sport

Tarana takes Limerick prize

Tarana repelled the late charge of El Salvador in a pulsating climax to the Martin Molony Stakes at Limerick.

Last year's winner Inis Meain was the 7-4 favourite to defend his crown for trainer Denis Hogan and owner Barry Connell, having made all the running and beaten Tarana and the reopposing Parish Hall in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh a fortnight ago.

Danny Mullins once again sent the market leader to the front and he was doing his level best to hold Tarana and El Salvador passing the furlong-marker.

However, that pair began to assert in the closing stages, with Tarana looking likely to score until El Salvador really found top gear in the dying strides.

The two flashed by the line almost as one, but the photo revealed Tarana had held on by a nose for trainer John Oxx and jockey Declan McDonogh.

Inis Meain was beaten less than a length and a half in third.

Parish Hall, a Group One-winning juvenile for Jim Bolger, was disappointing on his first attempt at a mile and a half, fading out of contention into sixth place.

Oxx said: "Declan thought she was caught, but she had her head down in the right place.

"She's very genuine and tough and stayed well. The race was a real test of stamina.

"Being by Cape Cross, they always seem to go on fast ground, so I was a bit surprised she's won on soft today.

"I'd be interested to see her running back on better ground. On pedigree she should go on it and she won on fast ground as a two-year-old.

"She'll run in Noblesse Stakes at Cork in June.

"She's also entered in the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas, but I don't think the drop down to a mile and a quarter on fast ground would suit."