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More success for Willie McCreery and Billy Lee
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More success for Willie McCreery and Billy Lee
on 15 April 2018
The in-form partnership landed the listed race at Cork on Sunday on a day when the ground was very testing

IT was a day of wide-margin winners at Cork's flat meeting on Sunday.

On ground that one senior jockey described as "unraceable", the opening maiden produced a 21-length winner and, later on the card, we had a handicap won by 33 lengths.

The day's feature race was the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes and this listed contest went the way of the 4/5 favourite Bloomfield.

After the four-year-old daughter of Teofilo has defeated Glamorous Approach by almost five lengths under Billy Lee, winning trainer Willie McCreery said: "It's grand to win and she is as honest a filly as you can get. My only concern was her fitness but how can you judge in those conditions."

The trainer continued: "I have her in next week (Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan) and I'd say she'll stay the 14 furlongs there but I don't think running her is the right thing to do. I wanted to see if she was a Cup filly because she does settle so well and all she does is gallop.

"I was looking at next week but she has had too hard a race there and tried her heart out. Billy said she waddled when he pulled her up but that was purely due to the ground.

"There are plenty of options both here and abroad and she is very very well bred so we'll try and find a Group 3 with her. She is the first filly Johnny Connaughton sent to me and I'm delighted to have her."

McCreery and Lee won a listed race together at Navan last weekend with Downforce and they also combined at Naas on Friday with smart winner So Long Marianne.

Lee also won the first race on Sunday's Cork card, the median auction maiden over an extended mile, by 21 lengths aboard the Paddy Twomey-trained Expected. The three-year-old son of Intikhab was making his racecourse debut.

Colm O'Donoghue rode runner-up Escapability (1/2 favourite) and he reported to officials that, in his opinion, the track was unraceable.

Clerk of the course Val O'Connell told the stewards that, in his opinion, the ground was "consistently heavy" and that racing could proceed, which satisfied the stewards.

Harzand won at this meeting two years ago before going on to complete a Derby double. His trainer Dermot Weld again supplied the winner of the 10-furlong maiden today when Bandua won by almost 10 lengths. The winner, a son of US stallion The Factor, was making his debut and only had three rivals to beat here. This race was started by flag.

Earlier on the card, the Denis Hogan-trained Allegio also only had three opponents as he repeated his recent course success when landing a handicap over an extended mile by 33 lengths.

The Galileo gelding justified his 5/4 favourite's tag with a easy success from the front under Seamie Heffernan.

Trainers Mick Halford and Ado McGuinness, both of whom had runners in this race, also expressed their concerns over the ground to the stewards.

PLENTY OF PUNCHESTOWN FESTIVAL PREVIEWS IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND

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