By Kevin Blake
Joseph O’Brien may well have a high-class performer on his hands in the shape of Galileo Chrome after the son of Australia ran out the wide-margin winner of the featured Leopardstown Members Race on Friday afternoon’s card at Leopardstown.
The three-year-old had been declared to run in the Irish Derby only for a stone bruise to rule him out and this performance suggests that such ambitions for him may well have been justified.
Disputing the running soon after recovering from a slightly slow start under Shane Crosse, the 4-7 favourite stretched away from his opposition early in the straight and eventually beat the 93-rated Masteroffoxhounds by an impressive six lengths.
O’Brien said: “I was delighted with that and he was quite impressive. We decided to take a baby step with him for his third run and that’s the way you want to see them win if they are going to be stakes horses. Shane thought he got a bit lonely in front and thinks there was plenty left in him.
“He’ll move into stakes company now and could potentially step up to a mile and a half. The Kilternan Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend will be an option, but we’ll see how he comes out of the race and review all options before making a firm plan.
“He’s an exciting horse.”
Galileo Chrome was completing a double on the day for O’Brien, as earlier on the card Federal (15-2) had overcome distinct signs of greenness to make a winning debut in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Held up on the rail after a tardy start, the son of Zoffany was guided to the outside by Declan McDonogh early in the straight. Despite wanting to hang left, McDonogh kept him going forward for hands-and-heels riding to record a comfortable length success.
O’Brien was understandably delighted with the performance of Federal and is looking forward to stepping him up in class.
He said: “Federal is a lovely colt that always showed up well at home. We expected him to need the experience and with Leopardstown maidens always being so strong, we didn’t think he’d know enough to win.
“Considering that, we are delighted with his performance and look forward to stepping him up in class. We’ll review our options in the coming weeks, but I don’t think we’ll be going any shorter than seven furlongs with him.”
O’Brien went on to complete a four-timer, with Numberoneson winning the Holden Plant Rentals Handicap and Full Moon Magic taking the Leopardstown Club 30 Handicap.
Both those winners were ridden by Crosse and it was a notable day for the former champion apprentice, as the last of his three victories on the day means that he has now ridden out his 3lb claim.