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Tosca back with cosy victory


Toscanini takes charge under Shane Foley

Toscanini takes charge under Shane Foley

Toscanini takes charge under Shane Foley

Toscanini got off the mark in his first race for 245 days when holding the late challenge of Ainippe in the Brews Hill Race at Navan.

Absent since finishing second to Gleneagles in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh in September, Toscanini (9-10 favourite) put himself in line for Royal Ascot with a winning reappearance.

Smartly away in the hands of Shane Foley, the Michael Halford-trained colt travelled well and easily took over from the pacesetting Beach Belle just over a furlong out before holding Ainippe by a head.

Though the runner-up put in a strong challenge and was closing with every stride, Foley was not hard on the Godolphin-owned winner and got him home for a cosy success.

Halford said: "I'm happy with that and it's good to get him started. He travelled well but wasn't doing a whole lot in front. He'll go to Naas now and then Ascot.

"He was only ready to start and I'm very happy. Shane said he had a good blow at the furlong pole and was just doing enough from there. The faster they go the better for him and the faster the ground the better."

Halford will see how he performs in the Lacken Stakes on June 1 before deciding whether to keep him at sprint trips or step up to seven furlongs for the Jersey Stakes.

He went on: "I'll wait and see what happens in Naas. He's in the Jersey. He hasn't got any slower over the winter. We'll keep our options open."