Massinga stars in Weld treble
Massinga continued where she left off last season as she recorded an authoritative success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Noblesse Stakes at Cork.
The Dermot Weld-trained filly ended 2014 with two wins and was the 8-11 favourite to make it a hat-trick stepping up to Listed class.
As the front-running Queen Of Alba came back to the field, Massinga and Altesse could be spotted travelling best, and after a brief tussle from two out the market leader asserted in the final 200 yards in the hands of Pat Smullen.
Weld said: "The way she got home there we have a lot to look forward to and possibly the Munster Oaks back here in June will be her next race. Whatever she does in the spring of this year it is only in the autumn that you will see her, she is going to be very good.
"We've won this race several times and hopefully this filly is as good as any."
It was a double for Weld and Smullen in the Aga Khan silks after Shahzeena (4-6) impressed on her debut in the Like Us On Facebook Median Auction Fillies Maiden, winning by two and three-quarter lengths in some style.
Weld said: "She's a nice filly and worked very well before coming here and did what I thought she'd do. I hope she progresses to get black type, and that will be her next plan. She has a Guineas entry, but will run in a Classic Trial before then."
The hat-trick came up for the trainer, jockey and owner when Summaya (10-1) led all the way in the Blackwater Maiden, seeing off the odds-on Hans Holbein to score by six lengths.
Weld said: "She was fit, goes on that ground and they were both factors in her favour. She will go for handicaps now."
Ken Condon's 7-2 shot Success Days came out on top in a tricky little contest for the www.corkracecourse.ie Rated Race, beating off long-time leader Postulation after a sustained duel and asserting to score by a length in the hands of Shane Foley.
The trainer said: "It's good to see quite a few of these races and this was the plan all spring and winter. We ran him in a Listed race at the end of last season but he got trapped out wide. These races are important for the development of horses like him and there are eight or 10 of these races.
"He wants an ease, but Shane said it is very extreme out there. He relaxed well and seems to have grown up and will get an entry in the Ballysax Stakes next."
Paul Deegan's 8-1 shot Papa's Way ran over extreme distances last season but the drop down to 10 furlongs proved no hindrance in the Cork Handicap, Chris Hayes making full use of his stamina to lead all the way and win by two and three-quarter lengths.
Rory Cleary brought Never Again (28-1) with a long run from the rear to grab the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap by a head, though he picked up a four-day whip ban, and he completed a double when leading all the way for a gutsy half-length success on Cash Or Casualty (14-1) in the Newmarket Handicap.