Sir Maximilian shows his class at Tipperary

Tim Pitt-trained gelding reels in Abstraction in five-furlong Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes

Aidan O’Brien:  saw 1/5 favourite East India beaten by five  lengths by Convergence at Tipperary. Photo:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Aidan O’Brien: saw 1/5 favourite East India beaten by five lengths by Convergence at Tipperary. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images


Sir Maximilian ran out a most impressive winner of the listed Kilfrush Stud Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary yesterday.

The Tim Pitt-trained gelding had finished a close seventh in the 32Red (Stewards’) Cup at Goodwood last weekend and had no trouble turning out quickly across the Irish Sea.

Dropping back to five furlongs on quick ground, Stevie Donohoe was always just chasing the leaders and was still a few lengths down as Abstraction hit the front a furlong out.

Cosy win But the 2-1 chance found his feet and picked up really well inside the last to cut down Abstraction and eventually win by a relatively cosy three-quarters of a length, with 13-8 favourite Russian Soul in third. It was a second Irish win from as many tries for Pitt’s charge, who had lifted a valuable handicap at the Curragh last month.

“He’s a very good horse, we’re only getting to know him now and five furlongs is his trip,” said Pitt.

“He did it the hard way and probably ran a better race in the Rockingham than tonight. The stiffer incline at the Curragh suited him more – he had to grit it out today.”

Flying Five Pitt added: “He’ll run in the Flying Five at the Curragh next and then on to the Prix de l’Abbaye.”

East India was beaten at long odds on in the Coolmore Canford Cliffs Stakes.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Galileo looked a classic prospect in the making when staying on strongly to score by a narrow margin on his racecourse bow at the Curragh, and was backed at all rates to build on that in this extended seven-furlong contest, having been sent off at 1-5.

All appeared to be going well for his followers through the early stages, but the warning signs appeared rounding the turn for home and on straightening up it was clear Joseph O’Brien’s mount would have to work hard to reel in the front-running Convergence in the hands of Colin Keane.

In the end the Ger Lyons- trained Convergence (7-2) proved far too strong, winning by five lengths, with East India clear of the rest.

The victorious Cape Cross colt was scoring for the second time from five starts.

‘A tough, tough horse’ The winning trainer’s brother, Shane, said: “He’s a tough, tough horse. I thought Aidan’s would have to be a Derby horse to beat him, and I said to Aidan before the race that he’s a dogfighter.

“I didn’t think he’d win like that but he does it the hard way every day and he’s true professional.

“We are looking forward to running him in a good race with a real gallop.

“He’s gone on soft, good and today was quickest he’s run but he’s a horse to get excited about.”

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