Castle takes starring role for Stack and Hayes

Horse Racing

Curragh winner could head to Royal Ascot.

Castle Star claimed his first career win when taking the Listed GAIN First Flier Stakes at the Curragh for Chris Hayes and Fozzy Stack.

The two-year-old son of Starspangledbanner had been narrowly beaten on both of his previous racecourse starts, losing out in maiden contests run over five and six furlongs by a short head and a neck respectively.

The colt returned to a five-furlong trip at the Curragh to secure a comfortable one-and-three quarter-length victory at a price of 5-2, and may now be aimed at Royal Ascot’s Norfolk Stakes.

“He did it well and he deserved it,” Stack said.

“He was a bit unlucky to run into a good horse (Glounthaune) in a maiden the last day, that’s compensation today.

Castle Star, ridden by jockey Chris Hayes, wins the GAIN First Filer Stakes
Castle Star, ridden by jockey Chris Hayes, wins the GAIN First Filer Stakes (PA)

“I don’t think five or six (furlongs) matters to him. I wouldn’t say it was staying that was his problem the last day – he probably just met a better colt.

“I suppose we could maybe look at the Norfolk for him now. It’s six weeks to Ascot and he has plenty of experience now.”

Lunar Space was a 14-1 winner of the Listed Dick McCormick Irish EBF Tetrarch Stakes for Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger.

The gelded son of Dawn Approach was victorious for the first time in the seven-furlong contest having picked up three placings from seven runs previously.

Lunar Space (left) just prevailed
Lunar Space (left) just prevailed (PA)

Mounting a challenge down the centre of the track, the chestnut was joined by Magnanimous with two furlongs left to cover, but it was Bolger’s charge who prevailedby a half a length.

“We’re very pleased with him,” said Una Manning, wife of jockey Kevin and daughter to trainer Bolger.

“The boss said he’ll probably try to find another Listed or Group Three race for him if he doesn’t go to Hong Kong in the meantime, as there have been a few offers for him already.

“He seemed to travel well today and Kevin was very happy with him. He thinks he’ll probably stay a little bit further too.

“He was gutsy and battled back.”

Quick Suzy shed her maiden tag when taking the Irish EBF Stallion Auction Series Maiden for Gary Carroll and Gavin Cromwell.

The two-year-old was second on her racecourse debut when finishing behind Donnacha O’Brien’s Elliptic in a Tipperary maiden in April, and looked to have come on from that run when prevailing by five and a half lengths at 5-2 at the Curragh.

“She was much more professional today,” Cromwell said.

“I couldn’t believe that she was green the first day because we thought she was very professional at home, she obviously learned plenty from it.

Gary Carroll riding Quick Suzy (right) on their way to winning the Irish EBF Stallion Auction Series Maiden at the Curragh
Gary Carroll riding Quick Suzy (right) on their way to winning the Irish EBF Stallion Auction Series Maiden at the Curragh (PA)

“I suppose we might go to the six-furlong Group Three in Naas for fillies on May 16 for a bit of black type.”

The seven-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap went the way of Joseph Murphy’s Pale Iris, who triumphed at 5-1 to give Carroll a double on the card.

The 5-1 victory was a first for the three-year-old filly, who has been gradually improving since making her debut in October.

“She’s a nice filly, a progressive filly, and we like her a lot,” said Murphy.

“Gary said she was half-idling up the straight and then arrived there a bit soon.

“The ease in the ground helped as she’s by Dragon Pulse. We might go back to six furlongs with her.”

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