By graham clark
Taking her personal Group One tally in 2017 to three, Roly Poly just would not give in and kept responding to Ryan Moore’s urgings. Moore had Roly Poly (4-1) smartly out of the stalls and despite being unable to grab the far rail which Dawn Of Hope occupied, was always in a good position.
Dawn Of Hope led briefly, but Roly Poly rallied and went ahead again and was able to hold off Persuasive (9-4 favourite) by a length.
Nathra was a length and a quarter away in third, giving Jimmy Fortune a fine spin on his last ride before retirement.
O’Brien said: “She’s a great filly, with a great heart. She’s tactical and tough, amazing. She’s incredibly bred, out of a very good Galileo mare and by War Front, and the lads do a great job with her at home.
“I think so [go to Breeders’ Cup], the lads [Coolmore] will decide what they want to do, but her and Rhododendron could be trained for the Filly And Mare race if that’s what the lads want to do.”
He added of being on the brink of reaching Frankel’s record: “It would be incredible for everybody, but the horse always comes first. That’s the important thing.
“After every race, the lads sit down and have a chat among themselves and see what race they want to pick, they have a big discussion with the people around them, make a target and we go with that.
“It’s race to race, horse to horse, the horse always comes first and we’re doing our best in every race, it’s all we can do.”
There’s an eight-race meeting at Kelso this afternoon and Simply Ned heads a cracking line-up in the feature event, the £30,000 NSPCC Service Handicap Chase over 2m 1f.
Simply Ned is a two-time former winner of the race, having been successful in 2014 and 2015. In 2016 Nicky Richards’ Greystoke charge was only touched off by a neck by Theflyingportrait who is among the opposition once again.
Also in the field are Forest Bihan, a Grade 2 winner last season, and Double W’s who landed a Grade 3 chase at Aintree’s Grand National Festival. Another intriguing runner is Wisty, unbeaten in all three starts over fences with all his wins coming in the summer at Cartmel.