Found finds magic touch for Mooresbridge Stakes success
Found overcame a moderately troubled passage to return to winning ways in the Camelot European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly won the Breeders' Cup Turf at the end of last year but she was sent off only the 11-8 second-favourite for this event as she clashed again with Fascinating Rock, who had beaten her in the Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Ryan Moore was happy to take a pull through the early stages of this 10-furlong event as The Steward and Success Days set the early pace, with the latter still in the lead as the field turned into the straight.
Fascinating Rock then made his move with around two furlongs to run, but Moore had matters in hand, sitting in behind as Success Days really began to battle upfront.
Moore briefly looked in trouble with nowhere to go and only a furlong to run, but a split appeared between the front two and Found slipped through the gap, pulling clear with ease as she came forward markedly from her third in the Alleged Stakes on her seasonal reappearance.
She passed the post a length and a quarter in front of Success Days, with 11-10 favourite Fascinating Rock only third.
O'Brien admitted he was surprised by how much Found had improved for the run, although he believes there is even more to come.
"I didn't think she had come forward as much, but she obviously did," he said O'Brien.
"She's still not there and hopefully she's something to look forward to. The Tattersalls Gold Cup remains the plan.
"Ryan was going to relax her today as she was a little bit keen the last day.
"The plan was the last day, this race and then the Tattersalls. Then we might look at the Coronation (Cup), but that's not definite.
"She'd get a break and then have one or two runs before the Arc."
Dermot Weld was satisfied with the effort of Fascinating Rock, who is now set to clash again with Found in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
He said: "I was very pleased with him. He's a big horse and looked marvellous. Perhaps he looked too well.
"As we saw at the beginning of his last campaign and at Windsor, he needs a run. Please god he'll be back here in three weeks' time and will strip a fitter horse."
Weld had a winner later on the card when Rose De Pierre (evens favourite) just got the better of 50-1 outsider Ottilie in a thrilling finish to the PG Duffy & Sons Citroen Maiden.
Ridden by Pat Smullen, Rose De Pierre was made to really battle right through the final furlong, eventually just edging out Ottilie by a nose with Atlas four and a half lengths back in third.
Rose De Pierre, who runs in the famous Moyglare Stud colours, is a daughter of classy stayer Profound Beauty and boasts entries in both the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Oaks.
Weld said: "She's got a lot of talent and pace but we were worried about the ground. She just tired in the closing stages, it's as simple as that.
"She'll progress from the run and will learn an awful lot. Pat was trying to win as easily as he could and nurse her home. He was trying to educate her and win with her.
"He got there cantering and said just inside the final furlong, she got tired and tired quickly. There were four and a quarter lengths back to the third, and the second had a previous run, which is a big help.
"Obviously she's a well-bred filly by Dubawi out of Profound Beauty. She'll always appreciate an ease in the ground and we'll look at a stakes race now. That's her trip, she has a lot of pace.
"I wouldn't totally discount the possibility of running in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, it's a possibility, but she will make a lot of progress from today.
"We will be looking for some black type with her."