One Voice on cue with victory in Blue Wind Stakes

Sun 21 Jun 2020

One Voice got the better of a thrilling duel with Snow to claim Group Three honours in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes at Leopardstown.

Runner-up on her debut at the same course before going one better there last July, Jessica Harrington’s filly was last seen going down by just a nose to stablemate Silence Please in the Listed Salsabil Stakes at Navan this month.

The daughter of Poet’s Voice was a 16-5 chance to get back on the winning trail on her return to Leopardstown – but it did not look all that likely leaving the back straight, with jockey Shane Foley starting to get to work towards the rear of the field.

However, One Voice began to respond to her rider’s urgings after rounding the home turn and picked up smartly once asked for maximum effort to grab the lead.

Snow made a real race of it heading into the final furlong of the mile-and-a-quarter contest, but Harrington’s charge always appeared to be doing enough and held the Ballydoyle inmate at bay by half a length.

One Voice knuckles down to win the Blue Wind Stakes in gutsy fashion

Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother, said: “I think she deserved that after getting touched off by Silence Please the last day.

“She’s a lovely filly. She’s in the Kilboy Estate Stakes (Curragh, July 19), and I’d say that will be her next target.

“She was meant to make the running – and as Shane said, it was plan Z. It worked out today – maybe that’s the way to ride her, and we were doing it wrong.

“Because he said he was going to make the running on her, we actually put a soft rubber bit in her as she has a very light mouth. I’d say going down the back, when she was being keen, he was cursing me for doing that – but it worked out.

“She has a really good attitude, she’s a lovely progressive filly and will keep stepping forward. It’s lovely to get a winner for Craig (Bernick, owner), because that’s the first horse we’ve had for him.”

Oodnadatta was part of a memorable weekend for the trainer with an impressive debut victory that sealed the first leg of a double.

The Moone-based trainer landed the Coronation Stakes for the second time in three years at Royal Ascot on Saturday when Alpine Star followed in the hoofprints of her half-sister Alpha Centauri with a runaway success.

There is a little way to go yet to reach that level for Harrington’s winner of the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden – but Oodnadatta could hardly have made a more perfect start to her career, making every yard of the running and passing the post a length and a half clear.

“We had this race earmarked for her for a good while," said Kate Harrington.

“She’ll more than likely take the same route that Cayenne Pepper did last year – a winners of one, and then the Flame Of Tara Stakes.”

The Irish 2,000 Guineas-winning combination of trainer Ger Lyons and jockey Colin Keane struck in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden, with 3-1 shot Ides Of August outpointing 11-4 favourite Southern Cape by half a length.

“He’s a nice horse. You might not see him back too quick, because he’s only a project and he needs to get stronger,” said Lyons.

“He wants every yard of the seven furlongs. We won’t rush him – you’ll see him next over a mile. He’s still just a baby.”

Lyons and Keane had good prospects of completing a double in the three-year-old maiden, but 4-5 favourite Lough Cutra was ultimately no match for Aidan O’Brien’s Numen (7-1).

A son of Galileo out of the top-class racemare Divine Proportions, the youngster took a big step forward from his Naas debut of a fortnight ago to score by three and a half lengths in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

There was a surprise result to the three-year-old fillies’ maiden, with the line just coming in time to allow 20-1 shot Getawiggleon and Conor Maxwell to repel the late thrust of 6-4 favourite Epona Plays by a short head.

Winning trainer David Geary said: “That’s my first winner, and I’ve only had a few runners over a period of time. It’s a nice day and a nice place to get a winner.

“I’m a farrier by trade and just have another two-year-old in training, who will start in another two or three weeks. Hopefully I’ll maybe get a few more.

“She’s been there or thereabouts. Hopefully she can pick up a few more races along the way.”

Joey Sheridan’s 7lb claim was crucial to the triumph of the Denis Hogan-trained Turbine in the Holden Plant Rentals Handicap, with just half a length separating the 14-1 shot and runner-up Equitant at the line.

“It’s his first run in a long time, but he’s been ready to run a while,” said Hogan.

“I think the handicapper has given him a chance – and along with Joey’s claim, it’s been a huge help to him. He probably was well in today.

“There are a couple of options for him, and Galway will be on the cards because he’s run well there before.”

Lieutenant Silver caused a 50-1 shock in the Leopardstown Handicap. Off the track for more a year, Padraig Roche’s grey was produced fast and late by Gary Halpin and got up to score in the dying strides.

“It wasn’t really a surprise. He didn’t really show us much last year, but Mark and Aisling (Gittins, owners) took him home – and the credit must go to them, because they did a great job with him,” said Roche.

“It was probably a very ordinary race, and we’ll look for something similar. He might even get a bit further.

“He’s schooled at home. We’ll see what Mark and Aisling want to do, but we might keep him to the Flat and go for a hurdle later on in the year.”

Patrick Sarsfield was a well-backed and impressive winner of the closing TRI Equestrian Handicap, scooting clear to score by five lengths as the 6-5 favourite under Declan McDonogh for Joseph O’Brien.

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