Racing UK

Curragh round-up: Valor shows winning spirit in Minstrel Stakes

Sunday 16 July 2017

Spirit Of Valor isn't for catching in the Minstrel Stakes

Spirit Of Valor gave Aidan O'Brien a Group Two double at the Curragh when leading all the way to lift the Qatar Airways Minstrel Stakes.

Ryan Moore was able to dictate affairs on the War Front colt, who showed his second in Royal Ascot's Jersey Stakes at odds of 66-1 was no fluke as he kept finding to keep his rivals at bay.

The 5-2 joint-favourite crossed the line a length and three-quarters clear of David O'Meara's So Beloved, with the Ed Walker-trained Stormy Antarctic a short head away in third.

"Over six or seven furlongs on fast ground he's obviously a real good horse," said O'Brien, who also took the Kilboy Estate Stakes with Elizabeth Browning.

"He had a very good run in Ascot. We tried him at a mile the first day (Qipco 2000 Guineas) and it was stretching him a bit. Then we came back to a mile on soft ground (Irish Guineas).

"Ryan was very happy with him. There were horses with good form in that race.

"We might have a look at the Lennox in Goodwood or something like that.

"There's no doubt he's improving. He's by War Front so he would like nice ground and the reason they do is because they are all fast horses."

Elizabeth Browning came from last to first to land the Group Two spoils in the Kilboy Estate Stakes.

Seamie Heffernan gave Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old a patient ride, as first Sea Swift and then Turret Rocks set the pace, before delivering the 12-1 chance with a sweeping run on the outside to strike by a length and three-quarters from Martyn Meade's Newmarket challenger Wilamina.

O'Brien's other runner Pocketfullofdreams, an 11-2 chance, was only fifth of the seven runners.

"Seamus gave her a great ride. She's a filly we've always thought had a lot of ability and she missed a lot of lines," said O'Brien.

"She's starting to get it together and on her last few runs she's starting to back up.

"It's a great race for fillies at this time of year. It's fits in perfect.

"She'll stay a bit further, she was coming home well."

Dawn Delivers got off the mark at the third attempt when justifying her short price in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

The Jim Bolger-trained youngster had taken on colts when second on her first two starts and made no mistake against her own sex.

Leading just inside the final furlong, the 4-7 favourite won cosily despite the newcomer Magical cutting the deficit to half a length at the line.

"That's job done. She'll stay further and we might look at the Silver Flash Stakes (at Leopardstown) with her," said Bolger.

"There are no easy maidens and they've been strong all year.

"The progeny of Dawn Approach are lovely horses to work with and that's half the battle."


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