Elysium too strong for Weld Park field
Noel Meade’s Elysium caused a minor upset in the Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh.
A field of 10 juvenile fillies faced the starter in the seven-furlong Group Three, with the Jessica Harrington-trained No Speak Alexander the 3-1 favourite after finishing second in a Listed event at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.
Elysium was rated 17lb inferior to the market leader, having been placed in a couple of conditions races since opening her account at Navan in June.
However, ridden by Billy Lee, the 12-1 shot raised her game significantly to claim victory by a length and a half from Aunty Bridy – providing her multiple champion jumps trainer with a rare Pattern success on the Flat.
Thinking Of You beat No Speak Alexander to third place by a nose.
Meade said: “Some people might be surprised by that, but I’m not. She’s been showing me that all the time at home – and I thought we’d nothing to lose by running here, because if she got into the shake-up she’d be worth a few quid.
“Billy said he got a bump coming out of the gate, and it lit her up a bit. He was able to stick her in and get her relaxed again – and he couldn’t believe how she picked up.
“I own a piece of her myself, along with two friends. We bought four two-year-olds with the idea of selling them, so I would be surprised if the money comes that we don’t sell.
“It’s a while since we had a Group race winner on the Flat, but we’ve not had too many runners.”