Friday 6 December 2019

AP rolls back the years at Curragh

AP McCoy dismounts in the parade ring after Quizzical wins the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland
AP McCoy dismounts in the parade ring after Quizzical wins the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland

Anthony McCoy rolled back the years when coming out on top on Quizical in the Pat Smullen Champions Race For Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh.

The record-breaking 20-times champion jumps jockey gave a vintage front-running performance on the Sheila Lavery-trained four-year-old to beat eight other top jockeys from both codes in the charity race that has received huge backing.

McCoy had his mount in the prime position from the start of the one-mile contest and soon had Quizical into a rhythm and travelling smoothly.

Despite top-weight, the 11-4 favourite galloped on resolutely to beat Aussie Valentine - ridden by McCoy's great friend and long-time rival Ruby Walsh - by a length and a half. Johnny Murtagh steered Red Striker into third place.

McCoy - who even performed a Frankie Dettori-style flying dismount afterwards - said: "I'm very proud to be here today racing for a great cause.

"We can be very proud of horse racing in general in Ireland. The stable staff, racegoers, owners, trainers, jockeys - everyone has given so much support to the amazing man that Pat Smullen is.

Clearly moved by the occasion, Smullen said: "I'm really pleased for Sheila and John Lavery who own the horse. John was made up when he got AP to ride the horse and to get this result is what everybody wanted. It's absolutely amazing. I'm overcome."

Search For A Song gave trainer Dermot Weld an eighth success in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

Having only the fifth start of her career, and the only three-year-old in the race, the daughter of Galileo landed the spoils under an enterprising ride by Chris Hayes.

Pinatubo produced an astonishing performance to land the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes. Representing the connections that were successful in last year's renewal with Quorto, the Charlie Appleby-trained colt was sent off the 1-3 favourite for the Group One feature on the back of an unbeaten four-race campaign.

Always travelling sweetly for William Buick, the Godolphin-owned Shamardal colt had nine lengths eventually separating the winner from nearest pursuer Armory.

Love graduated to Group One company with victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

One of four contenders for Aidan O'Brien in the seven-furlong contest but the choice of Ryan Moore, the Galileo filly hold off the late charge of Roger Varian's 13-8 favourite Daahyeh by three-quarters of a length.

Fairyland led home a one-two from the Aidan O'Brien stable in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes. The three-year-old filly ended a losing spell going back to last year's Cheveley Park Stakes to notch her second Group One prize as she held the late challenge of So Perfect.

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