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Group race treble for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien on Sunday
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Group race treble for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien on Sunday
on 01 July 2018
Out of luck in the Irish Derby, the top trainer and jockey have been mopping up the lesser races at the Curragh this weekend

RYAN Moore and Aidan O'Brien combined to win three races at the Curragh on Saturday and they did the same at Sunday's Curragh fixture, securing two more Group 3 races and a Group 2 contest to their weekend tally.

Their first Group 3 win came with So Perfect, who left it late to claim top honours in the Grangecon Stud Stakes.

She was the 6/4 favourite for the six-furlong contest, turning out just 11 days after finishing a close-up fourth in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Ballydoyle handler fielded three of the eight runners, with son Joseph saddling two, and it was O'Brien's Fleeting who took the field along for much of the journey.

With the pacesetter fading tamely, Joseph O'Brien's Cava and the Patrick Prendergast-trained Skitter Scatter engaged in a battle for the lead over a furlong out before So Perfect and Ryan Moore lunged late to beat them both.

In second, beaten half a length, came Skitter Scatter, with Cava the same distance further back in third.

The winning trainer said: "I'm delighted with her. She had a lovely run in Ascot. She just got drawn a little bit out by herself at Ascot but that was lovely and she was able to get a little bit of cover.

Ryan was delighted with her. He said she's not there yet and there is plenty more to come from her.

"She might go to the Cherry Hinton (at Newmarket), as could Gossamer Wings. I think she'll stay further and she's a Scat Daddy, so I'd say she likes fast ground."

BLINKERS WORKED

The application of blinkers and a change of tactics helped Yucatan open his account for the season in the Finlay Volvo International Stakes.

The O'Brien-trained four-year-old has plenty to live up to on breeding as a son of Galileo out of the top-class racemare Six Perfections, but managed just one win from 10 previous starts.

He had failed to beat a rival home in either the Coronation Cup at Epsom or the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot, but showed his true colours in this 10-furlong Group 3.

Moore sent the 2/1 favourite straight to the lead and though he was under pressure early in the home straight, Yucatan admirably stuck to his guns to see off Stellar Mass by a length.

O'Brien said: "He was just a bit slow away in Ascot he never really got going. You'd be delighted with that. We'll look for another Group 3 for him. He might get a mile and a half. No doubt he likes a bit of nice ground as he's a very good mover.

"Ryan was happy with him, he just said he's very lazy. The blinkers seemed to help him there. In Ascot he had cheekpieces so I'd say the blinkers were probably a help to him."

CURRAGH CUP

The Moore/O'Brien group race treble was completed when Flag Of Honour (7/2) landed the Group 2 Comer International Curragh Cup by a length and a half from his shorter-priced stable companion Giuseppe Garibaldi (11/8). Both horses are three-year-olds and seem likely to take in either the Irish or Doncaster St Legers.

Irish Derby-winning trainer Joseph O'Brien was also on the mark today, as Band Of Outlaws (7/1) won the one-mile premier handicap under Wayne Lordan.

HARRINGTON WINNER

Klute made virtually every yard of the running on his racecourse debut in the opening Barronstown Stud Irish EBF Maiden.

Jessica Harrington's Kodiac colt was a 20/1 shot in the hands of Colm O'Donoghue and was soon bowling along at the head of affairs in a race won in recent years by the likes of Rip Van Winkle (2008), Gleneagles (2014) and Gustav Klimt (2017).

Guaranteed kept him honest as the post loomed, while Howling Ridge was flying at the finish, but Klute had enough in reserve to hold them at bay by half a length and the same.

Zorabad, the 5/2 favourite, was well beaten.

Harrington said: "I'm delighted with him. We've always liked him but it was a very, very smart maiden. He's a smashing horse and Colm just said he was galloping along there in front, stayed on and did everything easily. It was very straightforward. He's in the National Stakes. Other than that we'll just take it step by step."

Red Avenger (11/1) outmuscled Kailee in a tight finish to the seven-furlong Westgrove Hotel Handicap (for horses rated 60-90).

The former, trained by Damian English and ridden by Rory Cleary, stayed true and strong when it mattered to score by a short head.

English said: "It worked out a treat. He's the sort of horse that could win a few on the bounce now. He's in at Bellewstown on Wednesday but I'll have to talk to Rory and we'll see."

READ RYAN McELLIGOTT'S FULL CURRAGH REPORT IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND

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