Visualisation led his rivals a merry dance in the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes.
Visualisation justifies strong market support to claim the listed Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listowel Stakes in some style! @declanmcdonogh gives a superb ride to his mount to get him to the front from a wide draw and win for @JosephOBrien2 ?? pic.twitter.com/5I4waleemA— Listowel Races (@ListowelRaces) September 21, 2021
Winner of the valuable “Habitat” Handicap at the Curragh earlier in the summer before claiming a second place at Royal Ascot, Joseph O’Brien’s charge was last seen finishing down the field in the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes.
Dropping down to listed class in the feature event on day three of the Harvest Festival, Visualisation was a well supported 7/2 chance and ultimately won with plenty in hand.
Drawn widest of all in stall 11, the three-year-old was rousted away from the stalls by Declan McDonogh, enabling him to move across the field and grab the lead.
The chasing pack attempted to close the gap from the home turn, but Visualisation never looked in any real danger of being caught and passed the post with two and a half lengths in hand over Geometrical, with Casanova close up in third.
O’Brien’s assistant, Brendan Powell, said: “Declan was brilliant on him. He got him out from the gates and to the front and he has dictated lovely the whole way. He has given him a breather on the bend and then kicked.
“I think he is improving all the time and obviously the softer the ground, the better. He stays well, is very genuine and has won that well in the end.
“That’s his best win and the best he has been. Where Joseph will go now I don’t know, but he’ll stay further.”
It proved to be a profitable afternoon for favourite backers, with the market leaders of the first four races all striking gold.
Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan teamed up to land the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden with even-money shot Aikhal, before Jarlath Fahey’s Pimstrel (7/2) strode clear of her rivals under Leigh Roche in division one of the Rose Hotel Handicap.
Division two went the way of Eoin McCarthy’s Drombeg Duke (100/30), ridden by Gavin Ryan, while Dermot Weld’s Mutasarref looks ready for a step up in grade judged on his ready success in the Jet & Peggy O’Carroll Memorial (C & G) Maiden in the hands of Colin Keane.
Kris Weld, assistant to his father, said: “After his last run he looked like he should go and win today and thankfully he has. Hopefully we will go and look for a handicap for him next.
“His dam (Mulkeyya) loved an ease in the ground and we anticipated he would handle it well.”
Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley continued their hot streak by landing the last two races of the day, with Tut Tut (5/2) getting back on the winning trail in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery and Laelaps obliging in the Listowel Arms Hotel Handicap at 15/2.