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LA COLLINA prevails in memorable finish

10 September 2013

Fillies took centre stage at Leopardstown on Saturday with the fairer sex taking both Group 1 prizes on offer. Admittedly one was confined to fillies but The Fugue managed to upstage the colts in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes for trainer John Gosden, jockey William Buick and owner Lady Lloyd Webber, making it ten Group 1 races in Ireland this season won by ten different trainers. In the Coolmore Stud sponsored Matron Stakes the Kevin Prendergast trained LA COLLINA (IRE) came out best in a driving finish, beating the game LILY’S ANGEL (IRE) and SAY (IRE) by half a length and a short head. A Group 1 winner as a 2yo LA COLLINA (IRE) bounced back to form in style and the win sparked great scenes in the parade ring with a swarm of well-wishers congratulating the veteran trainer leading me to wonder is Kevin Prendergast the oldest Irish trainer to train a Group 1 winner in Ireland? Feel free to confirm or correct. The victory was also the first at the top level for jockey Chris Hayes and her breeders Frank & Luke Barry of Manister House Stud must also have been shouting her home. They consign her Excellent Art half-brother in the Goffs Orby Sale next month. LA COLLINA (IRE) is owned by Joerg & Diana Vasicek and she will make a fine addition to their broodmare band when she retires to the paddocks at their Kenilworth House Stud in Tipperary.

Elsewhere at Leopardstown Ballydoyle enjoyed an intercontinental stakes double courtesy of the regally bred AUSTRALIA and THE UNITED STATES (IRE) while there was a nice performance in the opening Fillies Maiden from MY TITANIA (IRE) who lead home a 1-2 for her sire SEA THE STARS (IRE). Like her illustrious father she races in the colours of Mrs Tsui and is trained by John Oxx. As ever the trainer, though impressed, was not getting carried away and commented; “My Titania is a smart filly and has won nicely. But you shouldn´t get too carried away by winning a maiden and we´ll have to see how she progresses from here. She will probably go to the Curragh for the Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes in three weeks´ time.”

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