Mustajeeb sparks Weld treble
A review of the rest of the action from Leopardstown, where Mustajeeb landed the Ardglen Amethyst Stakes.
Dermot Weld's Mustajeeb showed an electric turn of foot to beat his elders in the Ardglen Amethyst Stakes and land the first leg of a treble for the trainer. Settled in midfield by Pat Smullen, the only three-year-old in the race had ground to make up on the leaders at the two-furlong pole.
However, the 5-2 favourite found another gear in the closing stages, getting on top of Brendan Brackan inside the final furlong to score by two and a half lengths.
Weld said: "I thought he'd progressed well over the winter.
"He was a good two-year-old with a rating of 110. He seems very adaptable ground-wise, whereas Alkasser (Tetrarch Stakes winner) likes good to fast ground.
"I'll speak to Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) and Angus Gold (racing manager), but I would encourage them towards the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
"Pat didn't have to be hard on him and that will set him up nicely for two weeks' time. "Brendan Brackan gives us a good idea of the standard of the race."
Smullen said: "He quickened up well and it was a fair performance for a three-year-old."
The formidable Weld-Smullen combination struck again in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial as Afternoon Sunlight turned in a fine front-running display.
A runaway winner at Limerick a fortnight ago, the daughter of Sea The Stars was sent off the 9-4 favourite for this Group Three test and was quickly out of the blocks and bowling along at the head of affairs.
The Moyglare Stud-owned filly quickened up early in the straight, catching her opponents out, and looked set to win decisively a furlong down. Palace, who trainer Aidan O'Brien told the stewards was showing signs of coming into season in the parade ring before the off, got going in the dying strides but Afternoon Sunlight clung on well.
Weld said: "She's a brave and genuine filly and it was an excellent ride by Pat.
"We had agreed those tactics beforehand. She quickened and she battled well.
"We'll have to think about the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but we'll see how she comes out of this race first.
"She's exceptionally well bred and a mile and a quarter could well be her optimum trip in time."
Herewego made a pleasing racecourse debut with victory in the Johnnie Fox's E.B.F. Auction Maiden at Leopardstown.
With the benefit of a run under his belt, Primo Uomo was sent off the 5-2 favourite and looked to have made a race-winning move when quickening nicely a furlong and a half out.
But the Kevin Prendergast-trained Herewego (7-2) stayed on well in the hands of Chris Hayes to claim a neck success over Splashtop, who just edged Primo Uno for second.
Prendergast said: "He'll be better over seven furlongs or a mile and I was hoping it would not be too short for him today.
"That ground would not do him any harm and I probably wouldn't run him if it got very fast."