Sheila Lavery enjoys welcome winner at Leopardstown

Thursday, Jun 13 2019

After losing stable star Lady Kaya on Tuesday after an accident at home, Galeola provided Sheila Lavery with a much needed boost in the Korea Racing Authority Handicap at Leopardstown.

Unplaced on her first three starts, the daughter of Rip Van Winkle was a 20-1 shot for what was her handicap debut on Thursday evening.

Stepping up in trip to a mile and seven furlongs, the four-year-old was settled behind the leaders by Robbie Colgan, but picked up well after travelling strongly to score by a length and three-quarters from Malbas.

Lavery said: “We have always liked her, but it has been a long road and it is only now she is starting to get race hardened fit and I thought she would like the track here.

“I’ll look and see if there is more of the same for her next time and there are lots of those distance races in Ireland, which is great.

“She won’t ever jump hurdles for me. I know I had Laid Back Luke and when he comes back I’ll train him (for jumping), but this week has been so heartbreaking I couldn’t take on training a National Hunt horse because it’ll just break your heart with injuries.”

Justifier became the first winning progeny of freshman sire Free Eagle as he took the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Bought for 60,000 euro at the Goffs Orby Sale last October, the Ger Lyons-trained youngster was backed from 6-1 into 9-2 on-course and got up to beat Potala Palace by a length.

“He is a lovely horse with a great temperament and will get further,” said Lyons.

“Colin said early doors he was working well at home and he had him in the same category as (stablemate) Siskin, which would be a long way from my thoughts.

“I think there should be huge improvement going forward as I have been tender with my two-year-olds this year.”

Henry de Bromhead and Wayne Lordan combined to land the Fitzers Catering Rated Race with 11-1 shot Roibeard.

Cnoc An Oir (8-1) came from last to first in the ‘Coolio Handicap’ for Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien.

“She was disappointing the last time,” said the winning trainer

“She is a small filly and she is half-sister to Cabaret, who is the dam of Magna Grecia. Caberet was small herself.

“This filly has a big heart and I think she’ll be close to getting black type anyway.”

Jessica Harrington will also be hoping to pick up some valuable black type for Morpho Blue after she made the breakthrough in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

Sent off the 13-8 favourite, the Shane Foley-ridden bay got to the front inside the final 200 yards and quickly asserted, going on to score comfortably by two and a half lengths.

“She picked up well, they went quick and it suited her. Seven furlongs is about her trip but she’ll get a mile,” Harrington explained.

“She is a good mover and any old ground suits her. Hopefully we’ll get her up to stakes company and that is the plan for her.”

The concluding Leopardstown Members (Q.R) Maiden was also won by the market leader, with Royal Illusion (8-11 favourite) coming out on top under Patrick Mullins for his father Willie.

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