Voce Del Palio claims surprise Ballyhane win for Joseph O’Brien

Mon 1 Aug 2022

Voce Del Palio claimed a surprise victory in the lucrative Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.

A field of 24 juveniles went to post for the €300,000 feature, with impressive course-and-distance winner Apricot Twist the 5-2 favourite to provide Ger Lyons, Colin Keane and Juddmonte with back-to-back victories following the success of the high-class Sacred Bridge 12 months ago.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained winner had opened his account at the second attempt at Roscommon in May, but having since been beaten twice at Leopardstown, he was a 28-1 shot under Declan McDonogh.

However, there were still plenty in with chances on both sides of the track racing inside the last of six furlongs and it was O’Brien’s son of Bated Breath who passed the post almost two lengths clear of the well-fancied Matilda Picotte, with Ocean Quest just a nose further away in third.

“He’s been a good horse and I thought his price was a bit disrespectful to him,” said O’Brien.

“He’s a solid horse, he was just dropping in trip which we weren’t sure about, but he obviously handled it well. He was always going to get it well and was dropping back from Group-race company.

“He’s in at Tipperary on Friday, but I’d say we’ll probably go to the Curragh for the Sportsman race, another sales race.

“This is a huge pot and it’s fantastic. The race is very well supported every year with such a big field and is always a very strong race.”

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