weeks so Get Ahead can take her chance in the Prix de l’Abbaye on October 1.

“It was a fantastic run and I was so proud of her,” he said.

“I was very concerned when the storms blew through just before. But she got into a nice rhythm and finished off really strong and for a moment I thought we had it in the bag before the winner came by us close home, it was a really exciting run.

“She’s a wonderful filly and has just strengthened and continued progressing. We always had belief she would come good at the best level and she put in a top-class performance.

“I’m pleased that she has come home fine from the race and the journey. She does have an entry in the Abbaye. We have always felt she is better on better ground than soft ground, but on Sunday we probably witnessed that good to soft ground is not too bad.

“The Abbaye is a possibility, if it was too soft then that would be out of her bounds, but who knows, with the weather we have been getting recently we hope it might just remain in her favour all being well. We’re in the lap of the gods and it is interesting, but you do get a dry Arc weekend occasionally.”

Another Abbaye possible for Cox is his Beverley Bullet scorer Kerdos, who has delighted connections with his progress this term.

He has a plethora of options including this Sunday’s Betfred Scarbrough Stakes at Doncaster and the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes at Newbury on September 23.

“He only ran last weekend, so we are giving Doncaster consideration, but he does have a Listed penalty now,” said Cox.

“He also has an entry in the Abbaye and we have a Group Three at Newbury to consider on Dubai Duty Free day.

“We will just feel our way forwards with him having only run last week, but I was thrilled with how he equipped himself at Beverley and he has come out of the race really well.”

Three exciting Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In races will take place at Leopardstown on Saturday, with the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1) featured during an exceptional opening day on Irish Champions Weekend.

Amo Racing Limited's King Of Steel and Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Westerberg's Auguste Rodin (Ireland), will renew their rivalry, leading a nine-horse field in the 1 1/4-mile Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1).

The winner will gain an automatic berth into the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, an international series of 80 Graded/Group stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. That is scheduled to be held November 3 and 4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Two other Win and You're In berths will also be awarded at Leopardstown.

The winner of the Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes (G1) will earn an automatic starting position into the $2 million Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and the winner of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) will earn a free spot into the $1 million Prevagen Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Auguste Rodin, winner of the Betfred Derby (G1) and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1), will bid to bounce back to form after he was eased nearing the stretch in the July 29 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1) at Ascot.

The son of Deep Impact (Japan) seeks to give Aidan O'Brien a fifth straight win in the race, but will have to face again King Of Steel, the 9-4 favorite. King Of Steel finished third at Ascot last time out.

Alflaila (Great Britain) is set for his first shot at Group 1 glory after being supplemented by connections at a cost of €75,000. The Owen Burrows-trained colt made a triumphant return from nine months on the sidelines when powering home to lift the July 29 York Stakes (G2).

Last year's runner-up Onesto (Ireland) will bid to go one better for trainer Fabrice Chappet. The French raider found only Luxembourg (Ireland) too strong in a high-class renewal 12 months ago but will have the assistance of the red-hot Frankie Dettori in the saddle this year.

Luxembourg's most recent racecourse appearance was when he finished fourth behind Hukum (Ireland) in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes.

John and Thady Gosden are represented by Nashwa (Great Britain), who was last seen finishing second behind stablemate Mostahdaf (Ireland) in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1).

Joseph O'Brien's Al Riffa (France) has been the runner-up in both of his starts this year but was a big-race scorer in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (G1) during Irish Champions Weekend in 2022.

The“Nashwa is in great form,” John Gosden said.

“It takes a long time to get her into the racing zone but when she's there she really enjoys it. She's built very powerfully, and she takes her racing well; she's not a delicate filly. To that extent, we're game on to go to Ireland. It's a fabulous race and if we can run here and maybe one more time this year that would be great,” he added.

The field is completed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Sprewell (Ireland) and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Point Lonsdale (Ireland).

