LEADING classic contender Madhmoon had to settle for second as he was outpointed by Never No More on his seasonal bow in the Listed Ballylinch Stud ‘Red Rocks’ 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.
Kevin Prendergast’s charge was sent off the 4/6 favourite after winning both his juvenile starts, including a Group 2, and he looked set for glory as he moved to the front under Chris Hayes inside the last of the seven furlongs.
However, Ryan Moore had stoked up 5/2 chance Never No More down the outside and with a 3lb pull in the weights, plus the benefit of a recent Naas victory, he proved too strong.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained winner triumphed by half a length and the Ballydoyle handler will now look to move up to classic company.
Never No More inflicts a first defeat on Madhmoon in the @BallylinchStud 2,000 Guineas Trial for Ryan Moore and Aidan O'Brien at LeopardstownRC— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 6, 2019
Ante-post ? https://t.co/aYZcdmCmHd pic.twitter.com/2iPWJscXHx
He said: “We’re delighted and he came forward lovely from Naas. Donnacha (O’Brien) liked him in Naas and we liked him last year, Ryan was delighted with him.
“He got a nice position and when he eased him out, he found plenty for him. He was very happy with him.
“Obviously he’d be very happy with nice ground, but he handled the ease well today.
“We could look at a Guineas with him, either France or England – he could be a French Guineas horse.
“He’s tactical and he seems to get that trip well. He finishes off and he did that in Naas as well.”