Rory Cleary scooped the 100,000 euro Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nasrullah Handicap on Magnetic North for the first leg of a double at Leopardstown on Thursday evening.
The four-year-old gelding, trained by Sheila Lavery, crossed the line a neck to the good over Innamorare in the 10-furlong contest
“That was great and I’m delighted for Rory as he was to ride him in the Lincoln but the horse didn’t get in. He’s ridden work for me, and gave him a beautiful ride,” said Lavery of her 6-1 winner.
“I was surprised he got away with the ground. He toughed it out but Rory said he wouldn’t want that too often. This was worth so much and the race broke up a lot so I had to take a chance.
“He’ll be entered in all the big handicaps at Galway, and I think he’s more effective on soft ground. It’s not that I target Galway but I just have a lot of soft ground horses.
“If it’s only yielding there the mile might be a bit sharp for him but if it gets soft there are more options.”
Cleary followed up on Trossachs (10-11 favourite) for his employer Jim Bolger in the Bulmers Live At Leopardstown Handicap.
Bolger said: “He’s an improver but he’d still have a bit to find to be Stakes class.
“He has a great temperament and loves his racing. Another couple of furlongs would not be a problem to him, and the handicapper will decide where we go next.”
Trossachs is owned by Godolphin, who also struck with Balefire (11-10 favourite) in the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown Handicap with the Godolphin owned Balefire.
The son of Shamardal, trained by Michael Halford, made all for Shane Foley as he held off the challenge of Cosmic Horizon by half a length.
Halford said: “We kept it simple. It was a small field for a nice pot which surprised me a little bit.
“They are his ideal conditions a mile on that ground and he quickened up and did it well. He’s very consistent, and I had my eye on his race for a while.
“I don’t think Galway would be his cup of tea. Its hard work for a three-year-old there and it can be over very quickly for you.”
Aidan O’Brien won the the opening maiden with Love (5-6 favourite), ridden by his son Donnacha O’Brien, before taking the feature Stanerra Stakes with Peach Tree.
Sneaky Getaway (4-1) landed the Red Bean Roastery QR Maiden for trainer Emmet Mullins and his cousin, jockey Patrick Mullins.