YOUMZAIN’s half-sister Hotter Than Hades (7/1) was an appropriate winner on the Saturday of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe weekend, as she completed a Killarney double for jockey Ronan Whelan in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Trained by Jack Davison and runner-up at listed level in May, Hotter Than Hades recorded a battling head win over Star Kissed (5/6 favourite), to record an important win for her owner Ann Marshall.
Whelan said: “She is very well-bred and obviously we got the blacktype (placing) with her already and it was important to get that win. Jack has done a great job, gave her a break to strengthen up as she was weak and she had to be tough today.
“She would have needed the run the last day and she got a little bump but after today it is definitely a race to put a line through. She is getting stronger and is from a family which gets better as they get older. It was an important win.”
Whelan had earlier won with the Kellihers Toyota Handicap with the Michael Halford-trained easy winner Cosmic Vega (6/1, for owners Long Inch Limited), which defeated Starting Monday by four and three-parts of a length.
Whelan reported: “On paper everything looked to suit - soft ground, going left-handed and the last day was his first run for a while and he definitely came on from that and was stepping up a furlong.
“He is quite hard on himself and everybody at home has done a good job getting him to switch off.
“We went good and hard which helped him to relax and when he races economically he has a turn of foot - anything after that I can’t take too much credit!”
Arriba, Arriba for McNamara as Gulf of Mexico gets him off the mark
GULF Of Mexico (5/2) landed the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden, as the Galileo-sired colt ended a 51-week winless spell for Derby-winning jockey Emmet McNamara.
Gulf Of Mexico made most of the running in a length-and-a-half win over Sea Legend and afterwards McNamara said: “Maybe he didn’t come forward as much from his first to his second run as a lot of Aidan’s do and may have taken another run. He is the type of horse who will improve as a three year old stepping out in trip.
“He obviously comes from a good pedigree, cost plenty as a yearling so it was nice he was able to do that. His first two maidens have worked out well so hopefully he can step up in grade. The ground is plenty soft enough for him.”
Andy Slattery moved to his best yearly total with The Vik’s (3/1) narrow win in the John J Galvin & Son Median Auction Maiden under his son, jockey Andrew Slattery.
The Vik made all and while strongly pressed in the closing stages by Fashion Flair held on for a short-head win.
It was trainer Slattery’s 24th flat winner of the year, his best total, and afterwards said: “He was fifth to Luxembourg here last year but has gone downhill after that and it has taken him a long time to get back.
“He got no run whatsoever at Galway and then ran well in Bellewstown when he was blown away by a horse on fast ground. He got the run of today’s race, got a lovely ride and won with a bit in hand as he was lugging out the whole way.
“He is by Fast Company and wants soft ground and is out of a mare who is a soft-ground influence. He’ll run again and the owners, Sean, Ronan and David Halley, will probably sell as they buy yearlings and two-year-olds all the time.”
The other maiden was the concluding event, sponsored by Boylesports, and saw Beautiful Chaos (7/2), under Jamie Powell, get off the mark at the ninth attempt, for owner Juliana Cassidy.
The daughter of Tamayuz scored by a head from Diamond Union and afterwards winning trainer Ross O’Sullivan said: “She is a big galloping mare, travelled great and Jamie was brilliant on her and the 7lb claim was a big help.
“She is very consistent and a ‘four-and-up’ maiden suited her down to the ground because she was often being beaten by a three-year-old.
“Her mother was rated 90 on the flat and won over hurdles, so she could go jumping but will have another run on the flat before the turf season is over.
“The lads bred her, raced her dam and haven’t had a winner for seven years. They’re over the moon, there were tears shed and we roared her home.”
Molly’s makes it win number two
MOLLY’S Gamble (11/2) followed up a July festival win at today’s venue with a second career success in the BoyleSports Best Odds Apprentice Handicap, scoring for trainer Denise ‘Sneezy’ Foster, jockey Danny Gilligan and the Never Give Up Syndicate.
Produced from off the pace, Molly’s Gamble scored by two and a half lengths from Maura’s Gift.
Afterwards jockey Gilligan said: “I thought they went very hard early and the race fell apart in front of me.
“To be fair when we turned in, she quickened well. She wasn’t killing herself when she hit the front and was running around a bit.
“There was a little worry from connections stepping up in distance today but hopefully now there is another bit of improvement in her and she can win again.”
Biggest priced winner was 16/1 chance Drish Melody which landed the Killarney Park Hotel Handicap for jockey Joe Doyle and owner/trainer Donal Commins.
It was a second success for the daughter of Galileo Gold and the trainer’s son Paul Commins said: “It has been a long time coming. We were delighted with her at two (years old) in Dundalk but whatever was going on, she didn’t take to it again.
“The first-time blinkers obviously did the trick and she got there lovely. We knew she had it, she was working brilliantly and we were happy with her in Listowel when the ground was a bit quick.
“We bred her ourselves but couldn’t get her sold and we’ll now consider going back to Dundalk. She’ll have a break now as it has been a long year for her.”