Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Venus on another planet

Venus De Milo fights it out with Chicquita (right) in the Irish Oaks

Venus De Milo added further gloss to an already attractive profile by winning the feature Irish Stallion Farms EBF Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.

Aidan O'Brien's filly landed her first two starts with authority and performed with great credit when a half-length second to Chicquita after being supplemented into the Irish Oaks, so it was no surprise that the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade was sent off the 1-4 favourite this time as she dropped into Group Three company.

Joseph O'Brien was not hanging about, leading all the way, and when he asked for a bit more in the final furlong as the pack threatened to close, she picked up superbly well and stormed clear to beat Bunairgead by three and a half lengths.

Venus De Milo may now be campaigned for the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on September 15.

O'Brien snr said: "It's lovely to come here - the track is in super order. It was an important race for her to win. It wasn't ideal to be at the front like that, but these races can often get messy. She's a lovely big filly and may have a rest now. We might then bring her back for the Prix Vermeille in France."

David Wachman introduced a potentially useful juvenile in 120,000gns purchase Come To Heel (7-1), who displayed a decent turn of foot to take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden under Billy Lee.

The experienced pair Candy Apples and Treadstone dominated the market and the race, trading blows all the way until they were collared deep inside the final furlong by Come To Heel, who won cosily by half a length.

The trainer said: "She's a nice filly. Billy was very cool and gave her a nice introduction. Billy liked her and she was ready to start, and he's a pretty good judge. She won a shade snugly and will step up to stakes company now."

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