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Pat Smullen hits ton as James lifts cup

By Martin Kelly

Pat Smullen reached 100 winners in a season for the first time as Brooch denied British raider Regardez in the feature Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes at Gowran Park yesterday.

Joseph O'Brien set out to make every yard on the Ralph Beckett-trained Regardez, getting serious off the turn.

Brooch, who had been in close attendance from the off, made it three almost in a line a furlong out, with Akira on the far rail, and just got the better of the argument close to home to score by half-a-length. Odeliz was third for Karl Burke.

Unraced at two and successful in a Listed race at Killarney last time out, the 11-8 favourite was taking her unbeaten record to three in claiming Group Three honours at the first attempt.

Trainer Dermot Weld said: "That's wonderful. It's Pat's 100th winner of the season and my 15th Group winner this season.

"She has progressed nicely through the ranks, winning her maiden then a Listed race and now a Group race. I imagine that will probably be it for the year.

"She always appreciates a nice ease in the ground and when I came here and walked the track I was delighted. It's in beautiful condition and a credit to the ground staff.

"She could develop into a Group One filly next year. The two English fillies she beat have been running at the top level."

Celebrating his landmark winner, Smullen said: "It's probably more a personal thing than anything. It's not an easy achievement in Ireland.

"It's down to the power of the Dermot Weld stable, a good agent and support from a lot of trainers.

"It's a good achievement and I'm delighted with it."

Bryan Cooper is back riding out and could return to racecourse action in a few weeks after a horror fall at the Cheltenham Festival.

The retained jockey for the powerful Gigginstown House Stud operation suffered a complicated and excruciating multiple fracture of one of his legs in a fall from Clarcam in the Fred Winter Hurdle.

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Turf Club chief medical officer, described the leg break at the time as "the worst fracture I have ever seen in a lower limb".

Now, Cooper's long period of rehabilitation is finally coming to an end.

Tom, his father and a successful trainer, said: "He's getting there. He's had huge improvement and started riding out last weekend. Hopefully a few weeks and he'll be back in there."

James Doyle's stunning 769-1 treble at Ayr on Saturday was capped with an emphatic victory in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Louis The Pious (10-1).

Doyle said: "I can't take any credit. (Trainer) David (O'Meara) and his team have done a fantastic job with this lad.

"These races are pretty valuable and it's an important part of the season to win a few of these. It's a dream come true."

Belfast Telegraph


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