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Mass hysteria after Plate glory

By Ron McKnight

Published 23/07/2016

Royal appointment: Stellar Mass, ridden by Kevin Manning, wins last night’s Down Royal feature, Her Majesty’s Plate
Royal appointment: Stellar Mass, ridden by Kevin Manning, wins last night’s Down Royal feature, Her Majesty’s Plate

Stellar Mass followed up Magners Ulster Derby success by winning Her Majesty's Plate, Down Royal's most historic race.

Stellar Mass shone again at the Maze, the Jim Bolger-trained colt winning easily with Kevin Manning steering the progressive three-year-old, which was third in last month's Irish Derby.

Manning said: "He did it well - very easily.

"I don't know what Jim might have in mind for the future."

The Irish St Leger Trial could be an option although Stellar Mass is versatile in distance.

Dynamic duo Bolger and Manning quickly doubled up when Brontide was an even easier winner of the Magners Forbidden Flavours Handicap under an inspired ride.

Manning said: "He's very tough and did that well. He was off the bridle most of the way but kept going and they came back to me."

A stable representative added: "That must warrant ride of the month.

"He wasn't doing a stroke but then at the top of the hill started to race.

"He might go to Galway next week - he's on a roll!"

Brontide won a claimer last time and comfortably took the step up in class.

Racing last night opened with a shock 50/1 winner.

Jockey Robbie Downey delivered the Keith Clark-trained debutant Noble Dancer with a decisive thrust close to the post to win by a head from favourite Giselle's Charm.

The winning trainer said: "We've waited with her - she's a smart filly.

"She was bought at the Breeze Up Sales - we would be open to offers for her.

"Robbie thinks she's the real deal!"

The winning time broke the minute for five furlongs in 59.4.

The Apple Orchard Handicap was won in facile fashion by the Garvan Donnelly-trained Catwilldo which, with apprentice Killian Leonard aboard, had the race in safe keeping having shot clear in the final furlong as rivals struggled.

Donnelly said: "She's been knocking on the door and, like many of our horses, hitting the crossbar.

"I'm glad she has got the job done. She has a mind of her own - like all women!"

The EBF maiden supplied another smart juvenile in Dancing Waters.

The Ger Lyons-trained winner, with stable jockey Colin Keane aboard, spread-eagled the field in the closing stages to win pulling up.

Shane Lyons, representing his brother, said: "She's very professional - she put that to bed very quickly.

"We have known from the spring she was smart but she's just coming to herself.

"She ran well on her debut despite getting a bump.

"She's in all the big races and we rate her."

Meanwhile, Highland Reel is edging the battle for favouritism with Dartmouth for today's showpiece King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, with Aidan O'Brien's runner now the 11-4 favourite.

The Queen's horse is a best-priced 3-1.

O'Brien said: "He's in good form."

Belfast Telegraph

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