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Delighted Oliver is full of Confidence



Derby delight: Padraig Beggy and Cormorant enjoy success at Leopardstown yesterday

Derby delight: Padraig Beggy and Cormorant enjoy success at Leopardstown yesterday


Andy Oliver

Andy Oliver

�INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Derby delight: Padraig Beggy and Cormorant enjoy success at Leopardstown yesterday

Ulster trainers continued to make their mark on the opening days of the truncated Flat season.

After Leanne Breen's victory on Monday with Parkers Hill, her first runner of the new season, Caledon trainer Andy Oliver sent out Confidence High to rout the opposition in the Leopardstown Handicap yesterday.

The local horse, with Billy Lee in the saddle, was always handy prior to stretching clear in the closing stages and recording a 28/1 success.

The County Tyrone trainer said: "He did it well. He was a horse we liked last year and we named him appropriately, but he disappointed us.

"Anybody that rode him said that he was a lovely horse. We finished him early, gelded him and just gave him time. The delay in racing might have worked in his favour.

"He delivered, but you can never be confident until you get to the racecourse. I'm very happy. It was a nice, straightforward ride and I'm delighted. He's a horse that I hope has a future, we certainly like him.

"He has a good attitude, is a good mover and a very straightforward horse. He's in again on Sunday so he could come back here and then we'll go from there."

Lee, who rode Confidence High at Down Royal last year, said: "He's a good sized horse but was possibly a bit weak last season. He improved over the winter and was gelded.

"Andy was confident he would run a good race. When I gave him a kick in the belly in the straight he went on about his business and won nicely."

Meanwhile, Cormorant made all to give Aidan O'Brien another victory in the Derrinstown Derby Trial.

The Ballydoyle trainer has dominated the Group Three contest and racked up his 13th winner of the 10-furlong feature since 1998, although it came as a slight surprise as Padraig Beggy's mount was the 12/1 outsider of the five-runner field.

Quickly to the front, the Kingman colt was able to quicken off the bend and while stablemate and favourite Russian Emperor gave chase under Seamie Heffernan, he was still half a length down at the line.

Beggy - who won the Derby for O'Brien aboard 40/1 chance Wings Of Eagles in 2017 - said: "He's a colt that had plenty of racing last year and I think that stood to him. He jumped out, knew his job, went a good gallop and from halfway he kept galloping like Aidan said he would.

"He's an honest horse, it was first-time blinkers and they seemed to work. He kept finding plenty. I was good and aggressive with him and from halfway got him going.

"In the last furlong I was letting him just do enough to win.

"He can hopefully keep improving. As the year goes on he might even handle a little bit of cut in the ground."

Belfast Telegraph