So Perfect and Etoile star in sparkling four-timer for Aidan O'Brien at Naas

Sun 19 May 2019

Watch what Aidan O'Brien had to say to Gary O'Brien after the victories of So Perfect and Etoile at Naas on Sunday.

So Perfect justified odds-on favouritism in the Goffs Lacken Stakes as Aidan O'Brien enjoyed a four-timer at Naas on Sunday.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly had shown top-class form as a juvenile, finishing second to Advertise in the Phoenix Stakes and winning a Group Three.

She made a pleasing reappearance this season when third in the Fred Darling at Newbury, but her career now looks set to lie over sprinting trips after she showed a smart turn of foot at this six furlongs.

Watch how So Perfect landed the Lacken Stakes

Ryan Moore brought her with a race-winning move down the centre of the track, which has not been the place to be so far this season at Naas. That mattered little, though, as they powered away to win by two and a quarter lengths.

So Perfect was sent off the 9-10 favourite, and Royal Ascot is now on the cards for the three-year-old.

Gustavus Weston was second at 50-1, with Flash Gordon third.

“She’s a big, powerful mare and has the option of the Commonwealth (Cup) or the King’s Stand. I’m delighted we came back (in trip) with her,” said O’Brien.

Paddy Power cut her to 12-1 from 25s for the Commonwealth Cup.

Earlier, Etoile made a winning debut in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes.

Ballydoyle interests pre-race had concentrated on Ryan Moore’s mount, So Wonderful, who had finished second to Ger Lyons’ Peace Charter last time out – and the pair met again.

However, odds-on favourite So Wonderful never looked like threatening – and while Peace Charter stayed on for pressure for Colin Keane, it was Etoile who showed the best turn of foot.

American Lady led against the far rail  and held her advantage until deep inside the final furlong – but she had no answer to Etoile, who burst out of the pack in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

The 12-1 chance won by half a length, with Peace Charter second and Celtic Beauty third. The winner was given a 5-1 quote by Paddy Power for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“She is a work companion with the other filly and is very well bred,” said O’Brien. “Seamus was just saying that he rode her mother (Gagnoa) in the Irish Oaks to finish third behind two of ours (Moonstone and Ice Queen in 2008).

“She was working nicely, but first time it was a big ask for her. Obviously it was a good performance from a first-time-out filly, and you would imagine there would be plenty of improvement.

“I’d imagine she will go now for the Albany at Ascot.”

Pistoletto overcame some superficial injuries to land short odds and book his place at Royal Ascot in the Coolmore Gustav Klimt Race.

O’Brien’s War Front colt was expected to tee himself up for a journey to England, facing just three rivals, and was sent off the 1-5 favourite under Ryan Moore.

Pistoletto did, though, become unsettled at the start, losing two shoes, and it later became apparent he had bitten his tongue – causing it to bleed.

Pistoletto edges ahead close home to land the Coolmore Gustav Klimt Race at Naas

All that may have affected his performance – but he was pushed all the way by Red Epaulette and Wyndham Belle, winning by half a length.

“He banged his hip going into the stalls and then got upset and kicked off both his back shoes,” said O’Brien.

“There are plenty of marks on his back legs, so he did well really. It wasn’t a good experience for him.

“All being well, he will go to Ascot, and (either) five or six (furlongs) wouldn’t be a problem. He laboured today, and we thought he’d win easier, but there are plenty of reasons for it.”

Ger Lyons and Colin Keane continued their good recent run of form when Kaftan reeled in Dermot Weld’s Kiss For A Jewel close home in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

A promising fourth on her only outing last season, the favourite got first run – but Kaftan (4-1) quickened nicely and looks another nice prospect for owner Khalid Abdullah.

“The fillies have been very slow coming to hand,” said Lyons. "They have not been showing anything, but there is no prize money at home.

“They are all ready to start, just like she is, and there is plenty of improvement in her. She looks a 10-furlong filly, going forward.

“Her first run is Group Three form, and I know Dermot likes his filly, so you would like to think she’s a black-type filly in the making.

“I don’t think she’s mature enough for Ascot, so we’ll stay at home and let her come along slowly.

“It’s nice to see that, because there are a bunch of fillies ready to start that aren’t setting the place on fire at home.”

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