26 May 2023

Nemonte is Ascot-bound following debut win

26 May 2023

Joseph O’Brien is heading to Royal Ascot with Nemonte who came with a strong late run to win the Irish EBF Auction Series Maiden on debut at the Curragh.

Although sent off an unfancied 20-1 chance for the six furlong contest, the daughter of Ten Sovereigns was staying on strongly from a patient ride by Mikey Sheehy, getting up by a neck in the shadow of the winning post. Sheehy’s brother, Danny, was on the runner-up Gaenari.

Connections of the winner could target the Albany Stakes if wishing to stay at six furlongs, but O’Brien is eyeing up a step up in trip where she could tackle the colts in the Chesham Stakes at the royal meeting.

He said: “It was a smart performance. We thought she would run well but didn’t expect her to win first time at six (furlongs). I was impressed with the way she really quickened up on her own on the wing

“It looked a good maiden with plenty on them well fancied so we’ll look to go for either the Chesham or the Albany.

“The dam won at a mile and a quarter so she qualifies for the Chesham and will probably go straight there. She probably wants to go seven.”

Fresh from saddling their first winner since joining forces last weekend, Michael Halford and Tracey Collins doubled their tally when Ostraka caused a shock at 50-1 in the Extra Place Races At Novibet Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.

The Profitable filly came from last to first under Ronan Whelan, looking a nice prospect in the process.

“Last year we brought her to a barrier trial and she disappointed. She lost a shoe and things just didn’t work out for her. She kept growing and weakened out on us so we put her away,” said Halford.

“She was working well and only getting going for us now. I thought she would come on for the run as she’s very laid back.

“She jumped a bit slow and Ronan just let her find her feet. You’d know from a long way down that she was travelling easy.

“She’s from a very fast family, the likes of Osterhase. Hopefully she’ll be a black type filly and we’ll sit down and see where we go from here.”

Bellaphina (13-2) was a first ever Flat winner for John Kinsella when winning at Limerick last month and the filly followed up under Conor Maxwell in the DNG Spring Fillies Handicap.

Aidan O’Brien’s Subzero (8-11 favourite) broke his duck at the third time of asking in the Live Music At McDonnells Bar Newbridge Irish EBF Maiden.

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