Sharestan sparkles in Silver
Sharestan could try his luck in Group company again after landing a Listed success at the Curragh.
The four-year-old (8-11 favourite) battled to victory over Defining Year in the Coolmore Stud China Ire.Friendship Silver Stakes despite trainer John Oxx feeling the heavy ground tested his stamina.
Defining Year made a brave bid to lead all the way and had most of his rivals hard at work when the race hotted up two furlongs out, but Sharestan made his move under Niall McCullagh and though he had to work pretty hard to gain the upper hand, he took the Listed prize by half a length.
Sharestan had finished third in a controversial renewal of the Group Three Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh on his previous start, in which Ballyodoyle outsider Windsor Palace beat St Nicholas Abbey.
"It's very gluey ground in the straight and it's probably the limit of his stamina. Maybe he'll be better coming back in distance," Oxx told At The Races.
"He was suited maybe by the slow fractions of the race and just managed to grind it out. I'm not sure if it's his ideal trip, but he's done it quite well and is more versatile than I thought earlier in the year. I wouldn't run him over a mile and a quarter again on testing ground. I think we'd wait for good ground over that trip.
"He had the rating to win there and he didn't do anything spectacular to improve his rating. I'd like to think he might be better than 108, but he has to prove it, but I think there is plenty more to come from him and I think he could run well in better company. We might try a Group Three next time.
"There are a couple of options for him back here on Irish Derby weekend. There's a Group Three, the International, over a mile and a quarter and a Listed race over a mile, so that's a possibility in three weeks' time. It's nice timing."
Oxx and owner the Aga Khan completed a quick double when supposed second string Vedani (9-1) made all to take the Kildare Village China Race Day Maiden, holding An Saincheann by a head after looking sure to be swallowed up.
Vedani's rider Ben Curtis made it a brace of his own when steering the Andrew Tinkler-owned 2-1 favourite Ursa Major to victory by seven lengths for Tommy Carmody in the Chinese Irish Cultural Academy Handicap.