Thirteen horses were declared for Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes

H H Aga Khan's Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1) and Coronation Stakes (G1) heroine Tahiyra (Ireland) being the star attraction of the 13 fillies set to go to post for the one-mile Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes (G1) for a free berth into the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Trainer Dermot Weld also saddles high-class older filly Homeless Songs (Ireland), who is one of two hopefuls for Moyglare Stud Farm along with Paddy Twomey's Just Beautiful (Great Britain).

Aidan O'Brien has applied blinkers for the first time to Meditate (Ireland), attempting to regain the form that saw her win the 2022 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

Zarinsk (Great Britain) bids for a third straight win for Ger Lyons and Ralph Beckett's Prosperous Voyage (Ireland), while Tom Clover's Rogue Millennium (Ireland) and Olivia Maralda (Ireland), from Roger Varian's yard, all travel from Britain for the Group 1 contest.

Diego Velazquez Puts Unbeaten Record on the Line

Impressive Curragh scorer Diego Velazquez (Ireland), a son of Frankel (Great Britain), who won on debut by 4 3/4 lengths, is a hot favorite for KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) as one of three runners for Aidan O'Brien alongside Capulet and Democracy (Ireland).

The KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) over one mile will award the first automatic starting berth into this year's Prevagen Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).

Joseph O'Brien runs the supplemented Atlantic Coast and Bad Desire (Ireland), while Donnacha O'Brien saddles Bremen (Ireland).

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders' Cup will pay the entry fees for the Challenge Series winners to start at this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships. Breeders' Cup will also provide a travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders' Cup program by the Championships' pre-entry deadline of October 23 to receive the rewards.

The Irish Champions Weekend can be viewed live on SportsMax 2 starting at 7:30am Jamaica time (8:30am Eastern Caribbean) on Saturday from Leopardstown, and 6:15am Jamaica time (7:15am Eastern Caribbean) on Sunday, from the Curragh. 

Equality is headed to the Curragh after holding his own when finishing sixth in the Nunthorpe at York.

The five-year-old, who is trained by Charlie Hills, was a 50-1 shot on his first attempt at Group One level and was far from outranked when beaten just over three lengths.

The Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes on September 10 is now the aim as the bay has proved himself to be at home alongside the top sprinters over five furlongs.

Sam Hoskins, racing manager for owners Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds, said: “We were delighted with him, he ran a great race for sixth. He was probably just on the wrong side of the draw and not near enough to the pace on the far side, but he hit the line really strong and Danny Muscutt was very complimentary about him.

“The one thing it did prove is that he was up to the Group One level, so hopefully he can take the syndicate to more Group One races going forwards.

“I don’t think there’s that much between them at that level over five furlongs at the moment.

“The plan is to go to the Flying Five at the Curragh next time and that might not be totally dissimilar to the test he faced at Sandown when he won the Coral Charge.

“A stiff five furlongs might just suit him well and if he gets a better draw there, then he should have an each-way squeak.”

Hills had a sprint winner at the meeting in Equilateral, who took the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap aged eight to prove the trainer’s ability to keep seasoned sprinters sweet.

Hoskins said: “Charlie showed earlier in the with Equilateral that he can keep those sprinters going on for a while.

“Hopefully there’s lots more fun to come for us, he’ll stay with us forever and it’d be great to think that we could dream of winning a Group One one day.”

Runaway York winner Dragon Leader has another valuable sales race waiting for him after his taking victory in the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes at the Ebor meeting – his third win from three runs.

The Clive Cox-trained son of El Kabeir has the Weatherbys Scientific £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster in his sights now, a race in which he will carry a light weight as the concept of the contest is to assign runners a burden that corresponds to the median price of their respective sires’ yearlings sold at auction in 2022.

“It was thrilling, absolutely thrilling,” Hoskins said of the success.

“He’s been coming along nicely and won those two races early on, but that was amazing last week.

