Arizona enters Ascot reckoning following Curragh triumph

Royal meeting could be next port of call for Aidan O’Brien’s runner

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Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona had no trouble opening his account at the second time of asking in the Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF (C&G) Maiden at the Curragh, leading home a one-two-three for the trainer.

Second on his debut earlier in the month, the No Nay Never youngster never looked in any danger.

Ryan Moore decided to keep things simple on the 8-15 favourite and he ran out an eight-length winner over stablemates King Of Athens and New World Tapestry, with a Royal Ascot bid now on the cards.

There was drama in behind with Red Assembly coming down, but Luke McAteer was able to stand after the incident. Unfortunately Red Assembly was put down.

“We really liked him the first day when he was green. He looks an Ascot two-year-old,” said O’Brien.

“Ryan said he galloped through the line which is a good sign. You would have to be very happy with him.”

There was more drama in the Hanlon Concrete Handicap when Gavin Ryan was unseated from Teddy Boy coming out of the stalls and he went on to play a part in the finish.

Donnacha O’Brien was leading the far side group on Little Clarinet, but he had to stop riding deep inside the final furlong as Teddy Boy drifted into his path.

That allowed Leigh Roche on Baby Power (14-1) on the near side to land the spoils by a length and a half, with Little Clarinet only fourth.

Winning trainer Gary Caldwell said: “She ran a cracker the last day and the key is keep her sweet and happy. I’m delighted with her.

“Leigh said she wasn’t doing a tap in front, but she needs something to challenge her, and I said to Leigh to leave it as late as you can.”

Hathiq continued his progression for Denis Hogan with a clear-cut success in the Curragh Official Opening Day Handicap.

Formerly with Owen Burrows, he was picked up for just £3,000 after a long absence but appears to retain all his ability and Betfair cut him to 6-1 favourite for the Dash at Epsom.

“He looks decent. We were thinking he’d probably go to the Rockingham after Tipperary, but some lads were saying he might not be certain to get in,” said Hogan.

“We weren’t certain about fast ground either, but now we know it’s no problem. I wouldn’t say six is out of the question, but he’s a proper five-furlong horse.

“He’s in the Dash at Epsom next weekend. He wasn’t getting in before today, but he might go now. We’ll see how he is and what the handicapper does.

“He’s a nice one to have and is a bargain buy. At the January Sale they got Lincoln, Eastern Racer and this lad was the dearest – he cost 3,000!

“It’s great to get one on a big day as the owners are great supporters of mine.”

Aussie Valentine (16-1) delighted Ado McGuinness as he won for the first time since last October in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Habitat” Handicap.

The trainer said: “He won over 80 grand for us last year, and he’s tipping away getting cheques nearly every time this year. He’s like an ATM machine and he wasn’t expensive an expensive horse. We’re delighted to have him.

“He’ll go to Galway and will run in the Galway Mile and maybe the seven (furlong race) as well. He might run here Derby weekend as well.”

Andrew Slattery delivered Dalton Highway (13-2) with a perfectly-timed run to grab the glory in the two-mile Boodles Handicap.

Winning trainer Dermot Weld said: “I told Andrew to wait all day on him. He did his homework on the last two years of the horse’s form and had seen that Pat (Smullen) got up late on him at Killarney.

“For a guy of his age to have done so much research was great, and he was thrilled when I said to try to do the same as Pat did.”

Slattery then made it a double on the day as Telepathy sprang a 50-1 surprise in the closing Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Winning handler Tommy Shaw said: “It’s my first winner on the Flat and obviously my first winner on the Curragh. When I think of my father winning the 1,000 Guineas here back in 1960 with Zenobia, it’s just a dream come true.

“The family are heavily involved in racing with my brothers Sandy, the National Hunt handicapper, and Richard in HRI. I’m retired and I just took up the bit of training to keep me busy as a hobby.”

Arizona enters Ascot reckoning following Curragh triumph
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