Degraves' Eyrefield victory signals bright future

O’Brien colt is authoritative winner of Leopardstown Group Three.

  • Saturday 26 October
  • News
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Degraves stamped himself as a colt with a future as he won the Bet With The Tote At Leopardstown Eyrefield Stakes.

The Joseph O’Brien-trained youngster travelled with authority and quickened up smartly into the lead, putting the race to bed in a matter of strides.

Having his fourth outing, Degraves was following up a win at Navan last time out, and provided Shane Crosse with a third Group Three win of the season.

Despite idling in the closing stages, he held off Persia and Justifier by half a length.

O’Brien said: “He travelled well – Shane said he quickened up very well and had a bit of a look when he got to the front.

“He’ll have his break now and come back for a nice race in the spring. He’s a Camelot, so he’ll go 10 furlongs anyway – and then we’ll go from there.”

Asked if that may include a Derby trial, the trainer agreed: “That would make sense, something like that.

“He’s won on soft ground, but he’s he’s only really been on that because he’s had no choice. I’d say he should be fairly versatile.”

Colin Keane missed out on a winner when he preferred Laughifuwant over Psychedelic Funk in the Tote Proud Sponsors Of Leopardstown Racecourse Knockaire Stakes.

The five-year-old was winning for the first time since April 2018 for Ger Lyons, with Gary Carroll sticking to the rail on the 8-1 chance.

“Obviously it wasn’t expected if Colin didn’t ride him – but I’m delighted for Gary,” said Lyons.

“He normally gets more than that off us in a season -it’s been slim enough pickings this year.”

As for the winner, he added: “He’s one of the old guys, and we’ll hold on to him.

“He’s been suffering some allergies or something all year – although I’m only guessing what it was. He was just off form.

“It’s a nice way to end the season. To be honest, we were trying to be clever saying ‘that’s next year’s Lincoln horse’ – but I’d say I’ve messed that one up!”

San Pedro (5-2 favourite) sprinted clear despite the testing ground to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden (Plus 10 Race) by five and a half lengths – impressing Donnacha O’Brien, riding for his father Aidan.

The winning trainer said: “These Gleneagles are tough, genuine and have speed, which is good, and they progress.

“Donnacha said he feels like a nice colt.

“There is probably not much left for him now, but we’ll start him in a Guineas trial or something like that next year.”

Jessica Harrington’s daughter of Galileo, Celestial Object (13-8 favourite), was a ready winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden – having shaped well in Listed company previously.

“I think the only other winner I’ve had by Galileo is Supasundae!” said Harrington.

“She’s not very big, but she’s tough and hardy. All she wants to do is please you.

“We’ll see next spring, and I’d say we’ll be looking at stakes company the way she won there and the way she’s bred.”

Tony Martin’s Melburnian (10-1) was a very easy winner of the Tote October Handicap under Niall McCullagh.

Degraves' Eyrefield victory signals bright future
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