WALLOP PACKS A PUNCH; IRISH RACING ALL LEOPARDSTOWN ACTION.
NOLL Wallop continued Tommy Stack's superb start to the season when romping to victory in yesterday's Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial.
The High Chaparral colt, backed from 5/1 to 7/2, took command approaching the furlong-pole before forging clear under Wayne Lordan to beat Aidan O'Bien's Viscount Nelson by three and a half lengths.
And Fozzy Stack confirmed: ''The Irish Derby will be his race. But I'm not sure where he'll go before then. Until 10 minutes ago, the Irish Guineas wasn't a consideration. We were thinking more of a Derby trial, either at Sandown or the Dante.We'll probably have a look at the Irish Guineas field before making a decision."
Noll Wallop, which is owned by Roger O'Byrne, was introduced at 14/1, by William Hill, for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, while Boylesports offer 12/1. Debutant Mister Carter completed a double for the Stack / Lordan partnership when landing the ten-furlong Foxrock Maiden, the yard's sixth winner of the new season.
Stack jnr said: "He was a big, raw horse last year. And I thought he'd improve for the run. But he stays well and will step up in trip. There's a winners' race at Gowran that might suit him."
Earlier, Paul Deegan, who won last week's Irish Lincoln with Big Robert, saddled Lady Springbank (Jim Crowley) to win the 1,000 Guineas Trial, also a Group 3 event.
Winner of the C L Weld Park Stakes at the same level last season, Lady Springbank proved too good for Duchess Of Foxland, delighting her trainer, who commented: "That was a good performance. This was the plan for her, if she was ready, before having a crack at the Guineas.
'She's a high-class filly. And I've always felt that she'd be a better three-year-old. She's tall and scopey and very athletic. Stepping up to a mile will be no problem. Jim (Crowley) said it took a long time to pull her up."
Fran Berry recorded his first winner as stable-jockey to John Oxx when Hazarafa quickened clear early in the straight and stayed on stoutly to land the opening fillies maiden.
"She was fit, quickened and ran to the line," said Oxx. "She stays well and will run in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan. And it's nice to get Fran going.''
Declan McDonogh took the riding honours, landing the final two handicaps. Take It Easee, a rare flat winner for Prunella Dobbs got the better of Gimli's Rock in the Foxrock Handicap, booking her ticket to the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse next week.
And well-backed Little Arrows, trained by Ken Condon swooped late to foil Slapper in the Leopardstown Evening Meetings Handicap.
Meanwhile, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh followed-up their double at Navan on Saturday when landing another brace of winners at Downpatrick.
Final Approach (4/7) made a winning debut over hurdles in the opening maiden while Hampshire Express, showing no ill effects of his trip to Cheltenham, made all to win the Saintfield Hurdle.
Mullins was denied a treble when Clonard Lad (Patrick Mullins) failed by a neck to Foildubh in the bumper.
WELL DONE Wayne Lordan congratulates Noll Wallop after winning at Leopards town SPEEDY Noll Wallop leads from the front in the 2000 Guineas trial yesterday