Mimosa lands Saval Beg on return
Pale Mimosa made a successful seasonal debut when landing a hard-fought success in the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown and is on standby as a possible Ascot Gold Cup 'substitute'.
The Dermot Weld-trained filly, owned like Rite Of Passage by Dr Ronan Lambe, had not run since October but she knuckled down really well to outpoint Missunited in the final furlong after the Aidan O'Brien-trained El Salvador made sure it was a stiff stamina test by setting a strong pace.
He still led as they turned for home but was soon overtaken by Pale Mimosa and Missunited, and Pat Smullen had to keep the 5-4 favourite up to her work to emerge the winner by two and a half lengths. Missunited was second, with El Salvador third and the four other runners some way adrift.
Weld said: "It was a very pleasing introductory run. She has been slow coming into her coat so we took our time with her. She real only came into it in the last 10 days and considering that, I thought it was a very good performance. Pat said it was a very true-run race, and the second is very consistent.
"She is entered in the Gold Cup (at Royal Ascot), but she is in the same ownership as Rite Of Passage. He is in very good form and he will run in it unless the ground comes up firm, in which case she will run in it. One concern I had coming here today was ring-rust, and her fitness might get found out.
"We will look at all the nice staying fillies' races across Europe for her now and we might travel with her. The Lillie Langtry and the Park Hill are possibilities. She stays well and she gave a good heave. We should see a nice improvement from her."
Smullen told At The Races: "It was a difficult race because it was her first run for quite a while and she was going to need it a little bit, but her bit of class told.
"She's a progressive filly and was very good last year. You can see from the size of her she was always going to get better with a bit more time. Her work had been nice, but my worry was if she had just come in time for this race, but it was a lovely place to start her off."