Vinnie Roe unable to catch Foreign Affairs


Champion stayer Vinnie Roe was unlucky not to land his first win of the season when just touched off in the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown this afternoon.

Dermot Weld's three-times winner of the Irish St Leger went down by just a neck to Mark Prescott's Foreign Affairs (7-1), who enjoyed a pillar-to-post victory.

Vinnie Roe, sent off the even-money favourite, was settled towards the back of the field in the Listed event and looked to be coming under pressure turning out of the back straight.

His stamina came into play, though, entering the home straight, and he was reeling Foreign Affairs in with every stride at the death.

The John Oxx-trained Mkuzi (9-2) finished third of the seven-strong field in the mile-and-a-half contest. Jimmy Quinn rode the winner, giving him his third victory at the track.

"He did it the hard way from the front and still managed to pull out more," said the jockey. "He did the same in Germany two weeks ago when making all, and the horse he beat there, Epalo, was third in the Arlington Million last night."

Vinnie Roe finished second to the enterprisingly ridden Windermere on his seasonal debut in May, and has another crack at the Irish St Leger (September 18) on the cards.

 "All being well he will still go St Leger," confirmed Weld.  "He is getting older though, and is not quite as sharp as he used to be over this trip. He had 10st as well and on the day was not good enough."

 Jamie Spencer finished fourth on Aidan O'Brien's Two Miles West and was subsequently banned for three days (August 24th-26th) for careless riding.

However, the pair enjoyed better fortune when Ace, the 5-4 favourite, landed a gamble and provided the pair with a winner in the Group Three Desmond Stakes.

Jockey and trainer were just back from America where their  Powerscourt was disqualified from the Arlington Million last night, but fared better here as Ace took his winning run to three and maintained his unbeaten record.

Ace made smooth headway entering the straight to pick up the front-running Grand Passion and gradually pulled away to score by two lengths from John Oxx's Hamairi (7-1).

Jim Bolger's Tropical Lady finished an unlucky second in the Royal Whip at the Curragh last weekend, but found very little under pressure and weakened to finish last of the five runners.

O'Brien said: "He has a lot of class, is a great mover and is a lovely horse.  The plan was to give him four runs this season and we will now go for Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (at Ascot on September 25th)."