Lancaster bounces back with Gladness glory

O’Brien runner back in the winner’s enclosure at the Curragh.

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Lancaster House resumed winning ways with an all-the-way success in the Coolmore Calyx Gladness Stakes at the Curragh.

Winner of his first three outings last year having been unraced at two, he could finish only seventh when losing his unbeaten record in the Boomerang Stakes when last seen.

Seamie Heffernan bounced him into an early advantage and while major market rival Speak In Colours appeared to be travelling better a furlong out, Lancaster House (6-4) found plenty for pressure to give Aidan O’Brien a first win in the race since Excelebration in 2012.

O’Brien said: “Seamus gave him a lovely ride. He’s very happy moving along. I saw Seamus talking to Donnacha (O’Brien, the trainer’s son and former jockey) beforehand, Donnacha made the running on him a few times and said he’s quick out .

“He won over nine furlongs, so when you are back to seven on nice ground you needn’t be afraid to motor on.

“All his runs backed up quick last year and on his last one he didn’t have much time.

“He was working well and I had him in the Queen Anne. He’s in the Minstrel Stakes next month and we could look at that.”

Lancaster House was providing O’Brien and Heffernan with the second leg of a four-timer, with Peaceful triumphing in the feature Tattersalls 1,000 Guineas and Magic Wand rounding out the winning spree in the Lanwades Stud Stakes.

The 4-5 favourite was the clear pick on form and she made short work of just three rivals in the mile heat.

“She’s a lovely mare. We had her in at Ascot but we were afraid of the ground getting soft and didn’t want to wait,” said O’Brien.

“She could go to the Eclipse or the Pretty Polly. She’s an unbelievable mare.

“She hadn’t run over a mile since her debut. She has a lot of class, she’s a great mare and I’m delighted with her.”

The four-timer had been started by Snow (5-1), who along with stablemate Salsa dominated the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, before prevailing by three-quarters of a length.

A sister to 2018 St Leger winner Kew Gardens, having shown a modicum of promise in two runs last season, not surprisingly she was suited by the step up to 10 furlongs.

Heffernan only needed hands and heels to nudge her out to victory.

“She’s tough and hardy. She stays well and she’s a sister to Kew Gardens,” said O’Brien.

“We thought that these were going to be Oaks fillies and they’ll probably turn up in a trial next.

“They will love going a mile and a half.”

Jessica Harrington has been in rare form since the resumption of racing in Ireland and unleashed another likely type in Dickiedooda who showed blistering speed in winning the Tally-Ho Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.

Not an expensive buy at just 30,000 guineas, she was sent off the 5-2 favourite and broke smartly under Shane Foley, with plenty of her rivals finding the pace too hot at the halfway point.

A furlong out she quickened up smartly and put the race to bed, winning by a length and a quarter from Grammata.

“You’d have to be delighted with that. A few of our two-year-olds have been a little disappointing over the last few days, but that’s great,” said assistant trainer Kate Harrington.

“We’re really happy with her, she’s very uncomplicated, and she was well bought as she was only 30,000 guineas. She’s a lovely filly.”

Gavin Cromwell’s versatile Mutadaffeq was a 16-1 winner of the EquiNectar Handicap.

Running in the race for the second consecutive year, he had to be brave in making his challenge between horses but he edged out Jerandme by a nose.

“I ran him in this race last year, but he got trapped on the rail and never got a run,” said Cromwell.

“He’s been in good old nick and obviously he won the last day, over fences in Clonmel.”

Colin Keane was still on a high after Siskin’s heroics in the 2,000 Guineas on Friday and partnered Kieran Cotter’s Strong Johnson (7-2 favourite) to victory in the Platinum Bloodstock & Eyrefield House Stud Handicap.

“This horse is after improving a lot and we actually gave him an entry for the Rockingham last week, so we hope he’ll get in off bottom weight in that,” said Cotter.

“He’s a fine horse and he’s progressed from three.

“We’d a winner here last year at the Guineas meeting, so it’s great to get another one and things are going well.”

Edification (14-1) came from the clouds under an inspired Gavin Ryan to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ragusa” Handicap for Mark Fahey and pip Tartlette in the process.

“It was a brilliant ride and that’s the way he has to be produced. Gavin timed it to absolute perfection,” said Fahey.

“He’s been unlucky a few times last year, through no-ones fault. Today, on a big, galloping track, he was able to produce him last minute and didn’t have to look for too many gaps.

“It’s a great pot to land and my first premier handicap. Well Set Up won a couple of Grade Three hurdles for me last season, but he’s my biggest winner on the Flat so far.”

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