Timarida sweeps for Oxx in Champion Stakes

TIMARIDA swept to the most prestigious of her several important victories in Saturday's £150,000 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown…

TIMARIDA swept to the most prestigious of her several important victories in Saturday's £150,000 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. The first Irish-trained horse to win this race since Park Express 10 years ago, the Aga Khan's remarkable globetrotting filly has now won three Group One races in succession and more than £590,000 in first place prizemoney.

Timarida won Group Two races at Longchamp and Woodbine, Canada at the backend of last season and this autumn captured Group One races at Munich, Arlington, and now Leopardstown. Altogether she has won 10 of her 14 races between Ireland, France, Germany, Canada and America.

Obviously, trainer John Oxx would love to keep Timarida in training next year but her owner-breeder, the Aga Khan, feels that she will have done enough after one more race and favours sending her to stud at the end of this campaign.

There are several options open to her for the remainder of the season but America would appear to stage the most suitable races. She is in the Champion Stakes but her trainer feels she would not be suited to a straight, galloping course like Newmarket.


Timarida could be supplemented for the Arc de Triomphe but a mile and a half is further than she cares to go. So, it looks as if she will return to the States where, at Arlington only three weeks ago she won the Beverly D.

John Murtagh was content to bide his time on Timarada as Dance Design made the running. The Irish Oaks winner continued to set a steady pace up the straight as the Derby winner Shaamit got caught up on the rails and was going nowhere.

Timarida then produced a fine turn of foot on the outside to collar Dance Design 150 yards out and win by a length and a half. Dance Design held by a neck the challenge of the Paul Kelleway-trained Glory Of Dancer to complete a one-two for Ireland. Shaamit finished fourth, followed home by Idris and Tamayaz.

Willie Haggis, trainer of Shaamit was at a loss to explain the colt's below par showing but would not blame rider Michael Hills who had partnered him to win the Derby. Shaamit will be back for the Champion Stakes at Newmarket.

Olivier Peslier, rider of Glory Of Dancer wanted to object to the winner on the grounds of crossing over a furlong out, but trainer Paul Kelleway said there was no point.

However, there was a stewards inquiry and, predictably, the placings remained unaltered. Kelleway said the poor pace did not suit his charge. Despite the excuses the best horse won and of that there can be no doubt.

Having run the race of her life to go under by a short head to Pivotal in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York, Evening performance was not going to be beaten in the Group Three Flying Five and this front-running mare was always holding Ailleacht to win by a snug half length. A first winner in Ireland for Wantage trainer Henry Candy, Eveningperformance is now bound for the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp, a race in which she finished third last year.

The once-raced Kris Green had drifted in the market but came home with a long, sustained run to beat Lil's Boy by two lengths in the Beechwood Maiden and initiate a winning treble for Dermot Weld and Michael Kinane, completed by Bavario who just beat King of Peace in the Pat Dunlea Nissan Handicap and Layik in the Oakdale Handicap.

L'Opera just deprived the Weld-Kinane partnership of a four-timer in the concluding Leopardstown Entertainment Centre and Sheikh Mohammed's colt thus completed a double for John Oxx and John Murtagh.

Eighth of 12 behind his better fancied stable-companion Poised To Rally having dwelt at the start on his debut over this course a month ago, Kris Green is a big colt, clearly at home on fast ground and according to his bandler likely to stay a mile and a half next year.

Hartstown House, the pillar-to-post winner of the Burlington Air Express Nursery, is pretty fast but trainer Edward Lynam is angry that this is the only five furlong nursery in the country, and Hartstown House is unlikely to stay any further. The Tipperary winner may step up to listed company next season.