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Utmost Respect gives luckless McDonogh important win in Greenlands.

FORMER champion jockey Declan McDonogh has been on a losing streak recently, but the drought finally came to an end when he partnered the Richard Fahey-trained Utmost Respect to land the Group 3 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes.

The son of Danetime looks to have improved this season and followed up his win in the Blue Square Duke of York Stakes in comprehensive fashion to complete a hat-trick, having also won his final start last term.

Once moving over to grab the stands' rail inside the final furlong, he drew away from the front-running Jumbajukiba to score by two and a half lengths.

Fahey said: "We were worried after he had a hard race in York and carrying 10st on that ground. We always felt that he would be a bit better as he got older and we've handled him accordingly. It would be nice to win a Group 1 with him and he's in all of them, we'll play it by ear.

"We'll look at Royal Ascot now, he's in the Golden Jubilee Stakes." William Hill responded by cutting him to 12-1 (from 14) for that contest, while Cashmans have him as short as 8-1.

There was plenty to like about the winner of the season's first stakes race for juveniles, the TP Waters EBF Marble Hill Stakes, as Wrong Answer drew clear inside the final furlong under Chris Hayes for what was an impressive two-length victory over newcomer Foolish Ambition with odds-on favourite Air Chief Marshal back in third.

The winner is owned by Lady O'Reilly, and Kevin Prendergast trained her sire Verglas and her dam Wrong Key. He said afterwards: "She just handled the ground better than most of those in the race. She's in the Coolmore Stud Fillies Sprint Stakes at Naas, but we'll see. That looks like the option." The other Group 3 on the card was the TRI Equestrian Stakes, formerly known as the Ridgewood Pearl Stakes.

Emily Blake had provided Curragh trainer John Hayden with his first Group winner when she landed the Athasi Stakes here three weeks ago, and this tough filly followed up here under Johnny Murtagh having been supplemented for the race at a cost of EUR7,500.

The mare is in foal to Invincible Spirit, and Hayden said: "I knew she was well so we had to take our chance. She just had to see out the mile. She won't have much more to do now, she's in two races at Leopardstown, but it might be doubtful.

If the ground stays like this we might go back to seven furlongs for the Ballycorus Stakes." The 1m handicap was the most valuable contest of its kind on the card, and it went for export as the Karl Burke-trained Philario, ridden by Martin Lane, held off the late challenge of favourite Rock And Roll Kid by a length, while Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning teamed up to win the concluding 1m2f handicap as Coolcullen Times completed a hat-trick in getting the better of a three way battle with Master Marvel and Designated Decoy..

Star performance Mastercraftsman stamped his class on the Irish season's first Classic.

There may not be a three-year-old good enough to beat him over 1m this year Quote of the day "I thought I was firing it up in the air" - John Hayden about the supplementary fee he paid to run Emily Blake in the TRI Equestrian Stakes Results and analysis start page 92


Johnny Murtagh and trainer John Hayden share a joke after Emily Blake's Group 3 success
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 24, 2009
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