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Mimosa blooms at Leopardstown

Pale Mimosa proved a class apart from her rivals when giving Dermot Weld his sixth win in the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown in the last seven years.

Third in the Vintage Crop Stakes on her reappearance, the five-year-old was sent off the even-money favourite, and Pat Smullen was happy to slot in just behind the pacesetting Manalapan.

The leader battled hard to stay in front, but Smullen drove Pale Mimosa into the lead over a furlong from home and she went on to score cosily.

Smullen said: "She's a very good mare, she showed a bit of a turn of foot there.

"I wasn't sure beforehand where the pace was going to come from, but all I wanted was a lead. When I got it, it was never in doubt.

"She's a little bit delicate and we have to look after her, but when she gets this sort of ground she's good.

"For only her second run of the year, that was a fair performance."

That concluded a double on the card for Weld and Smullen, after Initial just held on in a thrilling finish to the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The 6/5 favourite looked to have stolen a march on his rivals when pulling clear a furlong out, but newcomer Hunt flew home at the finish, going down by just a nose.

Weld said: "He battled well and he got a strong ride from Pat Smullen. He'll go for a nursery now."

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