TWILIGHT Jet made a big impression on his return to action at Naas last Sunday with a powerful front-running performance in the Group 3 Goffs Lacken Stakes.

Michael O’Callaghan’s charge was making his first start since a trip to the Breeder’s Cup last November and proved a different class to his rivals, bouncing out in front and never looking in any real trouble in the race, run over just short of six furlongs.

Leigh Roche kicked for home over a furlong out and the 9/2 shot ran on strongly to record a three-length success over New York City.

Twilight Jet was adding to another Group 3 success last season in the Cornwallis Stakes and his trainer feels he can make an impact this year at the top level.

“It was impressive and a relief as well. He missed six weeks in the spring, we just swam him for six weeks, and if this was three weeks ago he wouldn’t have been ready,” said O’Callaghan.

“He’s just come right and that makes it all the more impressive to me, knowing how his prep went during the spring. He always looked like one that could improve with time, he’s a fine big horse. He has a bit of class and has a lot of natural speed. He’s going to improve for the run today.

“In the Middle Park last year he showed his class but just didn’t see out the six furlongs. I think this year he looks strong enough to go to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup with a big chance.

“Michael and Julia Iavarone, whose colours he runs in, used to own Big Brown who won the Kentucky Derby and they bought into 50% of him to go to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Protracted duel

The Ger Lyons-trained gelding Lust knuckled down gamely to land the spoils in the Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas after a protracted duel with Diadora.

The pair battled it out for the length of the straight in the seven-furlong listed contest and there was little between them inside the final furlong.

Colin Keane just extracted a bit more from Lust late on as the Newtown Anner-owned gelding asserted close home for a length-and-a-quarter win over his fellow 5/2 joint-favourite.

“This lad is hard on himself and he’s a hard horse to train, he’s not an easy ride and Martin Mooney does a great job on him at home trying to keep a lid on him,” said Lyons.

“Seven furlongs and stepping him up in class, where there are fewer runners, suits him and going round a bend suits him.

“Ideally he wants soft ground so they’ve done a fantastic job here. He has a little issue with his wind and we try and rectify that this time of year every year.

“You’re always looking at Champions Weekend and working from there. I had planned on giving him a semi-break.”

Lyons and Keane went on to double up courtesy of Hale Bopp in the concluding mile handicap.

The Belardo gelding came with a strong run to lead inside the final furlong and record a comprehensive two-and-a-quarter length win over front-runner Longbourn.

“He’s a nice horse to have around the place,” said Lyons. “There is a big one in him and he could hit it or miss it depending on the luck on the day, he’s that type of horse.”

O’Brien eyes Ascot with three exciting juveniles

MEDITATE booked her spot for Royal Ascot when running out a convincing winner of the Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes.

Wayne Lordan tracked the trail blazing Matilda Picotte in the Group 3 contest, run over just shy of six furlongs, and she had to work to peg back that rival.

The No Nay Never filly grabbed her fellow 2/1 joint-favourite in the final 150 yards and was soon in control, recording a length-and-a-quarter victory over Comhra.

Aidan O’Brien said afterwards: “I’m delighted with her. She’s very laid back at home so she’s a hard filly to get a read on.

“Obviously she won very nicely at the Curragh and stepped up in distance there. Wayne was delighted with her today. She’s lovely and we’re very happy with her.

“We were hoping to come here and if everything went well then have a look at the Albany with her. We think that’s what we’ll do, obviously we’ll talk to the lads but I think that’s the route she’ll be going.”

In the opening Coolmore Stud Calyx Race, The Antarctic also made it two from two with a battling success in the five-furlong contest.

Seamie Heffernan was prominent throughout on the Dark Angel colt and he got on top passing the furlong pole to record a three-parts-of-a-length victory over Mehmar.


“He’s fast, obviously he’s a brother to Battaash. He has a lot of natural speed and is a high cruiser,” said O’Brien.

“I’m delighted to get a second run with him and Seamus is very happy with him. He’s a real sprinter, I’d say, he’s very strong and he’s as wide as he is long. I couldn’t be happier with him.

“The plan was to go for the Norfolk if everything went well today. I think that’s the plan, if everybody is happy, that we’ll stay on.”

The master of Ballydoyle made it three on the day when Galleria Borghese ran out a game winner of the one-mile fillies maiden.

Wayne Lordan, recording a double on the card, was soon in front on the Caravaggio filly and the 6/1 shot kept on well in the closing stages to beat Red Azalea by a length and a quarter.

Brostaigh improves again as Joseph hits four-timer

NOT to be outdone, O’Brien’s son Joseph saddled a double on the card to add to a brace at Killarney on the same day.

The victory of Brostaigh, in the Sole Power Sprint Stakes, was a family success as the Footstepsinthesand filly is owned by the trainer’s mother Anne-Marie.

She went to post a 10/1 shot in the listed contest but continued her improvement this season to land the five-furlong event.

Dylan Browne McMonagle produced his mount to challenge over a furlong from home and she was nicely on top in the closing stages to record a length-and-a-half win over Logo Hunter.

“Her maidens have worked out pretty well and she had a really good run the last day in Cork (when fourth in the Polonia Stakes),” said O’Brien.

“We were going to run in the Lacken but this race cut up and I thought we had a better chance of sneaking third here.

“She improved a bit more than I thought and probably improved for the drop back to five as well.

“She’s a well-bred filly from a fast family. She’ll run away in fillies’ sprints for the year but that’s job done - a stakes winner.”

The Piltown handler struck again later on the card when Amortentia recorded a smooth success in the mile handicap for three-year-olds.

Shane Crosse took his time on the Caravaggio gelding, producing him to lead inside the final furlong for a half-length win over Cowboy Justice.

“Shane gave the horse a lovely confident ride and he has progressed well from last year,” said O’Brien.

“Sue-Ann (Foley) will get a big kick out of that, it was a nice win and a good performance.”

When asked if he could go to Royal Ascot he added: “Obviously the timing works well from now and if there is a suitable race there, which I’m sure there will be, he could be on the boat.”