The Street Cry colt Akeed Wafi stamped himself as a juvenile of immense promise with a clear cut success in the first division of the mile 2.y.o. maiden t Gowran Park on Saturday. Trained by John Oxx he was an eyecatching fourth on his debut at Leopardstown a race that has worked out very well indeed.
Partnered by Niall McCullagh Akeed Wafi tracked the leaders as the Jim Bolger runner Rigoletta set the pace, the latter still held the call passing the two furlong marker but McCullagh was staking him all the way and when he popped the question Akeed Wafi picked up well to go clear and score comfortably by a couple of lengths.
This was the performance of a really nice colt and Oxx Told me that the ground will determine where his charge goes from here.
He is a good ground animal and if conditions remain like this he will be aimed at the Group3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown next month otherwise he will be put away until the spring when he is expected to develop into a live contender for some of the early season Classic trials.
Bolger an earlier winner
Jim Bolger had earlier visited the winners enclosure when Do The Bosanova held on in a head bobbing finish to the extended mile and a furlong 71-93 handicap for 3-year-olds but her 14/1 starting price hardly lined the pockets of the trainers massive following at the track. After chasing the leaders early on the daughter of Galileo struck for home at the two furlong marker buy was narrowly headed a furlong out by Words Of wisdom, however, she battled to regain the advantage almost on the line for a nose victory with the fast finishing Hadrian’s Waltz just a neck further back in third place.
This was a good display by the winner and while she is not the most consistent in the world a repeat of this form would see her score again before the season is out.
At the beginning of the year Glor Na Mara from the Bolger yard was considered well up to Group level but he continued to find one too good for him and his star waned somewhat. He had his first outing at maiden level in the opening seven furlong maiden for 3 and 4 year-olds but once again he failed to do the business and had to be content with second place behind Solar Verde.
Partnered by Pat Smullen Solar Verde set off in front but was joined by Eagle Canyon turning for home, the latter began to fade from the two furlong marker and it was Glor Na Mar that came through in the last furlong to deliver his challenge but he was never able to get on terms and went down by a length and a half. A shade expensive to follow the winner was dropping back in trip, she comes from a high class family and will now be upped to stakes level in an effort to get some blacktype which would be of enormous benefit when she retires to the paddocks.
It was a day to remember for trainer Andy Oliver as he landed the First Group race of his career when Flowers Of Spring took the featured Group3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes over a mile and a furlong.
Enough in tank
Backed from 10 and 12/1 the daughter of Celtic Swing came from well off the pace to deliver her challenge a quarter of a mile out and had just about enough left in the tank to hold the later run of Zaminast by three parts of a length with the longtime Bolger trained leader Hurricane Havoc two lengths further back in third place.
In recording her fifth success the winner is proving to be a star for the yard, she was sporting blinkers for the first time ac connections felt that they would sharpen her up. Oliver had no specific target in mind for his charge preferring to wait and see how she comes out of the race , however, there is a possibility that se will not run again this term.
Aidan O’Brien teamed up with his son Joseph to land the second division of the mile 2.y.o. maiden courtesy of Tibet. The Bolger representative Amhrasach which was runner-up to the smart O’Brien colt Athens on his most recent appearance started favourite and when he hit the front a furlong out he looked poised for victory but he came off a straight line and was caught in the shadow of the post by Tibet and beaten a head.
With less than four lengths covering the first nine home it is difficult to form a definite opinion of the value of the race and time alone will provide the answer.
Shane Foley is fast blossoming into a top rider and he was seen to great effect when getting Danequest home by a head in the mile nursery. Sending his mount into the lead early on Foley then allowed Outback to take up the running but arrived with a perfectly timed challenge to lead inside the final furlong and capture the spoils by a head from the latter.
Tony Mullins and his son Danny joined forces at the Curragh on Sunday to land the valuable seven furlong handicap in a tight finish with Bay Nigh while Aidan O’Brien completed a three timer that included the Group2 Beresford Staked with the Shamie Heffernan ridden David Livingston which upset the favourite Akeed Mofeed.