Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Birdie flies away from rivals

Aidan O'Brien

Bye Bye Birdie got the Aidan O'Brien team on the scoresheet and on the way to a treble at the Curragh with an all-the-way success in the Grangecon Stud Stakes.

Having her third run in a two-week period and last seen finishing 12th in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Oasis Dream filly was sporting a first-time visor and never saw another rival in the six-furlong Group Three event.

Sent off at 9-2, she extended her advantage at the furlong pole under Joseph O'Brien and had plenty left in the tank to account for Jim Bolger's 5-4 favourite Heart Focus.

The Ballydoyle handler said: "She had the headgear on today as Joseph thought she was keeping plenty to herself. She came back from Ascot four kilos heavier, so that's usually a sign that they are not overdoing it. She can go anywhere now. She has loads of ability."

Beach Of Falesa gave O'Brien's daughter Sarah her first winner in the saddle when taking the Boylesports.com Ladies Derby. In a real family affair, the four-year-old filly is owned by the rider's mother Anne-Marie as well as being trained by her father.

Sarah brought the top-weight (8-1) with a rattling run on the outside to peg back the leader Eighteen Summers and storm away in the closing stages to win by two lengths. Manuka, the 5-2 favourite, was third.

The proud father and trainer said: "That's great, I'm delighted - that's a special one. We appreciate everybody has done a lot of hard work with the filly and we appreciate Mr and Mrs Magnier, who own half of her, letting Sarah ride her. It was a great chance for her to come here, so it's a massive day. It's a special weekend, unbelievable."

The young jockey added: "It's great and she did it very well. It's brilliant race-riding, I love it. The filly doesn't like to get to the front too early so the way the race went suited me well.

"I'll keep riding away, hopefully I'll go to college next year and keep riding plenty. I used to ride a lot of ponies but I'm concentrating more on racehorses now."

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