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Truly Enchanting bounces back for brave Airlie triumph

Truly Enchanting bounces back for brave Airlie triumph
Truly Enchanting bounces back for brave Airlie triumph

Truly Enchanting put a lacklustre Royal Ascot run behind her with victory in the Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly was returning 10 days after coming home 13th in the Queen Mary Stakes in Berkshire, but punters’ enthusiasm was undimmed as she was sent off the 2-1 market leader.

Winner of a Tipperary maiden on her first start, Truly Enchanting had to work hard for a second career success as California Dreamer, who finished fifth in the Albany at Ascot eight days ago, went toe to toe from the early stages.

A furlong out it was clear the leading duo had the measure of the field and after racing neck and neck through the closing strides, it was Truly Enchanting and Ryan Moore who edged it by half a length, with January a further two and a quarter lengths back in third.

The race was run in wet conditions, with the ground officially changed to yielding to soft from good, good to yielding in places after the Group Two contest.

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore with Truly Enchanting
Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore with Truly Enchanting (Damien Eagers/PA)

“We thought she was a five/six furlong filly who would handle any ease in the ground,” said O’Brien.

“Ryan gave her a great ride, she was very green. Conditions suited her.

“She took the race in Ascot very well. She was just a bit green and babyish in the Queen Mary. It was kind of a last-minute decision to go five with her.

“Because she had won at Tipperary, we said we’d chance it, but when she ran at Tipperary it was soft ground, so she found it a big change on the fast ground.

“Ryan gave her a great ride, she’s tough and hardy and we’re delighted with her.

“He didn’t go until he really had to and he kept cajoling her, he didn’t want to get into a bumping match with her.

“He said to change the bit. She’s very straightforward at home but I suppose she was coming up there on the stand’s rail by herself.

“She runs in a happy bit, a very soft bit, and it’s as soft as you can put on them. He said to put a ring bit in her, it’ll help to keep her straight as it keeps the bit very balanced in their mouth.

“She’s not really able to catch hold of it when there is a ring on it.”

The race was run in wet conditions
The race was run in wet conditions (Damien Eagers/PA)

O’Brien suffered disappointment in the opening maiden when favourite Rock Of Cashel was well beaten, but he felt the ground had perhaps gone against those runners.

He added: “Some of them are running well but the horses in the first were a bit disappointing. They found the soft ground a big change and we probably didn’t have them prepared for soft ground.

“We were hoping to come here for fast ground and the preparation is usually a bit different when it’s soft and we were probably a bit gentle on them. They’ll probably improve a lot.

“This filly had the two runs and obviously won on soft ground first time and then went to Ascot so was probably fitter.”

Of the third-placed January, O’Brien said: “Wayne’s (Lordan) filly ran a stormer and when she steps up to seven, she’ll be lovely.”

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