Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Racing

O'Briens double up with Memphis

Memphis Tennessee completed a quick big-race double for the Aidan and Joseph O'Brien team in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes at Chester.

The evens favourite pulled clear in the final furlong to win by four lengths from Vivacious Vivienne, with newcomer Calico Cat third.

Brown Panther was a major disappointment for his breeder and co-owner, Manchester United footballer Michael Owen. He was last of the four runners after making a lot of the running in the hands of Kieren Fallon, weakening rapidly after being tightened up by Vivacious Vivienne when passed.

O'Brien junior said: "He ran a bit keen coming along the straight first time as there was a horse on my girth annoying me, but after that he settled lovely. I took a lead and I was happy with where I was the whole way. He was just dossing up the home straight.

"He's a massive horse and a good mover. You'd like to think he's improved a lot from three to four. He'd certainly be a better horse on nicer ground."

The winning trainer added: "We're delighted with him. He was a lovely horse last year, but he's grown up a lot. He's a lovely mover and I have no doubt he'll be better on better ground.

"He's matured from three to four and he has all the options as he's not a Group One winner. It won't be a problem to drop back in trip with him and we might consider races like the the Coronation Cup or the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot. He's open to everything."

Ballesteros came with a rattling run in the final furlong to follow up his recent Sandown success in the EBF Handicap. The 11-8 favourite, trained by Brian Meehan, blitzed down the near rail to storm past the pacesetting Sonko in the hands of Ryan Moore and win by two and a half lengths.

Meehan said: "He's improving and he really likes the ground the way it is. Ryan says five furlongs is ideal for him. He's kind of hot, but you can compromise with him. He comes into the paddock late and there is a guy down at the start with him."

Pintura and Jamie Spencer just got home first in a terrific three-way photo-finish to the Fat Gary Sports Earl Grosvenor Handicap. David Simcock's 9-2 shot held Grissom and Imperial Djay by a short head and the same and survived a stewards' inquiry to collect.


From Belfast Telegraph