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Thursday 8 December 2016

Anthem Alexander makes winning start ahead of Ascot tilt

A second trip to Royal Ascot next up for Anthem Alexander after successful return

Anthem Alexander
Anthem Alexander

DESPITE rain that connections would have preferred not to see for Anthem Alexander, the class of the three-year-old filly certainly showed as she claimed the feature Group Three Lacken Stakes on Royal Ascot trials day at Naas yesterday afternoon.

While the rain did start to get into the ground as the day progressed, it still wasn't enough to deny Anthem Alexander who came from last to first to collar front running The Happy Prince and being the only runner in the field without a previous run this season, it was naturally very pleasing for her trainer.

"You are always relieved because deep down I have always thought the world of her but sooner or later you've got to show it off or prove it and I think that was a good trial and that race will do her the world of good," said Lynam

Bookmakers BoyleSports cut Anthem Alexander to 8/1 from 10/1 for the Commonwealth Cup and to 16/1 from 20/1 for the Kings' Stand Stakes.

The Meath-based trainer added: "They gave the Joseph no respect on the horse in front and she had to pass every taxi in the queue but she did it well for her first run and we can dream a bit longer. Lets hope we are lucky in Ascot with her.

"The trainer is thinking of the Commonwealth Cup but the owner is thinking of both races!

"Personally, I think if you have a top class horse that you treat her accordingly and if I had my way she will go for the Commonwealth Cup but I don't always get my way."

The feature race was the second leg of a double for Lynam who won the opening maiden with Ortiga and she justified the faith of her trainer.

"She seemed to enjoy the turf and I refused a few quid for her on Saturday and thankfully she's after going and winning."

Meanwhile, the form of the Irish juveniles looked to be well franked and although absent from yesterday's proceedings, Jim Bolger's Round Two was cut further for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot following the impressive win of Argentero in the listed Rochestown Stud Stakes.

The Ger Lyons-trained son of first season sire Zoffany had to try and give weight away to Round Two when they met at the last Naas meeting but Argentero had no problem stamping his authority on yesterday's six-furlong contest where he was a snug two-lengths clear of the staying on Galway Bay with English challenger Birchwood a further length and three-parts back in third to the obvious delight of his winning connections.

"That was hard work as there is a horrendous head wind out there and Colin said it's very, very hard on them but that was a good brave performance and he still hasn't got his ground," said Lyons.

"I wasn't disappointed the last day because I knew what Mr Bolger thought of his horse and we lost nothing in defeat.

"He has the best two-year-old in the country and we probably have the second best so we'll let him go to Royal Ascot and win there and we'll stay at home and go for the Railway Stakes. He'll be entered for Royal Ascot but the Railway would be my preferred choice."

CONTEST

Meanwhile, trainer Ken Condon is all set to have his first runner in the Epsom Derby after he supplemented Success Days into the race yesterday morning and he is one of 15 colts that go forward for racings blue riband contest.

After winning both the Ballysax Stakes and the Derrinstown Stakes, Success Days came well into the Derby reckoning and with a showers forecast for the week, Condon is hoping of making his mark.

"There are thunderstorms due on Friday, someone tells me, and they are due some rain," Condon said. "Andrew Cooper (clerk of the course) does a superb job with the ground and it is always a little bit slower on the Friday, so if they get some rain I can't see there being any sting in it.

"Saturday looks set to be lovely, a picture-perfect Derby day, and we'll be there. He's won the best two trials in Ireland and he certainly deserves his place in the line-up.

"People can say he's been winning in small fields and on bad ground but the ground is always soft in Ireland in the spring.

"I'm sure he'll run a good race."

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