Fernandez and Pepper shine at the Curragh

And Mogul enters Derby picture

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Lope Y Fernandez got his reward after two defeats by Pinatubo with victory in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh.

Aidan O’Brien’s charge had made a winning debut at the County Kildare track before going down to Godolphin’s brilliant youngster at Royal Ascot and Goodwood.

He was dropped in trip from seven to six furlongs for the first time and the move paid off, with Lope Y Fernandez (11-8 favourite) putting up an authoritative performance.

His stablemate Fort Myers set the pace, with Ryan Moore content to set just behind the leaders in fourth place.

Moore made his move two furlongs from home and Lope Y Fernandez showed a good turn of foot to assert and put the race to bed.

The pack began to make inroads close home, but it was too late, with Archie Watson’s British challenger Guildsman grabbing second place, a length and a half behind the convincing winner. Fort Myers was a short-head away in third.

Lope Y Fernandez was cut to 20-1 for the 2000 Guineas with Paddy Power and RaceBets.

Moore said: “He was impressive on debut and ran very well in the Chesham behind a good horse.

“He was a bit disappointing at Goodwood, maybe just running downhill on quick ground. The winner is a good horse, but I don’t think he fired that day and I don’t think that was his true running, I’m not quite sure why.

“Back here over six he’s beaten a good horse in Guildsman, who was placed in the Coventry.

“He was very smooth through the whole race and always felt like the winner. Hopefully he’ll go on from here, he’s a nice colt and he’ll be a three-year-old for sure.”

The victory sealed a double for O’Brien and Moore after Mogul (8-13 favourite) took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden, to earn a 20-1 from quote from Betfair for the Investec Derby.

The full-brother to last week’s Juddmonte International winner Japan cost 3,400,000 guineas as a yearling and looked to have a big future as he swept to victory by three and a quarter lengths from Shekhem.

“He’s a lovely horse. Obviously he has a great pedigree and he’s a big, strong boy,” said Moore.

“He travelled and was very smooth through the whole race, I was very happy with him.”

The evening got even better for O’Brien and Moore as Goddess continued her recent progression with victory in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes.

Second in a Group Two over course and distance in July, the daughter of Camelot recorded a Listed success last time out and built on that win at Gowran Park to add Group Three honours to her record.

Moore’s mount – who had looked a star in the making when winning her maiden last season – raced towards the rear through the early stages, as stablemate Credenza made the running under Wayne Lordan, closely attended by Harriet’s Force.

The latter hit the front two out, but Goddess (4-1 joint-favourite) soon arrived on the scene, swooping to the head of affairs before showing her appetite for a battle in seeing off the gallant Credenza by half a length.

Moore said: “She’s definitely come forward every run this year. She won nicely in Gowran and from the filly I rode here last month she’s improved again. I’d be very happy with her.

“She has a lovely pedigree and hopefully she can make her mark in a higher grade again.

“You’re never confident, but she quickened up well to the lead, the second filly kept fighting and she’s probably not a bad filly either.”

Cayenne Pepper could be seen in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket after maintaining her unbeaten record with a dominant all-the-way victory in the Flame Of Tara Irish EBF Stakes.

Having followed up a debut success at Leopardstown with an impressive display at Tipperary in early July, Jessica Harrington’s filly was sent off the 6-4 favourite to complete her hat-trick in this one-mile Group Three.

Shane Foley had the daughter of Australia straight to the lead and plenty of her rivals were in trouble from early in the home straight.

O’Brien’s highly-rated maiden So Wonderful emerged as the biggest threat, but Cayenne Pepper never looked in serious danger of being caught and passed the post two and a half lengths to the good.

The victory further strengthens her trainer’s already formidable hand in the fillies’ juvenile division this season, with the Moone-based trainer also housing a pair of Group Two winners in the shape of Albigna – ante-post favourite for next year’s 1000 Guineas – and Alpine Star.

Paddy Power introduced Cayenne Pepper into their betting for next year’s Investec Oaks at Epsom at 33-1 – and her Classic credentials could be tested further in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on October 11.

“I’ll have to talk to Jon and Sarah (Kelly, owners) now. She’s in the Fillies’ Mile, which is a possibility,” the trainer added.

“They are all in everywhere because you never know when one could get sick or lame.

“You have to keep all the options open, but she seems to go on any ground and she’s very, very straightforward.”

Andrew Slattery recorded a big-race success as the young rider produced Dermot Weld’s Jassaar (10-1) with a perfectly-timed challenge to land the Tote Irish Cambridgeshire.

Slattery won a big handicap on the four-year-old over seven furlongs on this course in May when claiming 7lb, and looked equally good value for his current 5lb, riding a patient race before hitting top gear over a furlong out in the centre of the track.

It seemed Current Option had made a winning move at the two-furlong pole when quickening smartly, but in the end he had no answer to the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned winner, who scored by three-quarters of a length.

Weld said: “Everything went to plan, he always travelled there nicely. He just didn’t handle the track in Galway.

“We’ve no definite plans. We’ll see how he comes out of the race before making a decision where we go with him.

“The seven-furlong handicap (Sovereign Path) in Leopardstown is probably the race for him. I think he showed enough pace there for it and that would be the logical place.”

Fernandez and Pepper shine at the Curragh
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