“There were lots of syndicate members up there and they were over the moon, it’s what we dream of.

“Our syndicate was set up in the late 1980s to try to win the Cartier Million sales race, so it’s kind of a full circle to win a big sales race – that was absolutely brilliant.

“The plan is to go for the big Weatherbys Scientific two-year-old sales race at Doncaster, because he’s by El Kabeir he’s got quite a low median price so he’s actually got bottom weight in the race which is really exciting.

“You’d hope he’d have a strong chance in a good field, then we can just see how we get on in that and decide what’s happening in the future.”

Last year’s St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov will bid to add the Irish equivalent to his CV when he heads to the Curragh on day two of the Irish Champions Festival.

It promises to be a big weekend for Roger Varian, who is poised to saddle crack middle-distance colt King Of Steel in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 9, while 24 hours later his star stayer will attempt to get back to winning ways and register his first success since his Doncaster Classic triumph 12 months ago in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.

The son of Dubawi was due to run at the Curragh in the Group Three Leger trial there earlier this month, but got worked up in the early stages of the journey to Ireland and was subsequently declared a non-runner.

Connections will now be hoping for a smoother trip when Eldar Eldarov heads to the Kildare track for his intended outing on September 10.

“He wasn’t travelling very well and we don’t know why because he’s never had that problem before,” explained Chris Wall, racing manager for owners KHK Racing Ltd.

“He got upset travelling and they thought rather than carry on to Ireland they would bring him home. I think they had got into north Wales just beyond Chester.

“The worry was if you put him on the ferry and it deteriorated into something like colic then you are in the middle of the sea and you can’t do anything about it. He just got his knickers in a twist about something so they brought him home.

“The target for him is to go to the Irish St Leger and that is very much still on the cards at the moment. He’s grand and it’s all systems go for that.”

Wall also revealed that the KHK Racing-owned Sakheer is unlikely to take up his engagement in Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup on September 9, but hopes to see the Zoffany colt back in action at Ascot in the Qipco British Champions Sprint on October 21.

Also trained by Varian, last year’s Mill Reef winner was not disgraced in the 2000 Guineas earlier this year, but having failed to truly stay the mile has been off the track since his first run back over sprinting distances in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

“He’s had a few niggly things after Ascot, but he’s back in work and we’re hoping to run him in something this autumn,” said Wall.

“I don’t think he’ll be ready for the Haydock race, that’s not far away now so he won’t make that. But we hope we might have him back for a run perhaps in the Champions Sprint and we’ll go from there.

“It’s been one of those years really where things haven’t quite gone his way, but we hope we can get him back on track and if not we’ll have to hope things go right for him next year instead.

“It’s a tough year at three and if you miss your slots early, which he did, then you haven’t much else and any obvious route back into things. It’s tough, but we haven’t given up on him yet.”

Opera Singer looks a filly destined to compete at the highest level after blitzing her rivals in the Newtownanner Stud Irish EBF Stakes at the Curragh.

The winner of a Leopardstown maiden on her second career start last month, the daughter of Justify was then narrowly denied by Paddy Twomey’s unbeaten juvenile A Lilac Rolla in a Curragh conditions race.

Stepping up to Group Three level, Opera Singer was the even-money favourite in the hands of Seamie Heffernan and rocketed six and a half lengths clear of stablemate Brilliant in scintillating style.

“She’s a lovely filly and she’s had a few lovely runs,” said trainer Aidan O’Brien.

“She had a lovely run the first day and then the second day she ran a stormer as well. Ryan (Moore) thought he was going to beat the winner the last day, the line just came a little bit soon but she’s come forward lovely.

“These Justifys improve, the minute they go up in distance they take off.”

When asked if Newmarket’s Fillies’ Mile could be a target, he added: “I’d say she’s that kind of filly, straightforward and goes forward.”

O’Brien and Heffernan completed a Group Three double on the card with the tough-as-teak Red Riding Hood in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes.

