TANGO could head to next month’s Breeders’ Cup meeting following a comfortable victory in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Legacy Stakes at the Curragh.
The No Nay Never filly was having the eighth outing of her career and was sent off the 11/8 favourite for Aidan O’Brien, having finished fourth in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes last time out.
She could be called the winner some way out in this six-furlong heat, moving through smoothly for Donnacha O’Brien to win by six lengths.
O’Brien said: “She’s a smart filly and Donnacha thinks she’s getting better. He said she was very sweet and she’ll get further. If she gets seven then she could get a mile next year.
“She has experience and could go for the (juvenile) fillies’ race at the Breeders’ Cup. I always liked her, but she was probably a bit babyish for a while. She galloped right out to the line.”
O’Brien was completing a quick double having won the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden with 8/11 favourite Precious Moments.
The trainer said: “She’d good form. Donnacha said she’s fast and six is probably her trip. We tried her a bit further, but she’s fast and genuine.
"She handled the ground, but I’d say she wants nice ground because she’s a low mover. I’d say that’s it for this year and we’ll keep her around six next year.”
O’Brien made it a hat-trick as the Seamie Heffernan-ridden Fancy Blue (4/1) got up on the line to take the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes over a mile.
Fancy Blue came with a strong run from the back of the pack to edge out A New Dawn, who was ridden by Donnacha O’Brien for his brother, Joseph, by a head.
The trainer said: “She’s Donnacha’s really. He does everything with her at Longfield and knows more about her than I do. It was a hard choice which filly to ride and I kind of advised him the wrong way!
“She’s a good filly and was one of the few of ours that won first time out. She’s a quality filly and Seamus gave her a lovely ride.”
Make A Challenge ran away with the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes for Denis Hogan and Joe Doyle.
Rated 66 back in April, the four-year-old had risen to a mark of 109 after winning five times and stepped up again to run out a four-and-a-half-length winner, prompting connections to consider a quick reappearance at Ascot.
Hogan said: “That didn’t shock me after what he did in the Joe McGrath. Some people were thinking the handicapper was hard on us, but deep down I knew he was right.
“I had said we were coming here and then put him away for the winter, but there is a chance he could go to Dubai as Walter (O’Connor, part owner) has plenty of business there.
“He could also be supplemented for Ascot next weekend. We’ll have to have a look at it. He loves an ease in the ground and was working very well on our gallop last winter.
“He had issues in the stalls earlier in the year, but the boys in the yard and Joe Doyle seem to have ironed them out. He failed to load twice and blew the start another day. To be able to win over six and five opens plenty of doors.
“We’re having a great season, both on the flat and over jumps, and it’s down to all the hard work of the staff at home. The sales are coming up and we have a lot of stables to fill so it’s good.”