Pink Dogwood looks set to be another smart filly for Aidan O’Brien after a wide-margin victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden at Gowran Park.
Second on her first two outings behind above-average recruits, including Group One-placed Lady Kaya, Pink Dogwood was allowed the run of the race at the head of affairs.
Donnacha O’Brien asked his mount to go and win the race a long way from home and she quickened up smartly, beating Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden by seven lengths to land the odds at 4-6.
A daughter of Camelot, Pink Dogwood holds an entry in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket next week, but appears set to be aimed even higher.
“She had two good runs against two decent fillies. I thought she was very impressive today and I really like her,” said Donnacha O’Brien
“She was very straightforward, travelled around well and picked up very nicely.
“I think she is probably going to be a mile-and-a-half filly next year. She will probably start off over a mile and a quarter, maybe in an Oaks trial.”
The O’Briens quickly doubled up with Circus Maximus (8-13 favourite) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden.
A Galileo colt out of the smart mare Duntle, he is owned by the Niarchos family, who had the misfortune of seeing Alpha Centauri retired last week.
Fifth on debut, he still showed distinct signs of greenness when hanging across the track, but had enough in the locker to beat Army Recruit by two lengths.
Donnacha O’Brien – moving on to the 98-winner mark for the season – said: “Around here, the way the track is shaped, it can be daunting for them when they hit the front because it’s always bending.
“He has ability and once he gets it together mentally he’ll be a nice horse. Once he got to the other rail and got a bit of guidance, he was fine.”
Aidan O’Brien said: “He was very green. He was the same when Ryan (Moore) rode him the first day at the Curragh. Some of them take two or three runs, and some of them get it together quick.
“He’ll be a nice middle-distance horse. I’d like to run him again this season, if I can, because he needs to learn a bit more before next year.”
O’Brien added of his opening winner: “The filly in the first (Pink Dogwood) could run again this season. She could be a Boussac filly or Fillies’ Mile.
“She has been progressing with every run, and she’s a quality filly.”
Title-chasing rider O’Brien went on to 99 for the campaign when bagging a treble courtesy of 2-1 favourite Best Not To Argue, trained by his brother, Joseph, in division one of the Jumps Racing Returns To Gowran Park October 5th Handicap.
The latter said: “She won nicely the last day and they went a good gallop today. Donnacha said he was confident enough down the straight that he was going to get there.
“She had form on this ground before so we were quite hopeful that she would handle it well. She will probably get put out of 0-65 handicaps now, so she’ll have to step up in grade.”