/ Racing

Aidan O'Brien has four winners on Curragh supporting card

Updated: Sunday, 29 Jun 2014 19:00 | Comments

Ernest Hemingway leads to the line
Ernest Hemingway leads to the line

Aidan O'Brien had to settle for second place with Venus De Milo in the main event at the Curragh.

However, he dominated the supporting card by saddling a four-timer with Gleneagles and Ernest Hemingway, both ridden by his son Joseph, and I Am Beautiful and Mekong River, partnered by Seamus Heffernan.

Ernest Hemingway (6-4 favourite) repeated last year's victory in the Group Three At The Races Cup on his first start since Dubai in March.

The five-year-old was delivered with a sweeping run to lead at the furlong pole and win by two lengths from Certerach.

O'Brien said: "He loves fast ground, hard ground is the key to him. All his good form has been on that. He is able to quicken and put his toe out.

"He's very ground dependent and he won't go anywhere unless it's good fast ground. We'll look at the Goodwood Cup over two miles for him."

Mekong River (5-1) put up a defiant display to win the Group Three Friarstown Stud International Stakes.

Mekong River comes in first

The three-year-old had tried to make all under Heffernan, but was headed by seasoned performer Parish Hall two furlongs out and looked set for second at best.

However, he battled back gamely on the far rail and gained the upper hand close home. Ebanoran, the 5-4 favourite was third but never got in a serious blow.

O'Brien said: "We weren't sure about the fast ground for him, but on the good to firm ground he seemed to step up. He looks like a horse who will get a mile and a half."

I Am Beautiful (12-1) was a surprise winner of the other Pattern race, the Grangecon Stud Stakes.

Heffernan gave the daughter of Rip Van Winkle an enterprising ride as she just held the late thrusts of Jeanne Girl and Quinta Verde.

"I wouldn't mind stepping her up in trip. We might take our time with her now she's won her Group race and she's very well bred," said O'Brien.

Gleneagles got off the mark at the second attempt in the Barronstown Stud EBF Maiden as he went one better than his illustrious stable companion and dual Derby hero Australia, who was second on his racecourse bow in the same seven-furlong heat 12 months ago.

The evens favourite, a full-brother to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous, benefited from a Leopardstown debut fourth with a promising display to score by two and a half lengths.

"I think he will get a mile but any further than that we don't know yet. We'll step him up to something like the (Group Three) Tyros Stakes (at Leopardstown)," said the trainer.

Gleneagles was given 33-1 quotes for the Qipco 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby with RaceBets.

Rory Cleary made all on Jim Bolger's 2-1 favourite Wexford Town to claim the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Ragusa' Handicap, while trainer Evanna McCutcheon showed her prowess in the saddle as she drove Zeftan (14-1) to victory in the Macari's Of Kildare Ladies Derby for Adrian Keatley.

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