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Valeria completes big-race double for Harrington and Foley at Cork

Sun 12 Jul 2020

Valeria Messalina completed a big-race double for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley at Cork, in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes.

Foley sat in just behind the pace in the Group Three feature which closed the card, then pounced to lead inside the final furlong and win by half a length from a packing finish just behind.

Harrington and Foley were adding to the earlier success of Dickiedooda, who also returned to winning ways in the Listed Coolmore Caravaggio Tipperary Stakes.

Valeria Messalina capped their profitable day with her 11-2 success from Unforgetable – trained by Joseph O’Brien, who had also celebrated a double earlier on the card thanks to Edessan and Fame And Acclaim.

Valeria Messalina appeared to appreciate the step back to seven furlongs, having finished ninth in last month’s Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Foley was three places better that day, on the yard’s Guineas favourite Albigna.

After Valeria Messalina had got back to the winner’s enclosure, he said: “I wasn’t sure if she’d stay in the Guineas – and I don’t think she did.

“Seven (furlongs) is a good trip for her, and I knew the track would suit her because she is a strong traveller and stuck at it well.

“She was just touched off at Newmarket (in the Oh So Sharp Stakes last October).

“Her form is there, and she was in front in the Guineas with 150 yards to go, so she is a good filly.”

Dickiedooda had earlier got the better of Grammata, for the second time in their three meetings.

Harrington’s Starspangledbanner filly had Grammata in second on their Curragh debuts last month, only to then finish behind that rival when only 10th in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

But Dickiedooda set the record straight, tracking the pace set by Mooneista, before taking over two furlongs out under Foley and staying on emphatically to beat favourite Grammata into second again – by a length and three-quarters, at 11-4.

The victory came as no surprise to Foley.

He said: “I thought she would confirm (Curragh) form with Grammata, because the ground was very dead at Ascot – and the quicker the ground the better for her.

“She has improved even from Ascot, and has grown. She is an exciting, fast filly; she is by a very good stallion, and I think getting six furlongs will be no problem in time.

“The (ownership) syndicate (Alpha Racing 2020) have had a lot of luck this year so far, and this is an important win for them.”

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