Enable’s half-brother Centroid shines on Leopardstown debut

Thursday, Aug 9 2018

Dermot Weld and Declan McDonogh dominated at Leopardstown on Thursday evening, combining for a treble.

Eziyra was undoubtedly the highlight in the feature Group Three Grenke Finance Ballyroan Stakes, but they were also on the mark with newcomer Centroid and Betsey Trotter.

The former, who is a half-brother to the great Enable, took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over a mile and two.

Sent off a well-backed 4-5 favourite, the son of Dansili hit the front over a furlong out and kept on well from there to score by two lengths.

Weld said: “He’s still a big baby of a horse and very immature, but has the potential to make into a very nice horse. He’s been slow coming to hand, but I believe patience will pay dividends with this horse.

“I’ve no definite plans, but we’ll see how he progresses. I’ll speak with Lord Grimthorpe (racing manager to winning owner Prince Khalid Abdullah) and see how he comes out of the race and go from there.

“Potentially you would hope he will be a stakes horse later in the year. He would appreciate a lot more ease than he had today, but it was time to run him.”

Betsey Trotter (5-2) got the ball rolling for Weld and McDonogh in the Fitzers Catering Handicap.

Having got to the front a furlong and a half out, she was strongly pressed by the 11-8 favourite T For Tango inside the final furlong, but battled on gamely to see off that rival by a head.

“She is very tough and brave, and a model of consistency,” Weld reflected.

“It was a good tactical ride by Declan. He got a lead, took his time and got balanced. She possibly wanted to win a bit more than the second horse.”

Elsewhere on the card, newcomer Inverleigh beat well-fancied stable mate Burmese Waltz in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over six furlongs.

Sent off at 20-1, the son of Excelebration swept through to head the aforementioned 5-4 favourite inside the final furlong, going on to prevail by a length and a quarter.

“It’s not nice beating yourself but that’s life,” trainer Ger Lyons explained.

“It worked out the way we thought as we said the only one that could beat her (Burmese Waltz) was him.

“He’s as green as grass and very light so you might see him again or you might not. The last furlong was his best so it will be lovely going seven with him but he’s a work in progress.”

Favourite-backers had better luck in the concluding Manguard Plus Handicap, with the well-backed (9-2 into 3-1 favouritism) Persian Lion coming out on top under Shane Foley for Jessica Harrington.

Innamorare followed up on her recent course and distance win in the SMOKIE Handicap, with Chris Hayes aboard this 12-1 chance for Clare Cannon.

The remaining contest on the card, the Grant Thornton Rated Race, went the way of Ken Condon’s Ice Cold In Alex (100-30), who was ridden out by Niall McCullagh to beat the 11-8 favourite Sirjack Thomas by a length.

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