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Sunday 4 December 2016

Another dominant day for Aidan O'Brien

Port Douglas (left) and Emmet McNamara battle out the closing stages of the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes with True Solitaire The Curragh Photo: Patrick McCann 27.09.2015
Port Douglas (left) and Emmet McNamara battle out the closing stages of the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes with True Solitaire The Curragh Photo: Patrick McCann 27.09.2015

Aidan O’Brien’s record at Irish Flat racing’s headquarters is quite something and following on from his Group One treble on Irish St Leger day earlier in the month, the Ballydoyle-based trainer enjoyed another treble yesterday.

This was a lower key afternoon but the crowd was certainly a healthy one and the performances of those on the track were certainly notable.

There was a surprise in the feature Juddmonte Beresford Stakes, not with who trained the winner but the fact that it was O’Brien’s apparent third string which provided him with a record-breaking 15th win in the Beresford Stakes.

Determination

Port Douglas set out to make what appeared to be quite a good pace from the front and he showed plenty of determination at the business end to see off True Solitaire by a shorthead and provide jockey Emmet McNamara with the biggest win of his career.

O’Brien said: “He’s a tough horse and was a bit lazy last time so we put the blinkers on to keep him awake. He could go for the Racing Post Trophy and is a typical middle-distance horse. They want a good gallop.”

The Racing Post Trophy will also be considered for debut winner Hit It A Bomb who gave Ryan Moore his first winner for O’Brien since making his return from injury earlier in the week.

“The Racing Post Trophy may come a bit quick but we’ll see how he comes out of this first. If he’d had a run earlier in the season he could have been a Dewhurst horse, but he just took a bit of time,” O’Brien explained.

“He was drawn badly and did well to win from out there and he could progress greatly from that. It was a big ask from out there.”

Last year, O’Brien won the Weld Park Stakes with Qualify who went on to win this season’s Epsom Oaks and it was the carefully named Coolmore, a full-sister to Glenegales, who triumphed in yesterday’s renewal.

Still a maiden going into the race, Coolmore reversed her Leopardstown form with Mick Halford’s Anamba, who was a half a length back on this occasion.

“I’m delighted with that. I thought she would win at Leopardstown, but it was on the inside track and she was a bit green and the ground was a bit dead,” O’Brien said.

 “She’s a sister to Gleneagles and is already crying out for a mile and she is also like her sister, Marverllous, she’s hardy and keeps responding.”

The French St Leger will be considered for the Loughbrown Stakes winner Silwana who followed up her win at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend by denying Toe The Line by a neck in the two-mile listed contest.

Katie Walsh won her second Amateur Derby when guiding Noble Inn to an impressive success for Willie Mullins.

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