Wallop forces stack rethink
And the Champion Trainer elect is...
OK, we are only five meetings into the season and it's unrealistic to think that Tommy Stack will end the campaign where he stands at the moment, but the Stack steam train rolled into Leopardstown at a serious speed yesterday as he added a double to the four-timer he began the turf season with last weekend at the Curragh.
While the prime wellbeing of his string was further proved yesterday, the ultra-impressive performance of Noll Wallop in the Group Three Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas trial will have been the most satisfying for the father and son team of Tommy and Fozzy Stack, who have plenty of big targets to set for the son of High Chaparral.
The three-year-old, who will be ideally suited by further than yesterday's seven-furlong trip, showed a rapid turn of foot to put the race beyond his rivals quickly and settle matters in the hands of Wayne Lordan.
In finishing up three and a half lengths beyond his nearest rival, the well-supported 7/2 shot forced connections to revisit the drawing board ahead of where he goes next.
"He is in the Irish 2,000 Guineas but that wasn't in consideration until 10 minutes ago," Fozzy Stack admitted after the race.
"We thought that the trip might be a bit short for him today but obviously it wasn't. The plan was to go to Sandown for the Classic Trial after today and then maybe the Gallinule Stakes, but Sandown might come too quick now.
"We'll see what the Irish Guineas looks like closer to the time and see what happens at Newmarket as well."
The assistant trainer concluded: "The Irish Derby will be his day but we will just wait and see what happens between now and then."
The Stacks and Wayne Lordan doubled up in the next as newcomer Mister Carter continued the unbelievable start to the season in the Foxrock Maiden.
Meanwhile, the reputation of Curragh-based trainer Paul Deegan continues to enhance rapidly and he claimed his most notable success in the training ranks yesterday when taking the 1,000 Guineas Trial courtesy of Lady Springbank.
The lovely grey daughter of Choisir followed up her win last season in the CL Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh to take a second Group Three contest, this time under owner Mark Gittens' retained jockey Jim Crowley.
A delighted Deegan said: "This was always the plan if she was ready, but, if she wasn't, I wouldn't have minded going straight for the Irish 1,000 Guineas and that is where she will go now; I think she deserves to take her chance in that.
"She's a high-class filly with a serious cruising speed and she can pick up off it too. The faster they go the better, and the extra furlong won't be a problem -- in fact, Jim said afterwards he had trouble pulling her up."
John Oxx and Fran Berry enjoyed the first winner of their association since the retirement of Michael Kinane as Hazarafa provided a pleasant surprise in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.
The grey daughter of Daylami was Berry's first winner since taking over as stable jockey from Kinane and Oxx later pinpointed the Salsabil Stakes as an ideal next target.
"She disappointed us last season, and while she was working well and I expected her to be in the money, I wasn't expecting her to win.
"She goes better on that softer ground than expected and she'll go for the Salsabil Stakes at Navan at the end of April."