Treble for O’Brien and Moore
Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore combined for a treble at the Curragh on Sunday. We review the action.
Gustav Klimt opened his account at the second attempt in the Barronstown Stud Irish EBF Maiden at the Curragh.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien has won this prize with the likes of Duke Of Marmalade (2006), Rip Van Winkle (2008) and Gleneagles (2014) in recent years and Gustav Klimt was a well-backed 11-8 favourite to add his name to the roll of honour after finishing fifth on his debut at the end of May.
Ryan Moore produced the Galileo colt with his challenge in the straight and he comfortably saw off market rival Would Be King by a length and three-quarters.
The winner's stablemate, Amedeo Modigliani, is one for the notebook after flying home from a long way back to finish third on what was his racecourse bow.
O'Brien said: "We always liked him and he ran a lovely race here the first day.
"We had it in our heads that he might go to the Chesham (at Royal Ascot) after that, but Ryan (Moore) said we should maybe leave him and come back here and let the filly (September) go to the Chesham.
"He's a lovely colt who travels well and quickens well.
"Ryan was very happy with him and says there's more to come from him.
"He could go to one of those races in Newmarket at the July meeting, but we'll see how he comes out of it."
Silverkode (6-1) claimed top honours in the RTE Radio One Handicap. Joe Murphy's charge got the better of Severus by a neck in the hands of Gary Carroll, with Plough Boy just a head away in third.
"It was a very professional performance from a novice in a handicap and I'm delighted with him," said Murphy.
"The statistics for maiden winners coming into handicaps are eight percent, so we came here with that in the back of our minds.
"We've always loved the horse. He got a mark of 84 after the last day, so we had no option but to go for a handicap.
"It was a nice handicap and I wanted to come back to the Curragh where he had won before. It was a learning mission as well, but we were very happy to run.
"To be honest, on his first run in a handicap I thought he might be a bit novicey but anyway, he got up.
"In comparison to the run of six seconds we had, it's good to be on the other side."
Tithonus came out on top in a thrilling climax to the Tote Rockingham Handicap.
An ultra-competitive field of 19 runners went to post for the valuable five-furlong contest and there were still plenty in with chances as the post loomed.
Denis Hogan's 14-1 shot Tithonus had just enough in the tank hold the fast-finishing Hit the Bid at bay under Rory Cleary.
Patrick was third ahead of top-weight Spirit Quartz in fourth.
Hogan said: "That's absolutely brilliant and he deserves it. "I have to say a big thanks to Donncha Houlihan, my vet in Greenmount Veterinary. He diagnosed this lad with gastric ulcers after his last run. He put him on a course of antibiotics and he has turned him inside out.
"He's a top class vet and I can't thank him enough.
"Rory was brilliant on him from start to finish. It's just great. He's versatile as he's won over five, six and seven furlongs.
"He's entered in the Scurry in two weeks' time and that looks likely. Six furlongs should be perfect, the optimum trip."
O'Brien and Moore completed doubles on the day as Johannes Vermeer landed the Finlay Volvo International Stakes.
The four-year-old was having his sights lowered after finishing down the field in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Prince of Wales's Stakes on his last two starts.
Moore rode a confident race aboard the 5-2 favourite, who quickened up well to take the Group Three prize by half a length from Success Days.
O'Brien said: "You'd be delighted with that. Ryan said he might even stay further.
"He said he travels well, quickens well but doesn't do an awful lot when he gets to the front.
"Ryan said he could be a Caulfield Cup horse. He has options and we'll see. We'll look at races over a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half.
"That's very good ground today and he has form on soft ground as well."
Clemmie provided O'Brien and Moore with their third winner of the afternoon by landing the Grangecon Stud Stakes.
A full-sister to this year's dual 2000 Guineas hero Churchill, the daughter of Galileo ran a race full of promise on her debut at the Curragh in May, but could only finish seventh when well-fancied for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.
She was the 6-4 favourite to bounce back in this Group Three event and ultimately won comprehensively by two and three-quarter lengths.
Butterscotch was a clear second, giving O'Brien with a one-two.
O'Brien raised the possibility of Clemmie clashing with stablemate and 1000 Guineas favourite September at some stage this season.
He said: "She's lovely. We're going to give her a little bit of time now and then maybe step up to the seven furlongs in the Debutante.
"You'd be delighted with that. She's coming together lovely, slowly slowly. You'd imagine being by Galileo she'll step up to seven and she'll probably even get a mile.
"It was lovely bit of ground for her and the race worked out lovely.
"It's five or six weeks to the Debutante, which is a Group Two fillies' race. That's what we'll have a look at with her and we're looking at the same race for September.
"They have to learn and we'll all learn together."
Rekindling finished with a flourish in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup.
Winner of the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown in the spring before finishing fourth in the Dante at York, Joseph O'Brien's colt failed to make an impact in the Epsom Derby.
Stepping up in trip but coming down in grade for this Group Two affair, Rekindling was a 6-1 shot under Wayne Lordan.
Hot favourite Wicklow Brave, last year's Irish St Leger winner, looked home for all money after going clear in the final furlong, but Lordan coaxed a late rattle out of Rekindling and he got up to score by half a length.
Elidor was best of the rest in third.
O'Brien said: "He gave him a great ride and he settled well. "He had a little bit of class and there was a chance he would be a little bit better than them.
"Obviously Wicklow Brave is a very good horse, but he had a little bit of class and it worked today. Three-year-olds have a good record in this race.
"It looked today like he could be a Leger horse. He did well to go and get Wicklow Brave, he's a very good horse.
"We hadn't thought much further than today. We were probably finding out about him trip-wise today.
"There is Doncaster and the Irish Leger. He has to go to one or the other and he probably has to go somewhere between now and then as well.
"An awful lot will depend on how the races are looking closer to the time. I'm sure there will be a few better three-year-olds than were taking him on today in Doncaster.
"We'll see what happens closer to the time, but it's nice that he's back in form anyway.
"We'll probably have to meet Order Of St George somewhere. If we don't meet him in the trial here, we might meet end up meeting him in September here.
"A lot of people are knocking the three-year-old generation, but it will be interesting to see in the next month or six weeks."Hamley (8-1) gained her second win of the week in the Troytown Grey Abbey Equine Hospital Handicap.Peter Fahey's filly struck gold at Tipperary on Thursday and defied a 6lb penalty in the hands of Ronan Whelan.Fahey said: "I'm thrilled with the filly. When we got her, her first two runs were desperate for us and she's after turning the corner on her last few runs."My horses are probably just coming in to very good form. We'll give her a little bit of time now and might chance something in Galway."She stays well and there is a mile-and-a-half or a mile-and-three-furlong handicap in Galway for her. Hopefully we can have another day out of her."Full credit to all the lads in the yard at home because between sales and being away on holidays, they've done everything with the horses."I'm delighted for the syndicate. Dermot Dunne set it up and there are 20 members in it. It's great for them and it's great for racing to get a few more syndicates back going."