Rock rolls to Ballysax success

by British Horseracing Authority News Headlines 4 years ago

Fascinating Rock produced a stylish effort to take the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Navan.

Stirabout took them along in the renowned Derby trial before All Set To Go edged to the front at the three-furlong marker, although several of the big guns were within easy reach at that stage and one of the Ballydoyle runners, Carlo Bugatti, soon threw down a challenge.

The Dermot Weld-trained Fascinating Rock (5-2) had been settled towards the rear but he moved very powerfully into the race in the hands of Pat Smullen and put matters to bed once assuming control in the final furlong, holding the running-on 7-4 favourite Answered by two and a half lengths.

The winner was added to the Investec Derby field at a cost of �8,000 this week, and Kris Weld, son of the winning trainer, said: “He did it very well. It came up quite quickly after he won nicely at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago, but it was the obvious race to come for and it’s lovely to win it again.

“He travelled very well and looked the way a winner a long way from home. There’s no immediate plans for him, but he’s had two quick runs so he’ll have a break and we’ll freshen him up.

“He was entered in the Derby during the week but we’ll take it one step at a time with him and he’s a lovely horse for the future. He’s a big powerful horse and you’d like to think there’s more improvement in him as he fills into his frame. Better ground shouldn’t be a problem.”

Dazzling (5-1) was an all-the-way winner of the day’s other big race, the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes, in the hands of Joseph O’Brien.

Winner of a maiden from her three starts last season, the Aidan O’Brien-trained daughter of Galileo found plenty for pressure to beat Cristal Fashion by a length and three-quarters, with the winner’s stablemate Terrific running on in eyecatching fashion to be just a nose further back in third.

O’Brien snr said: “I’m delighted. She’s a lovely staying filly and she’ll get further. She looks an Oaks filly and she’ll have a run between now and then somewhere. She should get a mile and a half, I would imagine. That was her first run and she should come on from it. I was delighted with the third filly also.”

Palace made it a double for the O’Brien team with a splending performance in the 20 Family Ticket For May 18th Family Day Fillies Maiden, coming forward markedly from her debut fourth at Leopardstown at the beginning of this month.

Gorteo set sail for home, but the 4-6 favourite reeled her in over a furlong out and ran on strongly to score by four and three-quarter lengths.

O’Brien, who also bred the winner, said: “She’s a nice filly and I’m delighted with her. We’ll have to see whether she runs again now before the Irish Guineas. She’s coming forward lovely. She’s very smart and we always thought she was.

“The Fastnet Rocks want really good ground. It’s Australian breeding and they want fast ground. They have big engines. She was our best filly last year but she met with a setback and didn’t get to run.”

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