19 June 2017

The Charles O’Brien trained Santa Monica defied her odds of 20-1 with a surprise win to claim her first victory since winning her maiden at Dundalk last May at Cork yesterday in the Gr.3 Munster Oaks. The four year old daughter of Mastercraftsman (IRE) was held in high esteem after a promising juvenile campaign finishing fourth in the Gr.3 Silver Flash Stakes on just her third start.

Thereafter she got off the mark in Dundalk as previously mentioned, followed by a second to Beacon Rock (IRE) in the Gr.3 Gallinule Stakes. She was also placed in the Listed Hurry Up Harriet Stakes and the Gr.2 Blandford Stakes in September. Since then she has been a little out of sorts and was unplaced in her last three starts, prior to this victory.  

The race set off with Key To My Heart (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)) making the running over the mile and a half contest. Santa Monica settled in midfield with Billy Lee aboard. All didn’t look that promising for Santa Monica entering the final furlong as she was passed by both Glamorous Approach (IRE) (New Approach (IRE)) and Butterflies (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)), but she came fighting back between the pair and held them off by a neck on the line. Butterflies (IRE) finished second with the favourite, Glamorous Approach (IRE), a length and a quarter back in third.  Santa Monica's targets now include the Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1).

Santa Monica, owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Exors of the late Mrs Jacqueline O’Brien, was bred by D J Erwin BS.  The dam Zacchera is a half-sister to the Gr.1 July Cup winner and sire Sakhee’s Secret. 

Hit The Bid, trained by Darren Bunyan also shocked all when landing the Listed Midsummer Sprint Stakes over 5f at odds of 20-1. The son of Exceed and Excel broke his maiden last August on his third start at the Curragh in the Gr.3 Curragh Stakes, his win at Cork was his second victory on his seventh start.

The pace was set by Abstraction (IRE) in the centre whilst Hit The Bid was close up on the far side. He was then pushed along entering the final furlong and despite drifting to the stands rail, held off the challenge of Go Kart (IRE) (Intense Focus) to win by three-quarters of a length. There was a length and a quarter back to Alphabet (Lawman) and Abstraction (IRE), who could not be split for third.

Hit The Bid was bred by the Barnett family of Fair Winter Farm and his dam Selinka was a dual-Listed winner of the Distaff Stakes and Oh So Sharp Stakes.


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