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Saintly win for George

By Ron McKnight

Order Of St George turned the featured finale into a procession in Her Majesty's Plate in the hands of former champion jockey Joseph O'Brien at Down Royal last night.

The Ballydoyle-trained winner was always travelling easily and only at two furlongs out did runner-up Chapter Seven make a brief bid to challenge, however, a shake of the reins soon sent the 1/5 favourite clear.

Irish champion trainer Aidan O'Brien was winning the historic contest for the third time in recent running and his jockey son said: "He didn't need to improve to win today. He's a nice horse and still very lightly raced and will improve again.

"He has prospects of making a very nice stayer."

The Irish Cider Handicap for fillies supplied a photo finish with Annagh Haven under a superb ride from Chris Hayes prevailing by a short head.

Winning Co Meath trainer, Michael Mulvany said: "That's long overdue. She's very honest and has plenty of placed efforts but recently just kept finding one too good.

"That's her ideal trip [on the flat]. She's entered in the mares hurdle at Galway and will see how she is after tonight - I don't know if I'll run her yet."

Top jockey Chris Hayes doubled up on a profitable night with a gutsy front running display aboard the Pat Deegan trained Park Rebel.

The winning trainer said: "It's nice to get his head in front. Chris gave him a brilliant ride. He's had little issues.

"He'll probably go to the sales later in the year and will make someone a great dual purpose horse."

The first race last night produced a thriller in a four-way finish with victory going to the locally trained Boughtforasong trained in Co Armagh for Mr and Mrs Patrick McCann.

A length separated the first four home however apprentice Sean Corby was seen to good advantage on the winner, while trainer Georgios Pakidis said: "She's back racing as she did not go in foal earlier in the year. She likes this course and tonight's going and had been dropped by the handicapper.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Dundalk and fast ground - she worked very well there last week."

The local handler added he has 10 in training at present.

Roibeard produced an impressive display justifying support into favourite on his debut to land the two-year-old maiden for trainer Ger Lyons - the Co Meath handler claiming the prize for the second successive year with stable jockey Colin Keane in the saddle.

Lyons said: "He's a typical son of Big Bad Bob and I was delighted to get him to be trained. He's owned by a syndicate including Peter and Ross Doyle [ Bloodstock Agents.

"They bred him and have the dam. That's as fast as he wants and will improve buckets.

"He's still a big green baby but done it well - this track is lucky for me."

Peace Mission was another to register a fine effort in the fillies handicap when making all and sprinting clear in the closing stages.

Winning jockey Gary Carroll said: "She made a good debut but boiled over at Leopardstown last time.

"We put in ear plugs and she was a different filly today."

The seven furlong was another race that needed the camera after eventual winner Plough Boy and Octavia pulled a long way clear and were only separated by a short head at the line.

Belfast Telegraph


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