Montefeltro notches Curragh win for Brian Ellison
Two winners for Aidan O’Brien and son Joseph, as Dermot Weld’s Flying Jib shows form
Flying Jib ridden by Pat Smullen races clear of second place Chicago Girl ridden by Johnny Murtagh to win the Staffordstown Stud Stakes at the Curragh. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Star apprentice Robert Tart secured the biggest win of his fledgling career when guiding Brian Ellison’s British raider Montefeltro to a thrilling success in the Tote Super Trifecta Irish Cesarewitch at the Curragh.
Tart (21), who claims 3lb, was spotted at work on the 8-1 chance with a quarter-mile to run, but his efforts paid a handsome dividend as the five-year-old picked up in style, making full use of the gap that appeared and staying on strongly to account for Marchese Marconi by a length and a half, winning with his ears pricked.
Call Me Bubbles was third, with Majenta fourth as Montefltro became only the second British-trained winner of the race after Mick Ryan’s Sweetness Herself in 1988.
The win means Tart remains unbeaten on Ellison’s gelding, with three wins from three rides.
North Yorkshire-based Ellison said: “After he won well at York the plan was to come here. He is a horse with a massive turn of foot, you just have to leave him alone.
“I walked the track and the ground is absolutely beautiful, although this horse would probably be a bit better with a bit of a cut in the ground.
“He is a lovely big horse and hopefully next year he will make up into a Plate (Northumberland Plate) horse.
“Robert is very good in a waiting race, he has got great patience. This is my first winner on the Flat in Ireland, I’ve had a winner over jumps, Batswing won for me at Punchestown (in 2002).”
There was a minor bolt on the day for Tart as he was given a three-day ban for careless riding.
Flying Jib looked a smart filly in the making when landing the Listed Staffordstown Stud Stakes.
Dermot Weld’s lightly-raced youngster quickened readily away from good yardstick Chicago Girl, who was a close second to My Titania in a Group Three last month.
The latter led at the furlong pole but Pat Smullen’s mount took her measure readily before going on to a length and a half victory. Fourth first time out, the 5-1 winner was stepping up in class having won a Dundalk maiden on the Polytrack in August.
Weld said: “That might be it for this year, although I’ll have to speak to Lord Grimthorpe (Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager). I mentioned to him that we might consider the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf.
“She is very adaptable having won at Dundalk and here, and she loves top of the ground. She is a lovely filly to look forward to next spring and a mile is her trip.”
Top notch sprinter Balmont Mast was ultimately impressive in taking the Johnny O’Sullivan Lifetime In Racing Achievement Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
Group One-placed when second in Dubai on World Cup night and fourth in a big Singapore event in May, the Eddie Lynam-trained five-year-old was having just his second start since that effort at Kranji but was being niggled by Johnny Murtagh over a furlong out.
British raider Angels Will Fall had travelled very strongly as the winner’s stable companion Boston Rocker led on the rail but despite Charlie Hills’ runner hitting the front and looking all set to score, Balmont Mast found another gear deep inside the last to win quite cosily by three-quarters of a length.
Lynam said: “He’s one of four (Sole Power, Slade Power and Viztoria being the others) for the Champions Sprint at Ascot next weekend. We’ll see what the ground is like before making plans.
“But it’s really all about the Golden Shaheen for him next spring.”
Century earned a quote of 20-1 from Paddy Power for the Epsom Derby after making a winning racecourse debut in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.
A length and a half was the winning margin over 15-8 favourite Marakoush for the Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Montjeu, who was sent off at 11-4.
O’Brien said: “He was very slow coming out and I thought he couldn’t win from there. He was very green, he had to come through horses and he will have learned a lot from that.
“He was just ready to start. We will see how he comes out of this and it is possible he could run again this year.”
Heirloom (7-2) was another for the O’Brien team when taking the Listed Join Go Racing In Kildare 2014 Finale Stakes from stablemate Sir Walter Scott.