Fairyland holds off So Perfect in Flying Five

Abbaye set to be next for O’Brien pair

  • Sunday 15 September
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Fairyland led home a one-two from the Aidan O’Brien stable in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

The three-year-old filly ended a losing spell going back to last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes to notch her second Group One prize as she held the late challenge of So Perfect.

The free-going Caspian Prince made the running with Invincible Army and Soldier’s Call close up, but Ryan Moore was never too far away before setting sail for home.

So Perfect came out of the pack, but the winning post arrived just in time Fairyland, who prevailed by a short head. Invincible Army was third.

Fairyland was cut to 9-1 for the Prix de l’Abbaye with Paddy Power and to 12-1 by Betfair, both from 20-1.

O’Brien said: “Her best run of the year was back at five at Ascot in the King’s Stand. The ground was too soft for her at Haydock and she got upset in the stalls and banged her head before that (at York).

“You would have to be delighted with both of them, and I’d say they will go for the Abbaye.

“Fairyland is qualified now for the Breeders’ Cup, but Mrs Stockwell and the lads will decide on that.

“She was bought originally to go to Galileo, so I’d doubt she will stay in training next year.”

Tarnawa (3-1) gave Dermot Weld a fourth successive Moyglare ‘Jewels’ Blandford Stakes with a clear-cut victory in the Group Two over a mile and a quarter.

Chris Hayes had her well-placed behind the pace-setting Lady Wannabe and Credenza before asking her to go and win her race.

The Aga Khan-owned filly responded with a neat turn of foot that took her to the front and she ran on strongly to beat the staying-on Goddess with Credenza third.

Weld said: “This has been a lucky race for us, and Chris gave her a good tactical ride. The plan was to kick for home early as she gets a mile and a half.

“We’ll see how she comes out of this race, and the Fillies And Mares race at Ascot on Champions Day would be a logical progression.

“She is a filly that I would look forward to training as a four-year-old, and she is very adaptable ground-wise.

“She is progressing all the time. She started winning in March for me and was on the go all year.”

Tarnawa was cut to 10-1 from 16-1 for the Qipco British Champions Fillies And Mares Stakes at Ascot with Paddy Power and Betfair.

Buffer Zone continued the fine run of trainer Ger Lyons and jockey Colin Keane by taking the lion’s share of the pot in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Bold Lad’ Sprint Handicap.

The four-year-old was produced to hit the front a furlong and a half from home and he saw off the other 11-2 joint-favourite Make A Challenge by a length and three-quarters.

Gulliver came from out of the clouds to claim third place, with Tom Hogan’s admirable 11-year-old Gordon Lord Byron fourth.

Lyons said: “We thought he was a Group horse in a handicap, but they have to deliver. He’s been very straightforward since we got him, and has gradually moved up the ranks.

“It never really looked in doubt. He’s a very progressive horse, and hopefully he turns into a Group horse.

“He’s in the Ayr Gold Cup next week. It’s not our style to return (that quick). David (Spratt, part-owner) and I will sit down and make a plan.”

Stone Circle (12-1) led a clean sweep for UK raiders in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes.

The Michael Bell-trained colt, a 50,000 euro purchase, came with a rattling late run in the hands of Andrea Atzeni to collar Archie Watson’s Maystar by a head in a tight finish.

Hamish Macbeth was just a neck behind in third for Hugo Palmer.

Bell said: “Last year Alex Elliott and my son, Nick, bought Master Brewer who won the sales race at Longchamp, and they went to war and bought this horse at Fairyhouse.

“It was a good performance giving weight all round, and he’s a smashing little horse by a very good stallion.

“It’s very sad as Bob Michaelson was involved and it was his funeral this week. He’d a quarter share in him, and is looking down.”

One Cool Poet (12-1), well beaten at Leopardstown 24 hours earlier, bounced back to take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Northfields Premier Handicap.

Matthew Smith’s seven-year-old had won three times at the Galway Festival in the summer and again showed he thrives on his racing by finishing strongly under Billy Lee to mug Numerian and score by three-quarters of a length.

Winning rider Billy Lee said: “For some reason he was just keen yesterday. Today they went a good gallop and he switched off.

“I just rode him cold and he came through and the turn of foot he has shown – he’s a legend of a horse.”

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