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Wednesday, August 13, 2003



IRISH THOROUGHBRED NEWS




HIGH CHAPARRAL WINS ON RETURN

High Chaparral made his belated seasonal return a winning one when landing the EUR130,000 Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.


Having overcome shoulder problems which developed during the spring, the brilliant four-year-old son of Sadler's Wells readily accounted for British raider Imperial Dancer and In Time's Eye, much to the relief of trainer Aidan O'Brien.


"I'm just glad that it's over. The first thing we will have to do is see how he is in the morning and over the next few days. If we are happy with him then we will train him for the Bord Bia Irish champion Stakes or the Prix Foy", he said.


All being well, the dual Derby winner will then be aimed at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October, a race he finished third in last season.


RIVALS HIT FOR SIX AS O'BRIEN WINS PHOENIX STAKES

Aidan O'Brien won the EUR300,000 Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes yet again when the outstanding One Cool Cat beat a field of seven in the first Group 1 race for two-year-olds this season.


He gave O'Brien his sixth consecutive victory in the race and jumped to the head of the ante-post market for next season's Sagitta 2,000 Guineas with a fine display that saw him beat stable companion Old Deuteronomy by a length.


The pair had all of three lengths to spare over odds-on favourite Three Valleys who had previously run away with the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. O'Brien has always held One Cool Cat in high regard and he commented, "This is basically a seven furlong or a mile horse, so what he has done over six furlongs says a lot. He's a unique colt and a very relaxed one.


"There are no firm plans by we'll look at races like the National Stakes at the Curragh next month or the Dewhurst."

O'BRIEN CAPS MEMORABLE DAY WITH FINE FILLY

Aidan O'Brien's domination of the high quality card at the Curragh on Sunday was completed when Necklace came from off the pace to win the EUR70,000 Group 3 Robert H Griffin Debutante Stakes.


The daughter of Darshaan stayed on well to see off the Michael Channon-trained Caldy Dancer and seven other previous winners and will now step up in class in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes next month.


For good measure, team Ballydoyle also landed the EUR20,000 Waterford Crystal EBF Maiden with newcomer Troubadour. The son of Danehill led at the halfway stage and easily beat odds-on favourite Ulfah by three and a half lengths.


HANNON LANDS GROUP 3 SPRINT

Richard Hannon is no stranger to big success at the Curragh and he sent over Bonus to win the EUR70,000 Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes.


The Irish-bred son of Cadeaux Genereux made all the running to win from Sun Slash and Anna Frid. Bonus has either the Haydock Sprint Cup or a return trip to Ireland as his next objective.


DAYLAMI LANDS HIS FIRST JUVENILE STAKES WINNER

Bay Tree was the impressive winner of the Listed Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket last week giving Daylami his first stakes success. A daughter of the Distant Relative mare My Branch and a half sister to the Fred Darling winner Tante Rose, she looks like a filly to follow in the future.


Daylami has now sired 4 winners from just 8 runners this season including the Group 2 Cherry Hinton placed Birthday Suit and the impressive Galway winner Grey Swallow.


BIG BAD BOB IMPRESSIVE WINNER OF PRIX RIDGWAY

Big Bad Bob was the impressive winner of the listed Prix Ridgway at Deauville on Sunday. A son of the Ballylinch Stud sire Bob Back, this was his second win of the season. He also finished a close second to Derby winner Kris Kin in the Chester Vase and looks certain to step up again into a Group race.

SMITH HEADS FOR PASTURES NEW

Wayne Smith has landed a much-sought after contract to ride in Hong Kong for the rest of the year. He leaves Ireland this week and has been granted a licence to ride in the Far East until December 14.


Smith, 32, has been offered a job as a Jockey Club jockey and will be riding in Hong Kong for a second time. In his days as a highly successful apprentice, he rode two winners from eight rides while there on an exchange scheme.


Smith won this year's UAE Derby on Victory Moon and finished fifth on the South African-trained four-year-old in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes. On a recent visit to Macau, he rode 22 winners in just seven weeks.


SALES DATES BROUGHT FORWARD

September will be a busy month in the Irish sales ring with four important yearling sales taking place.


The September Yearling Sale takes place at Tattersalls (Ireland) on the 16th and 17th of the month and September 18th sees the Open Sale take place.


The action moves to Goffs later in the month and the Orby Sale takes place on September 23rd and 24th. The ever popular Challenge Sale will be held on September 25th and the following month, the H.I.T. & Autumn Bonus Sale takes up two days in October, the 13th and 14th.


FLORIDA PEARL DUE FOR WINTER RETURN

Old favourite Florida Pearl has been pencilled in to return to action in December. The John Durkan chase over two and a half miles is the long-term target connections have set for their 11-year-old.


Trainer Willie Mullins said, "He has just come back in and he's back in training. He seems grand, has had a nice summer and put on plenty of condition."


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