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Cumani raider steps forward

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Seamie Heffernan gets home in front on Royal Navy Ship

Seamie Heffernan gets home in front on Royal Navy Ship

Seamie Heffernan gets home in front on Royal Navy Ship

Luca Cumani's Newmarket raider Second Step claimed the Listed Finale Stakes as the curtain came down on the season at the Curragh.

It was a brave performance from Andrea Atzeni's mount (13-2), who had looked booked for a place after being headed by Chance To Dance, who was in turn pressed by Blue Hussar on his outside.

But Atzeni conjured another burst from his partner, who got up to win by half a length from Chance To Dance in a rousing finish.

The winner was running in the colours of Craig Bennett's Merry Fox Stud.

Bennett, who saw his silks carried to victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the track through Cursory Glance earlier this year, said: "The Curragh is the best course in the world. Cursory Glance in the Moyglare and now this!

"Andrea gave him a great ride, and the best thing about him is in the first part of a race he's always in a beautiful place. We have 20 in training, we own the dam and have a full-sister going into training with Luca."

The easiest victory of the day was undoubtedly that achieved by Shukhov (17-2) in the Stephen Quirke Memorial Apprentice Handicap.

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It looked a tricky one to sort out on paper, but once Donagh O'Connor gave the Johnny Levins-trained five-year-old the office a furlong and a half out he shot clear and demolished the opposition, coming right away to score by six lengths.

Levins said: "I'd say they went very quick in front and the Curragh mile takes some getting. He's really sprinted clear and I'm only starting to work him out. I've 17 horses at the moment and have just got five yearlings.

"That's Donagh's second winner as he rode Miller Beach to win at Naas. He's apprenticed to me and is going to be a top-class jockey."


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