Grandee getting better with win at Leopardstown

Jessica Harrington ‘delighted’ with colt, while Aidan O’Brien’s September also shines

Irish trainer Jessica Harrington: her colt Grandee made all the running in the King George V Cup at Leopardstown. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Irish trainer Jessica Harrington: her colt Grandee made all the running in the King George V Cup at Leopardstown. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

 

Grandee is getting better with every outing, and made all the running in the King George V Cup at Leopardstown.

After struggling in the Ballysax Stakes, Jessica Harrington’s colt came within a whisker of landing a Listed prize at Navan over a mile and five furlongs, and Colm O’Donoghue was apparently keen to make use of his proven stamina.

The 7-2 chance was tackled by Finn McCool a couple of furlongs out, but dismissed that challenge and then saw out his race really well to inflict a two-and-a-quarter-length defeat on Eziyra.

Harrington said: “He’s in the Queen’s Vase, but as far as I know he won’t go to Ascot. We’ll make a decision after this.

“He’s in things like the Curragh Cup, but I don’t have him in the Leger because he didn’t look like that sort of horse last year.

‘Battled back’

“I’m delighted with him. He actually got headed and battled back. The further he went, the further he was going away.

“He’d love it if he could get a lead, it would make a big difference. He seemed to handle that ground fine and it was pretty quick when he ran in Navan. He’s just done very well physically lately.”

Aidan O’Brien’s choicely-bred September showed plenty of the family talent on debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden. The daughter of Deep Impact, out of O’Brien’s four-time Group One winner Peeping Fawn, was one of three Ballydoyle newcomers towards the head of the betting, and eventually went off the 9-2 joint favourite.

Quickened impressively

The withdrawal of likely favourite Shapes, who finished third to Royal Ascot fancy Alpha Centauri in Listed company at Naas, perhaps made her task easier but, after racing just off the pace, September quickened impressively to run down Himmah, coasting across the line with five and a half lengths in hand without Seamie Heffernan having to resort to the whip.

Heffernan said: “I think that’s the first one we’ve had that’s won first time out [this season]. She’s bred to be okay and I’d say she’s okay as she gave me a good feeling.

“Ours can work really, really well at home and then on their first runs can disappoint, but that’s just the way they are. I’d say she has an engine all right.”

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