He had to be content with second place in the Group One event, but Aidan O’Brien had ample compensation with four winners at The Curragh.
Sunday’s Moyglare Stud Stakes day saw O’Brien land an impressive quartet, while Willie Mullins also got his name on the scoresheet by taking the valuable mile and a half fillies handicap courtesy of Levanto.
The Ballydoyle maestro was quick out of the blocks when saddling the first two home in the opening two-year-old fillies maiden over a mile as Dazzling comfortably overcame Shell House with the Dermot Weld-trained favourite Sparkle Factor filling third place.
Dazzling, a sister to the Irish 2,000 guineas winner Roderick O’Connor, broke smartly and was always close to the pace. She held a definite advantage after a few furlongs and ran all the way to the line, where she had two and three-quarter lengths to spare over Shell House with a further three-parts of a length back to Sparkle Factor.
A fine big filly, the winner has plenty of stamina in her pedigree. She will have a few targets to aim at before the season is over, mainly across the water or in France.
When Great White Eagle smashed the European record at 750,000 Guineas for a breeze up horse at the Newmarket Craven sale he automatically became a talking horse. He then bolted up in a Naas maiden after which he was immediately quoted among the favourites for next year’s 2000 Guineas. While he kept his unbeaten record intact with a workmanlike success in the Group Three juvenile contest over six furlongs he did not show the same explosive speed as he did on his debut.
An unbackable favourite, the Elusive Quality colt was settled off the pace by rider Joseph O’Brien. He had to be well stoked up to pick off the leader, but finished strongly to beat the David Wachman runner Remember You by a couple of lengths.
Time alone will tell just how good a contest this was. The answer could well come when the winner steps up in trip in either the National Stakes or the Middle Park Stakes, but connections are of the opinion that a mile will be extent of his stamina.
Galileo is proving to be a hot property as a stallion. After siring the first two home in the opener another of his offspring was to the fore in the Group Three contest for fillies and mares as Say defeated Aloof for O’Brien’s third winner.
Say was never too far out of her ground, throwing down the gauntlet to the long-time leader Aloof inside the final furlong before winning by a length and a quarter. A Cork maiden winner Say has had a busy season and performed well at Group level without finding the winners enclosure. She was easy enough to back but failed to read the script and deservedly opened her Group winning account.
O’Brien and his son Joseph completed their run when Victory Song justified favouritism in the concluding mile and two maiden for three-year-olds. The son of Dansili broke well and led early on but was soon restrained by his rider. He was right on the premises turning to face the judge and when Joseph pressed the ‘go’ button a furling or so out he picked up well and was not unduly knocked about when beating Deep Spend by a length.
The Willie Mullins-trained Levanto bounced back to her best when landing the E30,000 fillies handicap over a mile and a half. Partnered by Johnny Murtagh the three-year-old daughter of Lawman made eye-catching progress in the straight before running all the way to the line for an extended two length win over Drifting Mist.
This track and trip seem to be ideal for Levanto. On this evidence she is capable of stepping up to Listed level at some stage before the season ends.
The Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes proved to be a rough race as Rizeena swooped late to land the spoils from the favourite Kiyoshi. In the stewards inquiry Kiyoshi, which caused most of the interference, was demoted to third place with the O’Brien runner Tapestry moved up a place to second.
The main sufferer was another Ballydoyle runner Wonderfully, which was brought to a standstill a furlong out and subsequently eased right down. Jamie Spencer, the rider of Kiyoshi, was handed a four-day ban by the stewards for careless riding but the main talking point was the relative merits of the first three as they are heading the betting for the 1,000 Guineas.