The Irish EBF Auction Series Maiden didn’t make pleasant viewing for odds-on backers as Special Power (5/6 fav) couldn’t get a clear run from over a furlong out and eventually came home a fast-finishing second to Takana (4/1).
The latter was in the front rank throughout and stuck to her task well under Siobhan Rutledge.
Racing down the hill towards the final quarter mile, it initially looked like the winner was edging right and Andrew Slattery elected to angle for a run between Takana and eventual third El Magnifique who was on the rail.
As it happened, Takana was thereafter inclined to edge left under pressure and the gap closed a couple of times for Slattery who eventually switched right. The market leader didn’t have enough time to make up the leeway, though, and was half a length adrift at the line.
A delighted Rutledge revealed afterwards: “That’s my claim reduced now to 5lb after 30 winners. It’s a real milestone and to get that many winners in a relatively short time is brilliant.”
The winning daughter of Equiano was getting off the mark at the fifth attempt after placed efforts on her last two starts at Navan and Dundalk.
Winning trainer Ciaran Murphy said: “She was doing things properly today and handled the track well.
“I’d say six is probably her trip when she learns to settle. It’s lovely to win a maiden with her.
“She was a good buy for 30,000 at the Breeze Up and I’m delighted for the owner (Joe Higgins). It’s his first horse with me and hopefully we can have a bit of success.
“She’s thriving on her racing and I don’t think she’s finished for the year.”