Dank’s Stoute effort pays off at Curragh

Dank was eventually rewarded for a fine effort at Royal Ascot with victory in the Group 2 
Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh yesterday.

Claimer Luke Leadbitter aboard sixyearold Whozthecat won the Boylesports.com Rockingham Handicap. Picture: PA

The dual Group Three scorer had finished a close third to Duntle in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes and went two places better under a canny Ryan Moore ride for the in-form Sir Michael Stoute team.

Moore had the 5-4 favourite poised to challenge and got first run on the opposition as he forged past Aloof just two under two furlongs out. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Say came from the pack but was a length and three-quarters down at the line. Caponata was third.

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Stoute’s partner Coral Pritchard-Gordon said: “Ryan was thrilled with her and felt she was a better filly today. She is improving and loves the ground. All went right for her once she got the gap and she has a great temperament. If she continues to improve I presume she will be aimed at a Group 1, but I’m not sure where.”

The impeccably-bred O’Brien-trained Tapestry (7-1) came fast and late to make a winning debut in the Hanlon Concrete EBF Fillies Maiden. The daughter of 2001 Derby hero Galileo out of dual Group 1 winner Rumplestiltskin produced a decisive foot in the final half-furlong to overhaul Chroussa.

Jockey Seamie Heffernan had bided his time as stablemate Snow, the mount of Joseph O’Brien, was to the fore along with Chroussa. But, once Heffernan let Tapestry go, the response was impressive as she ran out a half-length winner.

“She’s obviously a lovely filly and has a great pedigree,” said Aidan O’Brien. “She’s still a baby and has not been asked to do too much at home. We’ll probably look at something like the Debutante Stakes (Curragh, 11 August).

East Yorkshire trainer Declan Carroll secured a big prize when Whozthecat (8-1) claimed the Boylesports.com Rockingham Handicap. The six-year-old was always to the fore under 10lb claimer Luke Leadbitter, who kept Nafa at bay by a neck to go one better after finishing second in a similar contest over a furlong farther at this track three weeks previously. Carroll said: “I wasn’t worried about coming back to five furlongs as he’s done most of his winning over five furlongs.”

Italian Jessica Marcialis struck on Ado McGuinness’s veteran Beau Michael (10-1) in the Ladies Qualified Riders Association Fegentri World Championship Handicap. David Wachman’s Fly To The Moon (5-1) stepped up considerably on her three previous starts to land the Equisoftlive.com Nursery Handicap, while the Kevin Prendergast-trained Coquette Noire (5-2) hung on grimly for Chris Hayes in the Goffs Fillies Maiden.

Meanwhile, Silk Hall made all of the running to win the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary. The James Lambe-trained 25-1 shot showed a really willing attitude once pressurised to cause a big upset in the Grade Three over two miles. Lambe’s charge set a reasonable pace from the outset, with Midnight Game and Fosters Cross never too far away.

Steps To Freedom, the 2-1 joint-favourite, arrived with a game challenge two flights from home but could not match the finishing kick of Silk Hall, who scampered clear under Eddie O’Connell for a first triumph since August 2011. Fellow market leader Fosters Cross was third.

At Ayr today, Bold Prediction, who has been knocking on the door on his last couple of runs, can finally strike gold in the Luke Currie Memorial Handicap.

Elaine Burke’s charge was a winner at Wolverhampton back in March but has had to settle for a string of places interspersed with also-rans of late. However, he has made the frame on his last two starts, finishing second at Newcastle in June before claiming third at Pontefract.

Bold Prediction was beaten just two lengths on that occasion after having every chance, while he went down by just a neck on his previous effort on slightly easier ground. He is a thoroughly game performer who has risen to a mark of 80, his highest for a while, but not quite on a par with the 82 rating he boasted last year.