Atzeni strikes on Cappella
Andrea Atzeni landed a first notable success for Qatar Racing when steering Cappella Sansevero home in the Nestle Supporting Irish Autism Action Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh.
Atzeni is to replace Jamie Spencer as retained jockey for the increasingly influential operation in 2015 and wasted little time in showing why he has been appointed
He raced in mid-division in the Group Three contest before asking the 6-4 favourite to squeeze through a gap to make his challenge, and the Ger Lyons-trained colt was in command at the line as he proved three-quarters of a length too strong for Rapid Applause.
Lyons said: "It's straightforward when you know the horse, but in fairness to Andrea I asked him to do something we hadn't done before, which was to drop him in and produce him late.
"He pulls up when he gets to the front. Eddie Lynam says he is a bit like Slade Power. When he gets to the front he pricks his ears and thinks he's done enough - there is nothing ungenuine about it.
"We always liked him, but it was nice to get a fresh perspective about the horse today and Andrea said he was a lovely horse, rides like a three-year-old and will get further
"It's all systems go for the Middle Park. The one I thought we might win was the Phoenix, but I'd gladly take the Middle Park! He's the right horse to go for it. He's not ground dependent.
"He idled in front a bit in the Phoenix and past the post he was in front again. That might have been the one that got away. The only hard race he's had was the Coventry when he got a smack for the first time. I'm not saying he would have beat the winner, but he would have been a better second.
"Then the trainer got a brain freeze and went for the Railway instead of waiting for the Anglesey, as was the original plan. If you take the Railway out, his record is as good as there is around."
Jack Naylor (2-1) completed a hat-trick when defying a Group Three penalty in the Flame Of Tara EBF Stakes, adding this Listed race to her Pattern-race success at Leopardstown and a maiden win at Roscommon in gutsy fashion.
Ridden by Fran Berry, she collared the front-running Together Forever in the last half-furlong and then dug deep to hold the 11-8 favourite Legatissimo by three-quarters of a length.
"She was good, giving them all 5lb. Fran said she was just going through the motions and he had to chase her to join Joseph's filly (Together Forever)," said trainer Jessica Harrington. "When David Wachman's filly (Legatissimo) came to her she then decided it was time to go!
"The mile suited her well and she'll step up in class now. She won't go to the Moyglare as that's dropping back in trip. She'll go to France for the Prix Marcel Boussac. She's very laid-back and will go on soft ground, which is the great thing. She's a nice one to have."