After cutting out much of the running, the 14-1 shot looked beaten after being given a reminder early in the straight and then being passed by 9-4 favourite American Sonja – but she battled back bravely against the rail to get back up and secure victory by a neck.

O’Brien’s representative Chris Armstrong said: “In fairness to Seamus he gave her a powerful ride, she’s not a straightforward filly.

“She has stacks of ability but though probably weakness and immaturity it’s only starting to come to the fore now.

“She’ll probably come back here on Champions Weekend for the Blandford Stakes and see how we go. Hopefully that will be a good confidence-booster for her and it’s onwards and upwards.”

The Twomey-trained Letsbefrankaboutit also justified favouritism in the the Heider Family Stables Round Tower Stakes.

The Sioux Nation colt was well touted ahead of his introduction over the course and distance a fortnight ago and while he had to make do with minor honours in third, he offered plenty of hope for the future.

He was a 2-1 market leader in this six-furlong Group Three and proved half a length too strong for Mansa Musa, with Billy Lee the winning pilot.

“He learned a lot the last day when he had to race on his own, he won his race,” said Twomey.

“He was a bit babyish before the race the last day but he was very good today, didn’t put a foot wrong, and did what I hoped he’d do.

“It takes a lot for me to run a maiden in a Group Three but I just thought he might be fit for it.

“He’s entered in everything and we’ll see how he is, I think he’ll be a nice horse in time.”

Willie McCreery’s Vespertilio ran out a smooth winner of the Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes at the Curragh.

Having shown a good level of form in her two races to date having been third at Fairyhouse on her debut before chasing home the smart Ylang Ylang in a Group Three last time out, she was sent off a 4-1 to shed her maiden tag in Group Two company.

She was ridden extremely confidently by Billy Lee, who dropped her out last of the eight runners, as Gavin Cromwell’s Royal Ascot winner Snellen helped force the pace, along with Betula.

Briefly Aidan O’Brien’s Pearls And Rubies looked a big threat, but all of a sudden on the outside Lee was sat there motionless.

The response was immediate as Vespertilio streaked away, with the Ger Lyons-trained Sakti keeping on for second, a length and three-quarters away.

“That was lovely. She ran a lovely race the last day,” said McCreery.

“Billy apologised for sitting back last, he didn’t want to sit that far back but he said she just got squeezed early and got lit up for a few strides so he just wanted to settle her.

“He did that first and she just happened to be back last. They were going a good gallop along and he was happy with her the whole way. She took him into the race beautifully and quickened up lovely.

“She gets a free entry now for the Moyglare and we’ll stick her in that now, I’m always trying to save a few quid!

“We’ll stay local, she actually qualified for a race in France today because she was bought in Arqana but I really wanted to come here instead of travelling at this time of year.

“She’s lovely, gorgeous, and she has tactical speed as well.”

Henry Longfellow enhanced his already tall reputation with a straightforward success in the Coolmore Stud Wootton Bassett Irish EBF Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.

Even by Coolmore standards his breeding stands out, being by Dubawi out of the brilliant mare Minding.

He was an easy winner on his debut 28 days previously and Aidan O’Brien wasted no time in stepping him up in grade to Group Two level.

Only four went to post and briefly Ryan Moore had to shake the market leader up, as Ger Lyons’ Spanish Flame appeared to be going marginally the better.

But once Henry Longfellow got himself sorted out and hit top gear, he soon breezed by and it looked as if he was going to go away and win by a large margin.

To the credit of Isandsinthestream, trained by Joseph O’Brien, he kept the 2-9 favourite honest, but there was still a comfortable two lengths between them at the line.

Not surprisingly updated Classic quotes were quickly available, with Henry Longfellow 5-1 from 9-1 for the 2000 Guineas with Betfair while Coral were less impressed and left him untouched at 16-1 for Newmarket and 12-1 for the Derby.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.