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Gleneagles, Raydara, Leading Light and Hall of Mirrors land Irish Champions Weekend Trials

August 24, 2014

Gleneagles (8/13f) continued his progress through the ranks with an authoritative victory in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.
Convergence took the five-runner field along, butGleneagles on his inner started to make good headway at the two pole. He grabbed the lead with a furlong and a half to go and was soon clear under Joseph O’Brien.

Joseph Murphy’s Vert De Grece (8/1) stayed on strongly from last to chase the winner in the final furlong. He closed to within three parts of a length at the line, butGleneagles was never threatened.

“I’m delighted with that. He quickened up really well but didn’t do much in front. He had to move when the gap opened on the rail,” Aidan O’Brien said.

“He could possibly come back here for the National (Stakes) but he has plenty of options. He has plenty of speed. He’s a brother to Marvellous and a mile won’t a problem. He’s able to change gears. He quickened up there and went two or three lengths up easily but then started to idle.”

His last two runs saw him win in maiden and Group 3 company respectively.

Paddy Power and Boylesports both cutGleneagles to 16/1 from 25/1 for next year’s 2,000 Guineas.

This was a Curragh double for Aidan O’Brien as Hall Of Mirrors won the earlier Royal Whip Stakes

Mick Halford’s Raydara showed electric pace to go from last to first and swoop to win the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh.
She made her move under Shane Foley with a furlong and a half to race and the Aga Khan colours were spotted flashing home down the outside to collar Lucida well inside the final furlong. Ultimately she won cosily by half a length at 11/1.

Jim Bolger’s Lucida had impressively won a winners’ race on debut at Naas. This was a step up in class on her second start. She travelled well in mid-division and got a lovely run along the rail to head Qualify just over a furlong from home. She kept on well but was swamped by the fast-finishing winner. Lucida was backed down to 3/1 joint favourite from an opening show of 5s.

Toogoodtobetrue was a length and three parts further back in third. She saw plenty of cash in the betting market as she was returned at 11/1 from 14/1 opening show and 20s in the morning.

Mick Halford said: “I’m thrilled with her. When she won her maiden she made the running after finding herself in front, but I thought we made a little bit too much use of her the last day. We’re only learning about her. She got a break to freshen her up after that. We took her away to the Curragh the other day and she worked very well.

“Shane said she went up through the gears pretty good and he was delighted. She’s a very smart filly. Today was a big test and she came through it well.

“I’ll talk to Pat (Downes) now and he’ll discuss plans with his Highness. The Moyglare is the obvious target, but she does love it fast and she might have had enough for this year. She’s had her four runs and this is the time of the season that fillies can start to go off.”

Leading Light landed the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger and is now set to take his chance in the final Irish classic race of the season on 14th September

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