Digeanta wins Tote Irish Cesarewitch for Willie Mullins
October 11, 2015
Willie Mullins Ireland’s perennial champion jumps trainer also grabbed the big race of the day at the Curragh when Digeanta was the ultra-brave winner of the Tote Irish Cesarewitch.
Sent off a 16-1 chance after disappointing at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champions Weekend, Digeanta was right back to top form and was given a very positive ride from jockey Billy Lee, who seemed determined to utilise his horse’s stamina. That was to come in very useful up the long Curragh home stretch because for all the world it looked as if Digeanta would be swallowed up by the closing pack.However Lee had kept enough up his sleeve and he and his willing partner dug deep to record a famous victory. The horse is owned by Dr Peter Moran and was the winner from 25-1 chance Guard Of Honour with Sea Pride (7-1) in third and Western Boy back in fourth at 8-1.
FRESH from Group 1 victories at Newmarket on Friday and Saturday with Minding and Air Force Blue, trainer Aidan O’Brien added two more juvenile victories to his season’s tally when landing the opening maiden at the Curragh this afternoon before following up with a victory in the listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes with Best In The World.
Ryan Moore was in the saddle for both and he had an armchair ride on the opening winner, Black Sea, who dominated the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Well backed and sent off a 5-6 favourite to build on an opening fourth at Gowran Park, he always travelled well for Moore and kicked for home just outside the furlong pole to eventually beat 100-1 shot Red Rannagh by two lengths with Awtaad, at 9-1, back in third.
Moore and O’Brien didn’t have to wait long to complete their doubles: Best In the World was a shade unlucky when second on her debut at Gowran but made no mistake in the Listed fillies contest. She was backed form even money into 4-6 on the track and once Moore found a gap inside the final furlong she always looked to be doing enough to win. She’s well bred too, being a sister to the talented Found.
Dolce Strega ran really well to finish second at 16-1 with Rayisa back in third at 7s.
EDDIE LYNAM has become a real sprint specialist in recent seasons and the trainer of Sole Power and Slade Power could have another speedster on his hands judging by the victory of Fort Del Oro in this afternoon’s Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh.
Sent off a well-backed 3-1 second favourite, Fort Del Oro travelled nicely on the heels of the leaders for jockey Billy Lee who produced her at the furlong pole and Lynam’s filly found plenty to hold off Ryan Moore and his challenge aboard 4-1 chance The Happy Prince.
The winner is owned by Ballylinch Stud and Lynam’s dominance of the Listed race was confirmed by the fact that he also trained the third home, 16-1 shot Gathering Power. The 13-8 favourite, Toscanini, was unplaced.
IT has been another wonderful season for champion jockey elect Pat Smullen and he landed the final winner of the card at the Curragh this afternoon when 5-2 second-favourite won the Finale Stakes, a Listed event, the last of its kind at the Curragh before it brings the curtain down on the season on Tuesday afternoon.
Variable has always been highly thought of by trainer Dermot Weld and we could see this afternoon just why: always travelling sweetly for Smullen near the rear of the five runner field, she made her ground easily in the straight and sauntered clear of the runner-up – and 2-1 favourite – Ebbaya.100-30 shot Sea Moon was back in third.