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Horse Racing: Red Bloom notches her second Blandford with a cosy success; CURRAGH.

Byline: by Ryan McElligott

FOR the second year in succession, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Red Bloom landed the Group 2 Irish National Stud Blandford Stakes.

The former Fillies' Mile heroine, who was winning her first race since her victory here 12 months ago, was sent off the 11-8 favourite for the 1m2f contest and was always travelling smoothly, edging ahead entering the final quarter of a mile to comfortably beat 20-1 chance Sina Cova by a length and three-quarters.

Her jockey Jamie Spencer said: "She's a classy filly, she won the Fillies' Mile as a two-year-old.

"I rode her in a piece of work on Saturday and I said to Sir Michael that she went really well.

"He told me that this was her time of year and that she always comes to herself around now. She won very easily in the end.

"My only concern was the ground after the way she worked on Saturday morning. For a five-year-old mare she was full of herself and she is a credit to Cheveley Park for keeping her in training."

Trainer Michael Halford struck with Newgate Lodge as she picked an opportune time to shed her maiden tag in the penultimate race on the card, the 7f juvenile.

Johnny Murtagh's mount held a good position from halfway and was switched out to deliver her challenge over a furlong from home before running on strongly to head the newcomer Smarty Socks almost on the line.

"We were a little worried about the trip, but Johnny has given her a super ride and she picked up well for him," said Halford.

Film Festival continued the sparkling run of form of John Oxx and Mick Kinane in the 60-100 handicap, with the son of Diesis asserting inside the final furlong to beat Michikabu by a length and three-quarters.

"He handled the ground better than I thought he would," observed the Currabeg trainer. "He will probably run again before going to the Goffs Horses In Training Sale next month."

Lone Plainsman and Shane Gorey captured the 5f handicap to the delight of trainer Pat O'Donnell. The Royal Applause gelding rallied splendidly on the stands' side rail to head Chained Emotion in the final yards.

"When this horse hits form you can set your watch by him," said O'Donnell. "The ground was a worry, but Shane has given him a tremendous ride. He came to hand a bit later this year which is helping hold his form now," he added.

Just three days after contesting a Group 3 over this course and distance, Chief Crazy Horse landed the opening 6f conditions race.

Kieren Fallon's mount led inside the final furlong and held off the renewed effort of Ireland's Call by the narrowest of margins.

"He didn't run great on Saturday but he enjoyed the easier ground and maybe the jump from a maiden in a Group race was too much," reflected winning trainer Aidan O'Brien.

Star performance

Miss Beatrix, for her victory in the EUR1.6m showpiece in front of a crowd of more than 10,000

Quote of the day

"This filly has stood the test of time. She's been on the go since March and the boss has done a brilliant job with her" - Miss Beatrix's jockey Declan McDonogh


Johnny Murtagh and Newgate Lodge (far side) get up to beat Smarty Socks (Niall McCullagh) at the Curragh yesterday CAROLINE NORRIS
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2006
Previous Article:Horse Racing: Murphy strikes a big-race chord with Jubilant Note; LISTOWEL.
Next Article:Horse Racing: Adagio hits the right note to score at first time of asking for Stoute; NEWMARKET.

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