Renaissance effort puts Art Power in Champions Day frame

Horse Racing

Ascot on the cards for Tim Easterby’s Curragh winner.

Art Power proved far too good for his rivals as he blazed to victory in the William Hill Ireland Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

Tim Easterby’s charge boasted some top-class form to his name, having finished third in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot, fourth in the July Cup and a close-up fifth in the Sprint Cup at Haydock when last seen.

Dropped to Group Three level in this six-furlong heat, Art Power was sent off the 4-5 favourite and was always travelling well under David Allan.

He sat on the heels of pace-setter Stormy Girl before Allan gave the signal and Art Power eased right away to win by five lengths from Twilight Spinner. Measure Of Magic was back in third.

Paddy Power make Art Power an 8-1 shot for next month’s Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot – and Allan thinks the Group One heat will play to Art Power’s strengths.

He said: “He travelled very strongly through the race, quickened up and ran through the line strong.

“Obviously it’s a bit of a step down in class for him. It might do his confidence good and hopefully he’ll pick up a big one soon.

“He loves Ascot and I think Champions Day will be the target for him. He goes on that ground, but a bit of juice in the ground would suit him.

“The biggest job is reining in his speed early on to get him a bit more control and then he’ll run through the line.

“He doesn’t need to make the running and as long as he travelled I was happy.”

Willesee looked the part for Jessica Harrington with a winning debut in the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden.

The Gleneagles filly really hit top gear a furlong and a half out and powered home for Nathan Crosse.

Harrington said of the 16-1 winner: “Nathan said he always felt that she was going to get there.

“She was withdrawn at Naas because she wouldn’t go into the stalls and also at a barrier trial.

“Will Hayes has done some job on her and that’s why I’ve run her at the Curragh, so he could come over. He’s at the start with her and leads her in. She trusts him now and maybe that will give her a bit of confidence.

“The owners are Australian.”

Gaire Os Ard made her experience count in the Irish EBF Auction Series Race, defying odds of 9-1 to get off the mark on her seventh racecourse outing.

Always handy, Jim Bolger-trained Teofilo filly kept on strongly from two out and had enough in reserve to hold Thunder Eclipse by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Kevin Manning.

Bolger said: “She has taken a little bit of time, but is a filly with a future and she can run over anything from six furlongs to a mile.

“She is a big filly and we’ll try to get some black type for her, maybe not this year but it will certainly be on the cards for next year.”

Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan took the feature Beresford Stakes with Luxembourg and Jeroboam (2-1) made it a double with a length-and-a-quarter verdict in the William Hill Ireland Lengthen Your Odds Maiden.

Magniffico (7-2) lifted the GAIN The Advantage Series Nursery Handicap, while Sh Boom swooped late for an 18-1 win in the William Hill Ireland Pick Your Places Handicap.

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