Ellaat does Sunday Racing Club proud at Ballinrobe

Monday, Jun 24 2019

The Sunday Racing Club’s Royal Ascot graduate Sunday Sovereign failed to sparkle in last week’s Norfolk Stakes – but there was swift consolation at Ballinrobe as Ellaat won the Bay Leaf Handicap for them.

The owners, who sold Sunday Sovereign to King Power Racing after the speedy juvenile’s maiden win at the Curragh last month, were represented by the winning favourite – backed into 7-2 from 6-1 on Monday evening.

It was very much job done for the Denis Hogan-trained and Killian Leonard-ridden Ellaat as he got the better of Belle Cora by half a length.

“That was grand,” said Hogan.

“I didn’t think it was going to happen after he jumped out of the stalls.

“He normally wings the gates – but he walked out today, and I stopped looking and thought ‘this has gone wrong’.

“Killian had to weave his way through, and he said he didn’t handle the track at all.

“He is a big, weak horse and was just wobbling around a bit. He had to come outside and inside, and it’s up and down here. It’s hard to do what he’s done.

“He is a grand horse for the future – he is weak and is improving a bit all the time.”

While the Sunday Racing Club is still very much making its way in the ownership stakes, famous silks got a successful airing when Xcite won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Shane Foley donned the black-and-orange stripes of Stanerra, heroine of the 1983 Japan Cup for Frank Dunne.

He bred Xcite, owned by his partner Ann Marshall and trained by Jessica Harrington.

After an easy four-and-a-half-length success, Harrington’s daughter Kate said: “We are delighted with her – she deserved that win.

“She is a big filly and is just starting to fill her frame.

“We hope it’s onwards and upwards with her. She might go for a handicap now.

“She has a beautiful page and is only improving. It would be lovely to get a bit of black type with her.”

Kilkenny-based owner Seamus Dunne has had some good jumpers in the past, such as Vic Venturi and Shirley Casper, but here his colours were carried to success by Donnacha O’Brien in the feature on Flicker Flame.

The Treacy’s Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap was a tight betting heat, but 7-2 joint-favourite Flicker Flame extended away from over a furlong out to prevail by two and three-quarter lengths.

Champion jockey O’Brien, riding for his brother Joseph, said: “She’s done it well.

“There were a few of them with not much between them, but the race went very smoothly for me.

“They didn’t go a mad pace – and when I asked her to quicken she got a few lengths on them, and it’s hard to get it back around here.”

Sbraase joined owner Ryan Turner and trainer Noel Kelly out of a Sligo claimer last week for 4,000 euro.

He gave an instant return on investment in the BetVictor Handicap, coming home well by three-quarters of a length in the hands of Oisin Orr.

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