O'Brien takes control at Leopardstown with four-timer

First four races on the card all go the way of Ballydoyle.

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Aidan O’Brien’s rich vein of form since racing’s resumption continued apace at Leopardstown on Tuesday.

The Ballydoyle trainer hit the mark at Newmarket on Sunday with Love in the 1000 Guineas, and was quickly up and running in Ireland with a double at Naas on Monday. He topped that effort at the Dublin track, winning the first four races on the card.

Away from Cormorant in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Love Locket (6-1) promised much going forward for O’Brien with her victory in the seven-furlong Leopardstown Fillies Trial Stakes, which completed a double for Seamie Heffernan.

The rider said following the Group Three contest: “She’s big and she’s done well from two to three.

“I would have won at any trip today, five, six or seven. I’ve had four rides and I’ve given two of them good rides!

“There is a big bias being in front here today. It’s as big a bias as I’ve seen being in front.

“I don’t see why she wouldn’t get a mile, but she might not have to go a mile.

“Usually if they are comfortable going six we keep them at six. They usually just go up in trip if they are not comfortable. She’s comfortable at six/seven.”

Heffernan had struck earlier with Ennistymon, who rallied to deny Shamiyna in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden as the 11-8 favourite.

He said: “She had a lovely run last year at the Curragh when I got no run on her.

“Ideally I would have liked a bit of cover, but I won well at the line. She idled a little bit in front.

“She could make up into a smart filly.”

It was Wayne Lordan’s turn in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C & G) Maiden, with Tiger Moth (16-5) beating the Heffernan-ridden Dawn Patrol as Ballydoyle horses filled the first four places.

Lordan said: “He’s a nice colt. He had a good run as a two-year-old and he’s been working nicely.

“He stays well. It rode like a nice race and he’ll improve a bit when he steps up in trip as well.

“It was a nice performance.”

An O’Brien five-timer looked highly likely in the Holden Plant Rental (C & G) Trial Stakes, but Jim Bolger’s Ten Year Ticket swooped to deny King Of Athens.

The Rock Of Gibraltar cold did not make his debut until October last year, winning at the Curragh, and more could be heard of him this season.

Winning jockey Kevin Manning said: “He’s done it well. He won well at the Curragh last year on heavy ground and we weren’t so sure going there whether he would handle it or not. He’s after handling heavy and now fast ground. That maiden in the Curragh turned out well.

“He’s a horse going in the right direction. He got the seven well and there is no reason why he shouldn’t get further.

“He’ll improve plenty as it’s only his second start. Coming back from heavy ground to quick ground he was still quite green, but he’ll improve plenty.”

The was however a sad postscript to the Listed event, as O’Brien’s Year Of The Tiger, who was pulled up and dismounted by Heffernan, suffered what proved to be a fatal injury.

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