/ Racing

Curragh review

Updated: Saturday, 14 Sep 2013 17:29 | Comments

Johnny Murtagh and Belle De Crecy celebrate victory
Johnny Murtagh and Belle De Crecy celebrate victory

Johnny Murtagh made the headlines yet again as his cunning performance on Belle De Crecy earned her the Group Two Lanwades Stud Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

Always insistent he is still enjoying riding as much as training at the age of 43, the decorated Meath man stole the show seven days ago when helping Gordon Lord Byron to a ready success in the Betfred Sprint Cup.

Belle De Crecy went off at 16-1 and was making a quick reappearance after she finished fourth to The United States at Leopardstown last weekend and sat just behind Shirocco Star as the pair grabbed a considerable advantage from the rest of the field.

Murtagh set sail for home alone with two furlongs remaining and his lead proved decisive, with Lady Cecil's 5-4 favourite Hot Snap finishing a length and three-quarters second, despite never looking particularly convincing.

The long-absent Alive Alive Oh was a bitter disappointment as she trailed in a distant seventh.

Murtagh said: "She probably just blew up a bit last week and I really fancied her today.

"Niall (McCullagh) rode her yesterday morning and he said she was in great form. She's got great heart and a great pedigree.

"She has done nothing but improve from day one and her sister stayed a mile and six.

"I'm not sure if she will run again this year but she is so tough and comes out of her races so well you'd never know."

Ger Lyons' Obliterator (9-1), a Qatar Racing-owned half-brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Just The Judge, made a winning debut in the Oxigen Environmental European Breeders Fund Maiden.

Emmet McNamara's mount drew away from the leader No Wunder in convincing fashion with a furlong of the mile remaining, although Centre Of Interest got squeezed up between the pair.

Russian Soul (7-1) gained a nose verdict in a tremendous four-way finish to the Newbridge Grassroots Festival Renaissance Stakes.

The order barely changed throughout the six-furlong Group Three, with Michael Halford's five-year-old sticking to the stands rail under Shane Foley, flanked by 7-2 favourite Artistic Jewel, Farmleigh House and Scream Blue Murder and that is the way it finished.

My Good Brother (6-1) was another to take advantage of the stands rail as he made nearly all the running under Colin Keane in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund "Bold Lad" Sprint.

It was to prove a fine result for Stamullen-based trainer Tom McCourt, who also saddled the third home Kiss The Stars.

Nina Carberry, far better known in jumping circles, won the Tipperary Crystal Amateur Derby on Placere (8-1), while Jim Bolger trainee Killian Hennessy took the Derek O'Sullivan Memorial Apprentice Handicap with 11-2 shot Eighteen Summers.

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