26 March 2023

Paddington books Classic trial ticket

26 March 2023

Aidan O’Brien is eyeing a Classic trial as a next port of call for Paddington following an impressive display in the Irish Racing Writers Carmel Kirwan And Loretta O’Hanlon Memorial Madrid Handicap at Naas.

Fifth on his Ascot debut in September before winning comfortably on his final juvenile start at the Curragh the following month, the Siyouni colt was the 6-4 favourite to make a successful reappearance over seven furlongs at Naas.

With Ryan Moore having hotfooted it back from Dubai to take the ride, Paddington travelled strongly for much of the contest and was pushed out to score by a length and three-quarters.

O’Brien said: “I’m very happy with him. He won very nice the last day and handled an ease in the ground. He probably will stay further.

“He will go into a trial now, maybe one of the French trials, to give him more experience.”

The Ballydoyle handler doubled up in the Dubawi Legend Irish EBF Fillies Maiden, but it was his apparent second string Jackie Oh who claimed top honours.

Red Riding Hood, second at Ascot on her introduction, was all the rage under Moore as the 4-6 favourite, but newcomer Jackie Oh – a daughter of Galileo out of Jacqueline Quest – proved too strong.

Of the 4-1 winner, O’Brien added: “She’s a very well-bred filly and handled the ground. She had a few holds ups last year and didn’t get to run. You would have to be delighted with her.

“She will go for a trial and I’d say she will get a bit further as well.”

The Listed Plusvital Devoy Stakes went the way of 9-2 shot Visualisation for Joseph O’Brien and Declan McDonogh.

The five-year-old was last of seven when last seen in action in the Group Three International Stakes at the Curragh in June, but bounced back to form in some style on his return – with a length and three-quarters separating him and the runner-up Sunchart.

The 2-1 favourite Martinstown finished last of eight.

“He loves heavy ground. Last year he didn’t get much of it and he had a little setback in the season as well,” said the winning trainer.

“He’s come back in really good nick and Declan gave him a great ride. He said there was a strip of ground that he thought was the best of it when he got on it and that was a help.

“He’s in the Alleged Stakes and we’ll keep him busy while the ground is heavy. He’ll probably have a bit of time off in the summer and come back for the autumn.”

Michael O’Callaghan has high hopes for Red Letter Bray (2-1) following his victory in the Kuroshio At Compas Stallions Maiden.

Sixth behind the top-class Auguste Rodin on his only previous outing last summer, the son of New Bay confirmed that promise with a short head verdict over 11-8 favourite Run Ran Run – providing champion jockey Colin Keane with his first winner of the new turf season in Ireland.

“He’s a nice horse and we have always liked him,” said O’Callaghan.

“He’s pulled a shoe quite badly and Colin thinks he might have done it coming out of the gates and that’s why he was just a little bit awkward at the end.

“He’s pretty straightforward at home and Colin thought he’ll get an extra furlong. He was quite green and needed the company when he got it.

“I had in the back of my mind that he could be a horse for the seven-furlong Guineas Trial at Leopardstown but it might be a bit soon and he could need some time to get over today with the deep ground and everything. I can see him stepping up to that level.”

The Aidan Howard-trained Magical Vision (6-1) picked up where she left off in the Compas Stallions Handicap.

The six-year-old, who did not make her debut until last season, won at Navan and Naas in the autumn and completed her hat-trick on her first start in almost five months, knuckling down to get the better of Mickey The Steel by a head under Chris Hayes.

Howard said: “She did what I was hoping she would do. She has loads of gears and loves the ground.

“We’ll probably look for something similar in a couple of weeks because she isn’t going to handle summer ground.”

Sendo Square justified 5-2 favouritism in the Far Above At Compas Stallions Handicap for trainer Andrew Slattery and his son and rider of the same name, while Fozzy Stack’s Chazzesmee readily obliged as the 11-8 favourite in the King Of Change Handicap, with Mark Enright the winning jockey.

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