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Ramone causes a huge shock at HQ
29 Mar 2015 19:07
Bill Farrell claimed the biggest success of his training career on the first day of the Flat season at the Curragh as unconsidered 100-1 shot Ramone clinched a shock victory in the Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes.
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The five-year-old mare had registered just a solitary victory from 12 previous starts, with that triumph coming in a Leopardstown maiden almost two years ago.
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She looked right up against it going into a tough Group Three assignment, but got the job done under a tactically astute ride from Shane Foley, mowing down British raider Amulet for a two-length success.
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Afternoon Sunlight came through to deny Amulet the runner-up spot.
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Farrell said: "That's the first time she's got her ground. I always had faith in her, prepped her for today and just had to decide between this race and the Lincoln (Irish Lincolnshire).
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"She's a big, strong yoke, and the ground will control everything as to where she will run.
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"I've only six in training and that's my first Group-race winner.
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"I always said if I got black type I might retire!"
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Tommy Stack's Onenightidreamed (8-1) wore down the boldly-ridden Aussie Valentine to scoop the big pot in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire.
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Aussie Valentine looked to have stolen a march on his rivals after striking on early in the straight against the stands' rail, but Wayne Lordan conjured a late run from Onenightidreamed to get up by a length.
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Stack's son and assistant Fozzy said: "We were waiting for soft ground all last season and were going to run him at Leopardstown near the end of the year but thought if he won it would mess up his handicap mark.
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"He's not a bad horse and has done little wrong so far in his life.
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"The ground will dictate where we go next and what Mr O'Gorman (handicapper) decides to do."
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Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen enjoyed a couple of winners on the afternoon, with Stormfly (12-1) initiating the brace for the Rosewell House team by claiming a pulsating 203rd Madrid Handicap.
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Weld said: "She was stakes-placed (last year) and we'll let her take her chance in the Group Three 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. She has everything to gain and nothing to lose.
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"She's tough and genuine and a lovely filly to train. She loves soft ground."
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Weld also has ambitious plans for Ashraf (3-1) after he streaked clear in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.
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"He won nicely and will go for the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown. He should make into a nice colt and I would expect him to be comfortable going a mile and a quarter," said the trainer.
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State Of Emergency lunged fast and late to make a winning debut for Michael O'Callaghan in the Tally Ho Stud European Breeders Fund Maiden.
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The 10-1 shot travelled powerfully in the hands of Emmet McNamara and although he looked to have nowhere to go two furlongs from home, he picked up impressively once switched wide to get up by half a length from Bebhinn.
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O'Callaghan said: "Emmet gave him a super ride.
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"We'd just enough done with him. He's a very good-moving colt and will be better on better ground. He's a good-ground horse.
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"We might look at something like the Marble Hill Stakes back here. That's my first win at the Curragh."
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McNamara received a one-day suspension for careless riding.
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Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combined to clinch the Big Bad Bob Maiden with 11-4 favourite The Warrior.
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O'Brien said: "He'd had good runs last year and was rated to do that."
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Admirable veteran Bubbly Bellini (6-1) turned in a dominant display to claim a third course victory in the Joanna Morgan Lifetime Achievement Handicap.
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"He's been a great servant and I'm glad to have him," said winning trainer Ado McGuinness.
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"I gave him a couple of runs in Dundalk to get him right with soft ground early in the season in mind. That's his ground.
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"Declan (McDonogh) rode him work a few times recently and was mad keen to ride him."
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