sport

O'Brien filly just Toogood

A review of Sunday's action from the Curragh, where Toogoodtobetrue broke her maiden in style for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

Toogoodtobetrue continued a fine weekend for Aidan O'Brien when getting off the mark at the second attempt in the Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital European Breeders Fund Maiden at the Curragh.

A close second on her debut at Naas earlier this month, the Oasis Dream filly confirmed that promise and did it well considering she had to race widest of the main protagonists through the early stages as Gussy Goose took the field along.

The latter stuck to her guns well, but Joseph O'Brien was always going to win when edging to the front a furlong and a half out.

Tommy Stack's Gussy Goose kept her honest but was readily held by three-parts of a length by the 1/2 favourite.

O'Brien said: "You'd have to be delighted with that. She came forward lovely from her first run.

"Joseph was very happy with her and he thinks she is a very nice filly.

"She will love stepping up to seven furlongs and she could be one for the Debutante or the Moyglare."

Brendan Duke enjoyed a welcome winner and a change of luck as Intenser (14/1) got on top close home in the Irish Champions Weekend 13th & 14th September Nursery Handicap.

The Jackie Bolger-owned gelding deserves plenty of credit after racing towards the middle of the track, finishing off his race well to take the spoils by half a length from Sauanna Belle, who looked a little unfortunate in not getting the clearest of runs.

Duke said: "They've been running great, but I've had 11 seconds. I signed up for a course on internet about how to survive in the wilderness!

"I'm delighted he's won. It's made a big difference gelding him. He just got there and the handicapper probably did a good job rating them.

"Hopefully we'll find another day somewhere and we've been thinking about the nursery in Galway for a long time with him."

Parish Hall may not be the force he was in his two-year-old days but he remains a horse to be reckoned with just below the top class and won the Group Three Meld Stakes for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning.

Victorious in the Dewhurst Stakes of 2011, he was forced to miss his whole Classic year and while he returned to action with a win at four, he has not quite reached the heights that were once expected of him.

Sent off the 11/8 favourite in the four-runner field, Manning always looked confident and although Pat Smullen gave Afternoon Sunlight every chance from the front, the three-year-old filly could not hold off her elder counterpart and went down by half a length.

Manning said: "He's done it well and handled the ground and got the trip well.

"I wasn't sure where the pace was going to come from but I knew he had a turn of foot so I just got him settled and followed the pace.

"My instructions were to drop him in and arrive late."

Una Manning, who had spoken on the phone to her father, Bolger, said: "He said (Bolger) he'll stick to 10 furlongs and feels that it is only this year that he is getting over his injury. We can now hope for better things.

"He said he settled well today but he hasn't decided what's next, the plan was to get him back on a winning note. We'll just see what there is."

Wither Hills won the Longines World Fegentri Championship For Lady Riders Handicap in the hands of British rider Alice Mills.

In a race run in a frenetic pace, Mills bided her time and kept to the rail with horses stre tched out all over the Kildare track.

Trained by Brian Hamilton, the eight-year-old now looks bound for Galway.

Hamilton said: "That is a shock to the system as I'm used to plodding through mud in point-to-point fields.

"He's the only horse I've ever run on the Flat and I suppose we'll look at the GPT at Galway now, if not there'll be something else for him there I imagine.

"He had a problem with a kissing spine which is why he doesn't jump now.

"Alice gave him a lovely ride and did exactly what I told her to do."