The feature race at the Curragh this afternoon, the Group 3 Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes for fillies only, went to the first time blinkered Chrysanthemum for trainer David Wachman with Wayne Lordan aboard.
The 4yo daughter of Danehill Dancer won her only two starts as a 2yo but failed to score last season finishing seventh in 1000 Guineas over the course and distance before running well when stepped up to 1m 2f to finish third in the Pretty Polly Stakes.
She rounded off last season with a disappointing effort in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes finishing a well beaten seventh behind Manieree last September.
Having opened at 10/1 on course today she was well supported and returned at 8/1.
The winner tracked the leaders early on under a keen hold but when ridden a furlong from home she responded and stayed on best from there to score by a length and a half at the line.
The 7/4 favourite Twirl under Ryan Moore for Aidan O’Brien had her chance but just couldn’t chase down the winner and had to settle for second while the 7/1 shot Princess Sinead finished a further length and a quarter back in third under Shane Foley for Jessica Harrington.
Winning trainer David Wachman said afterwards: “She likes an ease and never really got her ground last year. She was third in a Group 1 and so she was entitled to win this today.
“She will go for any of those Group races now as long as the ground is not too firm. The blinkers helped her today.”
Aidan O’Brien trainer of the runner-up Twirl said afterwards: “She ran a lovely race and we are delighted with her.”
On just his third career start the John Oxx trained Sharestan took the Irish Lincolnshire in convincing fashion under Johnny Murtagh at the odds of 3/1 favourite.
Having won on his debut over the course and distance last June the 4yo colt then finished a slightly disappointing third when sent off the 5/4 favourite in a race over 1m 2f behind Flowers Of Spring and Steps to Freedom at Fairyhouse last July.
The winning bay son of Shamardal chased the leaders early on but made nice progress into second over a furlong from home. He hit the front inside the final furlong and stayed on well from there to score by two and three parts of a length.
The big gamble of the race Ansaab, who was backed from 14/1 into 7/1, got each-way money for his supporters as he finished second under Chris Hayes for Kevin Prendergast.
The Tommy Stack trained Sikara under Shane Gray finished a further neck back in third at 6/1 while Stack also trained the fourth placed horse who was Parkers Mill at 12/1 under treble seeking jockey Wayne Lordan.
Winning trainer John Oxx said afterwards: “He will be stepped up to Listed class next and will go for the Heritage Stakes at Leopardstown in three weeks’ time.
“He is still inexperience and a bit green. It’s hard to know his best trip until he sharpens up.
“He goes on soft ground but it remains to be seen whether he goes on better ground. He has a bit of talent and hopefully we will see it this season.”
When asked whether he had won the Lincolnshire before Oxx added: “I have rarely had a 4yo to run in and it is my first win. It’s hard to win it with just two runs to your name.”
Coolnagree continued where she left off last season as she took the Gabriel Curran Memorial Madrid Handicap for her trainer Willie McCreery with Wayne Lordan (completing a quick double after winning aboard Chrysanthemum) in the saddle.
Having won on her first start for McCreery (trained by Denis Cullen previous to that) at Leopardstown in October of last year she was then just denied on her next start again at Leopardstown going down by a neck to Backbench Blues.
Having her first start since that defeat at Leopardstown, she tracked the leaders in fourth early on before improving from two furlongs out.
She came with her challenge under a furlong from home and soon hit the front staying on well under pressure to score by a length from the Aidan O’Brien trained, Joseph O’Brien ridden Ishvana back in second at 5/1.
The 2/1 favourite Swerve for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen could offer no more when headed by the winner a furlong from home and had to settle for third at the finish.
The winner didn’t go unsupported as she was backed on track from her opening show of 4/1 into 7/2 second favourite at the off.
Winning trainer Willie McCreery said afterwards: “I’m delighted with that. She won off a mark of 80 last year and she coming here with a similar mark today.
“We will see what the handicapper does with her now. The ground is tacky but they all