/ Racing

Leading Light returns with Curragh win

Updated: Sunday, 24 Aug 2014 19:34 | Comments

Leading Light secured the victory at the Curragh
Leading Light secured the victory at the Curragh

Gold Cup hero Leading Light made the perfect return to action in the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger Trial Stakes on another fine afternoon for Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh.

Given a break since his efforts at Royal Ascot, last year's Ladbrokes St Leger winner was shouldering 10st against a useful field, but in the end just needed to be kept up to his work to win.

The front-running Shu Lewis narrowly missed out for second as Royal Diamond finished well, but Leading Light (2-5 favourite) was never in danger once he got his in front around a furlong out.

The Montjeu colt took his carer record to eight wins from 10 starts, being beaten only on his two-year-old debut and in the Arc.
His long-term aim will be defending his crown at Ascot next year.

O'Brien said: "I'm delighted with that. He's had a good break since Ascot. We let him down well after that and it's nice to get him started back.

"He came here two weeks ago for a canter to wake him up a bit. He should come on nicely from that as he's giving a good blow.

"The (Irish) Leger falls lovely in the second half of the season for him. I don't know where he'll go after that, but the main thing is the lads would like him back for Ascot next year."

Gleneagles saw his Classic odds tumble after a smart turn of foot sealed the Galileo European Breeders Fund Futurity Stakes.
Winner of the Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last time out, the Galileo colt stepped up to Group Two level with the minimum of fuss, being cut to 16-1 from 25-1 for the 2000 Guineas and Derby by Paddy Power. He is 20-1 for both races with RaceBets.

Settled in third on the rail as Convergence cut out the running, Joseph O'Brien got a lovely split two from home and the response from the 8-13 favourite was taking as he shot through the gap.

The race was soon over, although Vert De Grece ran on well for the Joe Murphy stable to take second, three-quarters of a length back.

O'Brien said: "He could possibly come back here for the National Stakes, but he has plenty of options. He has plenty of speed."
Hall Of Mirrors initiated a treble for Ballydoyle with a surprise success in the Kilfrush Stud Royal Whip Stakes.

The outsider of the four runners and apparent second-string for the O'Brien team behind stablemate Kingsbarns, the Seamie Heffernan-ridden four-year-old made every post a winning one, eventually scoring under just hands and heels.

Joseph O'Brien loomed large on Kingsbarns two furlongs out and looked set to win his race when asked to quicken at the furlong pole, but Hall Of Mirrors (13-2) was always seemingly in second gear and won by a snug half a length.

O'Brien said: "That was always liable to happen as the other horse is fit. He has had runs and he ran a very good race at Ascot (fifth to Contributer in Wolferton Handicap).

"We knew he (Kingsbarns) would get tired today, but he had to run. He came there but got tired."

It was four for Aidan and three for Joseph when Adjusted got off the mark at the fourth attempt in the Irish Champions Weekend Maiden as the 9-4 favourite, coming nicely clear of Sindarban.

Raydara ran out a good winner of the Debutante Stakes for Mick Halford and Shane Foley.

Second on her debut before winning her maiden well at this track last month, the Aga Khan-owned daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar had last been seen finishing fourth to Jack Naylor in the Silver Flash Stakes.

Qualify was third in the Silver Flash and hit the front two out on this occasion, as Run The Red Light gave way.

The once-raced Lucida immediately gave chase but the 3-1 joint-favourite was soon joined by Raydara (11-1), who quickened in eyecatching fashion on the outside of the pack, going on to score with half a length in hand.

Halford said: "I'm thrilled with her. When she won her maiden she made the running after finding herself in front, but I thought we made a little bit too much use of her the last day. We're only learning about her.

"I'll talk to Pat (Downes, stud manager for the Aga Khan) now and he'll discuss plans with his Highness.

"The Moyglare is the obvious target, but she does love it fast and she might have had enough for this year."

RaceBets quote Raydara at 16-1 from 20-1 for the Investec Oaks.

A good day for Sabrina Harty was completed as Kalann (16-1) was driven to victory by Leigh Roche in the Mongey Communications Handicap.

Newbridge trainer Harty was at Goodwood, where she oversaw the Group Three success of Ansgar in the Supreme Stakes.

It was also a notable win Roche, with the rising star losing his 3lb claim.

Roche said: "Sabrina's horses are in great form and she's been good to me all year."

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