23 August 2020

Hawk flies home for Ballyhane riches

23 August 2020

Chief Little Hawk got the better of Monaasib in a thrilling finish to the inaugural Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas.

The six-furlong contest offered 149,200 euros to the winner and duly drew 19 runners, with Tom Dascombe’s British raider Devious Company sent off the 2-1 favourite following his second place in a sales race at York just three days ago.

However, he failed to take a hand in the finish, with the Aidan O’Brien-trained Chief Little Hawk and Kevin Prendergast’s Monaasib battling it out in the dying strides.

Chris Hayes looked to have made a winning move on Monaasib as he collared leader Measure Of Magic inside the distance, but Seamie Heffernan launched Chief Little Hawk up the stands side rail, with the Ballydoyle inmate responding in style.

He and Monaasib were neck and neck at the line, but Chief Little Hawk (22-1) got the nod by a short head, with the pair two and a half lengths clear of another fast finisher, Mooniesta, in third.

Devious Company found little for pressure and finished ninth.

Heffernan said: “He was one of our Ascot horses and was impressive at Navan. The last day at the Curragh, he ran out past the line, so I was coming here fancying him today.

“Today was his first try at six furlongs and he got it really well. There is a chance that he might get another furlong and if he does, he’s got loads of speed to travel right.

“I thought I’d won, but at Killarney the other day I thought I’d won well and it was only a nose (on So Wonderful), so maybe my eyesight is not as good as it was!

“Ballyhane Stud deserves a huge amount of praise, not only for putting on this big race but also an 80,000 euros consolation race. It’s massive.”

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