Ten Sovereigns impresses Aidan O’Brien on Curragh debut

Group One ambitions for Ballydoyle inmate

  • Saturday 25 August
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Ten Sovereigns made a most impressive debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien’s No Nay Never colt was a 5-1 shot in a field of 25 runners and showed a smart change of gear in the hands of the trainer’s son, Donnacha, to leave each of his rivals trailing in his wake.

Carbon Fibre filled the runner-up spot, some seven lengths behind the emphatic winner.

O’Brien said: “You’d be delighted with him. He looks a very nice horse.

“He was working like a nice horse, but usually ours all get beat first time. Obviously he’s very nice and that’s the bottom line. He’s a big, powerful horse as well.”

Ten Sovereigns holds Group One entries in the Middle Park, National Stakes and Dewhurst and O’Brien said: “He’d need another run anyway before he’d step up. You’d like to go somewhere with him if you could.

“It’s hard what he did there. He came up the middle by himself and he kept going away to the line. That’s a hard thing to do here.

“Donnacha was very impressed by him.”

The father and son combination had earlier teamed up with Mount Everest, as he made it third time lucky in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

A son of Galileo out of the top-class racemare Six Perfections, the youngster finished sixth on his Curragh debut at the start of July before being beaten when odds-on at Cork a fortnight ago.

However, he rewarded those who kept the faith in this one-mile contest, travelling strongly on the front end and passing the post a length and a quarter clear to oblige as the 6-4 favourite.

Yonkers was five lengths clear of the rest in second.

The winning trainer said: “I’m delighted with him. We were surprised how green he was the last day in Cork, but that can happen sometimes with ours, even though he had a run. He was just very at sea.

“He was still very babyish today. We think he is going to be a lovely colt in time, but he’s still growing up.

“He has a big, massive engine, he was half-speeding really. He’s after having three runs and we won’t force him now, as he knows plenty now.”

Asked about future plans, O’Brien said: “It depends on what happens after this. We’d be thinking of something like the Beresford if he goes again.

“I think he’s just more babyish than wanting a trip. He’s just going through the motions.”

The O’Briens went on to complete a four-timer on the afternoon, with Flag Of Honour (9-4 favourite) landing the Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial before Full Moon lunged late to land the concluding Kildare Under 20s “All Ireland Football Champions” Handicap.

Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue combined to land the Curragh Stakes with 9-4 chance Indigo Balance.

The Invincible Spirit colt made a winning debut at Headquarters in May before disappointing in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He had shaped better when fourth behind Martyn Meade’s Advertise in the Phoenix Stakes a fortnight ago, however, and came home well to claim this five-furlong Listed prize by a length and three-quarters from 2-1 favourite Gossamer Wings.

“He has a lot of ability, but he’s a little bit wayward,” said Harrington.

“He’ll probably go back up to six furlongs now. He’s got various entries and we’ll see what happens.

“He only needs one more run this year.”

The Johnny Murtagh-trained Lord Rapscallion (7-1) continued a good run for young rider Denis Linehan with victory in the Luke and Nellie Comer Memorial Nursery Handicap.

Murtagh said: “He was tapped for a bit of toe in a maiden over five furlongs last time. The step up to six definitely helped him.

“He’s probably a big baby and only starting to improve now and the penny is dropping.

“We’ll keep him pretty busy as he seems to be a tough, hardy fella.”

Denis Hogan’s Gopsies Daughter (5-1 joint-favourite) claimed her fourth win of the season in the Eleanor and Lyndsey Comer Trust Handicap, with 3lb claimer Killian Leonard doing the steering.

Ten Sovereigns impresses Aidan O’Brien on Curragh debut
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