Kessaar gives Kieran O’Neill a winner to remember at Kempton

Sat 8 Sep 2018

Kieran O’Neill enjoyed a deserved moment in the spotlight as he secured his first Pattern-race success with a stylish victory aboard Kessaar in the 188Bet Casino Sirenia Stakes at Kempton.

Having chalked up the second half-century of his career this season, the 30-year-old, who rides Eclipse and Juddmonte International winner Roaring Lion in his work at home, enjoyed another first after partnering the son of Kodiac to glory in the six-furlong Group Three prize.

Coming from off the pace, the 9-1 shot swept past Junius Brutus during the closing stages, before crossing the line with two and a half lengths to spare, completing a double for trainer John Gosden who had earlier claimed the September Stakes with Arc heroine Enable.

O’Neill said: “It is my first Group-race win, but I’ve waited long enough for it. I thank the boss Mr Gosden for the opportunity. It such a big day with Enable winning and it is nice to get one for the team.

“It was nice to get the half-century for the year and now my first Group winner. I’m really delighted.”

Thady Gosden, assistant to his father, said: “He won well at Windsor, then he went to Ripon next time for a Listed race but didn’t handle the track at all. He hit every ridge and undulation possible, so that was a bit of a disaster.

“He is a nice little horse and settled well in behind. We could possibly step him up to seven next time.”

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