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Curragh raid pays off for Easterby

Published 09/08/2015

Mattmu (centre) gets the better of Toscanini (blue) to land the Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh
Mattmu (centre) gets the better of Toscanini (blue) to land the Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh

North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby made a successful raid on the Curragh when Mattmu just pipped Toscanini in the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes.

A Group Two winner in France as a juvenile, when he was kept especially busy, the only time he has been out of the first three in his 13-race career was when he finished fifth in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock.

Mick Halford's Toscanini set out to make it a real test and it was all too much for the red-hot favourite Anthem Alexander, who was never travelling.

Entering the final furlong there was only Mattmu in striking distance and David Allan managed to force his mount in front just a couple of strides before the line.

Sent off a 3-1 chance, Mattmu prevailed in a tight photo finish.

Allan said: "He's only been out of the first three once and that was down to the ground, as it was very loose.

"He's as hard as nails and that's my first winner in Ireland."

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