Glass Slippers shatters rivals and Thunder Moon enters orbit in Sunday showpieces

Kevin Ryan's speedster won the Flying Five while Joseph O'Brien triumphed in the Group One National Stakes

Sunday, September 13, 2020

There was no treading carefully for Glass Slippers as she shattered her rivals in the Group One Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes

Glass Slippers shattered the field in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes and jockey Tom Eaves reckons his filly just keeps getting better with age, writes Will Jennings.

Kevin Ryan's English raider won Longines Irish Champions Weekend’s trademark blink and you’ll miss it content by half a length over John Quinn’s Keep Busy.

It was a one-two for the travelling contingent in the 5f sprint at the Curragh, while the Paddy Twomey-trained Sonaiyla finished third.

Glass Slippers was a good second behind Battaash – the world’s fastest-rated horse – at Glorious Goodwood and Eaves says that mid-season run-out got her in tip-top condition.

“She takes a while to warm into a season and come good and it’s paid off - what an amazing filly she is,” said Eaves.

“It left her spot on [coming second in the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood] – she kept improving last year and she’s done the same this year.

“She’s just improved all year and thrived, and she’s a great credit.

“Hats off to the team at home – we worked her last week and Kevin was very happy with her, and this has always been the plan at the back end of the campaign.

“You could do anything with her – she’s so relaxed and has got a great mind. She’s an amazing filly and very tough, gets her head down and tries her heart out.”

Joseph O’Brien capped a weekend to remember as Thunder Moon went into orbit in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

Fresh off his victory with Galileo Chrome in the St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, O’Brien watched his two-year-old topple Wembley in the 7f race to make it a pair of Group Ones in as many days.

Trained by father Aidan, Wembley was unable to score in County Kildare while it was Ballydoyle stablemate St Mark’s Basilica who finished third.

Thunder Moon won by a length and a half and jockey Declan McDonogh says he always knew his mount had enough in the locker.

“He was always giving me the feeling that he was going to run them down and he was very impressive,” he said.

“He’s got a serious will to win because when that happened he just wanted to run by them again.

“He quickened very well and showed great heart when he got a bit of room.

“I’d say the ground was as slow as he wants it – he’s got a real fast ground action and fast ground suits him really well, he’s a strong traveller.

“But he seemed like he was in third gear all the way through.”

Jessica Harrington’s Cayenne Pepper was in red-hot form in Sunday’s Group Two contest as leading Flat jockey Shane Foley partnered her to Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes glory.

Foley just keeps banging in winners this season and floored Amma Grace by an emphatic four lengths, while Thundering Nights was third over the 1m2f.

Mr Lupton won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Bold Lad” Sprint Handicap for Richard Fahey with Colin Keane – second in the Leading Jockeys standings – on board, while Shark Two One smelled blood to bite her rivals in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes.

And Johnny Murtagh followed up his Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes hegemony with a win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Northfields” Handicap, as Sonnyboyliston packed a punch with red-hot rider Billy Lee on board.

Murtagh trained his maiden Group One winner on Saturday as Champers Elysee made him the first man to win the Matron Stakes as both a jockey and a trainer, sending him and wife Orla into raptures on the terraces.

Sonnyboyliston’s knockout blow capped a thrilling two days at Leopardstown and the Curragh - and the ebullient Murtagh will never forget his Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

“It was a great way to end the weekend,” Murtagh said.

“Probably of the whole weekend he was the horse that I was most excited about and if you look at his form, the form was in the book.

“There was a good pace on today and he settled really well - he’s a big baby that’s still learning on the job, and he should have no problems stepping up to a mile and a half.”

She takes a while to warm into a season and come good and it’s paid off - what an amazing filly she is.
- Tom Eaves 

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