Hudson hits the target on racecourse bow

Well-bred runner makes successful debut at the Curragh.

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Hudson River, the first foal out of top-class sprinter Mecca’s Angel, made a winning debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (C&G) Maiden at the Curragh.

Coolmore wasted no time in sending the former Michael Dods-trained dual Nunthorpe winner to their champion sire Galileo having bought her privately and it already looks a shrewd move.

Despite his dam excelling over five furlongs, Hudson River made his debut over seven furlongs, but it proved no barrier to success.

Surprisingly weak in the market, he drifted out to 3-1 joint-favourite but having broke smartly for Seamie Heffernan, he never saw another rival, beating Ace Aussie by a length and a half with Wembley, also trained by Aidan O’Brien, third.

“He’s a lovely colt and was just ready to start. He could go to the (Newmarket) July meeting,” said O’Brien.

“He’ll probably end up a miler and it was a nice race to start him in.

“Padraig (Beggy) said his horse (Wembley) reared in the stalls and missed the break, but I’d say he’s a very nice horse too.”

Napa Valley (evens favourite) made it a double for O’Brien and Heffernan as he held off stablemate Keats by three-quarters of a length in the Finlay Volvo Cars Races.

O’Brien has some nice races in mind for the unbeaten Napa Valley.

“He’s very straight forward and very relaxed. He’ll handle all types of ground but is a typical Galileo, very genuine and had plenty of speed to win over a mile first time out,” he said.

“He’d have no problem going a mile and a half and stepping into Group class. He could be a horse for the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood or the Voltigeur at York.”

Heffernan had survived a nasty incident earlier on the card when odds-on favourite Snowfall nearly came down in the Barrownstown Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.

With Snowfall heavily eased, Jim Bolger’s Aunty Bridy (6-1) just held off Sister Rosetta.

Bolger’s daughter Una Manning, wife of winning rider Kevin, said: “We trained for the owner (David Granville) many years ago and Christy (Roche) rode a winner for him. Jim is delighted to have this filly for him.

“The plan is to upgrade her, so hopefully she can step up into Listed company.”

Strong Johnson (5-2 favourite) continued his progression when narrowly seeing off Jungle Jane in the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap.

Along with Urban Beat, the trio dominated from the outset, but it was Kieran Cotter’s four-year-old who prevailed by a short head and the same.

“I’m a bit shocked to be honest. I know it was a handicap, but it’s tough when you have a small yard and you’re trying to compete against the more powerful yards who can win these races with frequency,” said Cotter.

“Normally when you do get a chance you get beaten a short-head, but today it’s gone our way.

“I told Colin (Keane) to be positive on this lad as he won’t stop. I feel for Mark Gallagher who was to ride this horse up to declaration time, but the weights went up 5lb and Colin got down to his minimum to ride him.

“This is my biggest win without a doubt. I teamed up with Danny Murphy a year and a half ago and he brought in a better quality of horse to us. We have super facilities and we are getting better results now.”

Hudson hits the target on racecourse bow
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