Sign in to your account
Forgot / Reset Password? Click here
Not registered with The Irish Field? Register now to read 5 Field+ articles for FREE
Just one final step...
You must confirm your email address by clicking on the link we’ve sent to your email address.
You are only one short step away from reading 5 free Field+ articles.
VIDEO: Playa Del Puente foils O'Brien squad in Patton Stakes
Register now to read five Field + articles
for free per month.
Only takes a second!
Already registered with The Irish Field? Sign in
By registering an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
VIDEO: Playa Del Puente foils O'Brien squad in Patton Stakes
on 06 March 2019
The Michael Halford-trained colt has a Hong Kong-based owner and will probably travel there in May

MICHAEL Halford’s Playa Del Puente broke Aidan O’Brien’s stranglehold on the Listed BetVictor Patton Stakes as he recorded his third successive Dundalk victory.

Playa Del Puente, well-backed into 11/4 against O’Brien’s uneasy 6/4 favourite Western Australia, raced in third until pouncing late in the mile contest – which is one of the few European qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby.

Western Australia chased Colfer Me into the straight and was then marginally impeded a furlong out as the long-time leader leant left into him. But Playa Del Puente, under Ronan Whelan, was a deserved and convincing half-length winner – following up victories at the course in October and December.

Champion trainer O’Brien, who fielded three of the eight runners, had won all three previous editions – supplying the first three home last year, with 2018 victor Mendelssohn going on to take the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night.

The best O’Brien could manage this time, however, was the runner-up spot achieved by Western Australia – following his third to stablemate Magna Grecia in last year’s Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

O’Brien’s son Joseph saddled Numerian to stay on into third – a further one and three quarter lengths back – but the fourth running of the Patton belonged to Halford’s Playa Del Puente.

The trainer explained the colt’s future lies overseas, after his four career starts to date in Ireland, with his Hong Kong-based owner Huang Kai Wen.

“We sold him after his first run, and he kindly left him with us,” said Halford. “He’s going to Hong Kong now, and will probably travel out in May.

“That was always the plan. They will take their time with him, and I’d imagine they want him for the Hong Kong Derby.”

Halford is confident Playa Del Puente will continue to progress, wherever he runs.

“He’s a real smart horse,” he added. “He’s a bit fresh in himself and raced a bit keen early on – (but) he’s on the improve the whole time, and we are very grateful to have kept him.

“He’s still quite light, and there is plenty to come from him. He has a big heart and a big engine.”


Get full unlimited access to our content and archive.
Subscribe to The Irish Field
Unlimited access to The Irish Field via your computer, mobile device, tablet or newspaper delivered to your door.
Already a subscriber? Sign in