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Moore's the merrier after Marvellous success

By Richard Forristal

Marvellous lived up to her name by unleashing a blistering turn of foot for Ryan Moore in the Etihad Airways Irish 2,000 Guineas to drag Aidan O'Brien's elite team out of its sluggish start to the campaign at the Curragh.

Just 35 minutes after Magician had failed to pull the rabbit out of the hat when foiled by Noble Mission in the Tattersalls Gold Cup, the Ballydoyle whiz struck for his first Group One of the season.

Joseph O'Brien had opted for Palace in the mile fillies' Classic, but the deep ground ultimately didn't suit the American-bred, which eventually finished fifth.

In contrast, Marvellous, on just her third start, responded gamely to Moore's urgings, having looked in trouble at the rear early on.

It was a performance that constituted a marked progression from her indifferent Leopardstown reappearance in March.

She swooped 100 yards out to confine the Newmarket second and favourite Lightning Thunder to the runner-up berth again, with Vote Often third.

Marvellous was cut to a 10/1 for the Oaks and O'Brien confirmed that Epsom is on the agenda.

"She handled heavy ground at Navan in the autumn, so we knew it wouldn't be a problem," he said of his sixth winner of the contest.

"We always thought she was a good filly, but she had a cough early on and we had to back off her.

"When Joseph made his decision on Friday, he went with Palace because the ground was better then, but it was a close call. Marvellous got home well. The plan was to come here and then go to Epsom, so we'll see what the lads want to do now after that."

Magician, sent off joint-favourite with Khalid Abdullah's charge at evens, eventually got to within one-and-a-quarter lengths of him.

However, Doyle's decisiveness had won the day by then, as Joe Murphy's Euphrasia ran gallantly in third, just a head behind the runner-up.

Belfast Telegraph

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