Custom a cut above Desmond rivals
A review of Thursday evening's meeting at Leopardstown, where British raider Custom Cut struck for David O'Meara.
David O'Meara's British raider Custom Cut continued his excellent season with an authoritative display in the Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.
Formerly trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld and George Kent before switching hands for 95,000 guineas last October, the five-year-old has enjoyed a fine debut campaign in Britain, claiming Listed prizes at Windsor and Pontefract as well as running a number of creditable races in defeat.
The five-year-old was a 100/30 chance stepped back up to Group Three level on his return to his homeland and travelled powerfully throughout in the hands of Daniel Tudhope.
Favourite Brendan Brackan did his best to make a race of it heading inside the final furlong of the one-mile contest, but Custom Cut had plenty in reserve as he galloped two and a quarter lengths clear to complete his hat-trick.
Pat Breslin, who owns Custom Cut in partnership with Gary Douglas, said: "I'm from Manchester and support United and Gary is a big Rotherham fan so hence the red and white colours. We have been involved in a few syndicates but this is by far the best horse we've had.
"He's in the Strensall Stakes at York next week but that may come a bit soon.
"We'll be guided by David but the main plan is the Group Two Park Stakes (September 13) at Doncaster."
Tudhope, riding his first winner in Ireland, said: "He's a real trier and a tough horse. I was told to have him handy but they were going too quick.
"He really picked up in the straight and is a lovely, genuine type."
Order Of St George was predictably in a different league to his rivals in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund (C & G) Maiden.
Not far behind a couple of exciting Jim Bolger inmates in Hall Of Fame and Parish Boy on his first two appearances, Aidan O'Brien's Order Of St George was all the rage to make it third time lucky as the 2/5 favourite, with stable companions Smuggler's Cove and, more significantly, the stoutly-bred Ol' Man River, taken out of the race.
With the trainer's son Joseph switching from Ol' Man River to Order Of St George, favourite backers had few concerns as the youngster kicked clear from the home turn and came home a full eight and a half lengths clear.
Blue Skimmer ran a promising race in second ahead of Prologue in third.
O'Brien jnr said: "He's a lovely horse. He'd a nice run first time out but I was surprised with how green he was next time at Naas, and the penny didn't drop until the last 100 yards.
"Back over a mile suited him today. He's a big, immature horse and has always sweated a lot but he doesn't panic and it doesn't seem to affect him."
The David Wachman-trained Supposing deservedly got off the mark in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden.
Placed on each of her three previous appearances, the 7/4 favourite drew clear without being asked for maximum effort by Wayne Lordan, passing the post a length and a half clear of Spirited.
Lordan said: "She had the good runs under her belt. She travelled and got the trip well.
"It's nice to get her head in front. She kept going well and is a very straight forward filly."
Puck Fair narrowly edged out Vitalized in a pulsating climax to the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden.
Puck Fair looked sure to pick up the leader heading inside the final furlong, but Vitalized refused to go down without a fight and the pair flashed by the post virtually as one.
The photo revealed the Johnny Murtagh-trained 9/4 chance Puck Fair had won the argument by a nose.
Winning jockey Niall McCullagh said: "They went a good gallop and the softer ground helped. I'd say she will probably stay over six furlongs for the time being."
Trainer Adrian McGuinness and jockey Declan McDonogh combined to clinch the "Charlatans" Handicap with 8/1 shot Oor Jock.
"I'd be happy to go for one of the big handicaps with him now and he could go for the six-furlong race at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend," said McGuinness.
Massinga followed up her Galway Festival triumph with a workmanlike display under Pat Smullen in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Handicap.