Art Power continued his rise up the sprinting ladder with his first Group-race success in the Coolmore Sioux Nation Lacken Stakes.
Tim Easterby’s three-year-old had won a new handicap at Royal Ascot in tremendous fashion last month and stepped up to Group Three level with the minimum of fuss at Naas.
Given a confident ride by Colin Keane, the 4-6 favourite came with a pulsating run in the centre of the course – storming clear of Millisle to land the spoils by two and a half lengths. Zarzyni was four and a half lengths away in third.
Keane said: “He’s a lovely horse, very relaxed and the minute you pick him up he’s very sharp. It’s like putting your foot on an accelerator. I’d say he’s a horse with a big future.
“He was very straight forward. I’d love to have been drawn beside Shane (Foley, on Millisle), but he put his head down and stretched right up to the line
“He felt like a Group One horse – very sharp, a lot of speed and a great mind to go with it – for a sprinter especially.
“I’d say he’ll keep progressing.”
Keane had earlier struck gold aboard Even So (13-8 favourite) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Naas Oaks Trial.
The Ger Lyons-trained filly gained compensation for a fair effort when fifth in the Irish 1000 Guineas to score by a neck from Laburnum over an extra two furlongs.
“She’s as game as a pebble. She came out of the Guineas in great form,” said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.
“She doesn’t show an awful lot, but is one of those fillies that brings it to the racecourse and Colin said she was even a little bit fresh in his hands.
“The plan was always to go for the (Irish) Oaks as we know that (trip) is exactly what she wants. Fingers crossed she thrives after this and with a little bit of cut in the ground, that is where she goes.
“She wants a mile and a half, so if there was no pace we weren’t going to sit in behind crawling. Colin got the fractions right and gave her a brilliant ride. The filly helped him as well – they are a good match.”
Mother Earth made it third time lucky in some style in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes.
Having finished second on her Navan debut before placing third in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot a fortnight ago, Aidan O’Brien’s youngster was the 10-11 favourite to open her account in the hands of Wayne Lordan.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Sussex Garden attempted to make a race of it, but Mother Earth ultimately left her trailing in her wake – passing the post with four lengths in hand.
Lordan said: “She’s a smashing filly and her form was good enough to win. I travelled easy and she’s a filly that’s going to stay further, so I was happy to go forward.
“When I got there she probably thought she’d done enough. She’s a smart filly.”