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Fascinating Rock Too Strong For Leopardstown Rivals

Fascinating Rock (2-1) gave Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen back-to-back victories in the KPMG Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown with a convincing victory in the Group Three heat over a mile and a half.

Fascinating Rock Too Strong For Leopardstown Rivals

Fascinating Rock (2-1) gave Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen back-to-back victories in the KPMG Enterprise Stakes at Leopardstown with a convincing victory in the Group Three heat over a mile and a half.

Fascinating Rock running in the Investec Derby (Group 1)
Fascinating Rock running in the Investec Derby (Group 1) Picture:Racing and Sports

One-time Classic hope John F Kennedy tried to make all but had no answer to the turn of foot shown by Fascinating Rock Horseform.

Panama Hat put in good work to take second ahead of John F Kennedy, but the winner had flown and was several lengths to the good.


"He's a class horse. He ran some excellent races in the spring and had a lovely summer break - maybe too good!" said Weld.

"He needed the run in Windsor more than I thought. It was a trifle disappointing but the benefit was that it brought him on and gave me the idea to go further.

"He just struggled on the track at Windsor as it was a little bit sharp for him.

"We tried a mile and a half today and I thought he got it very well, so it opens up so many options for him.

"I don't have any definite plans. He has a entry in a Group One over a mile and a half in Germany on the first week in November and that was one of the reasons we ran here today.

"I'll speak to the owner but I'm pretty confident he'll stay in training. He's a very progressive horse and was very impressive today.

"When you look back at the Tattersalls Gold Cup, on his day he is a very good horse."

The highly-regarded Coolmore had to settle for second in the Ballylinch Stud EBF Fillies Maiden as Anamba produced a gutsy display on her racecourse debut.

Shane Foley was happy to lead in the early stages on Anamba, and though they relinquished that advantage when Red Stars made her bid before the home straight, the 12-1 winner was back in front over a furlong out.

Coolmore, the 8-11 favourite and a full-sister to 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles, took a while to hit top gear but was gunning down the Mick Halford-trained leader in the closing stages, gaining with every stride.

The line came in time for Anamba, though, who struck by a head, with Jim Bolger's Siamsaiocht in third.

Halford said: "We've always liked her and she has a bit of class about her.

"She's a beautiful mover and Shane said she would prefer better ground. She was very green there.

"We took her to the Curragh two weeks ago after racing and gave her a canter on soft ground, but she wouldn't have been in love with it.

"We also took her away during the week to give her a breeze and she's never been off the bridle at home.

"Everything comes naturally to her and she's exciting. She's a beautiful filly and there was always something about her.

"She'll get a mile easy and might get further, but she's not slow. She did it well, as she got tired in that ground and it's the first time she's been off the bridle."

Johannes Vermeer took the step up to Group Two company in his stride with an impressive success in the Willis Champions Juvenile Stakes.

Never far off the pace under Joseph O'Brien, the 5-1 chance took up the running over two furlongs out, with favourite Sanus Per Aquam struggling to get on terms.

Aidan O'Brien's charge had built up a big lead entering the final furlong, and that proved enough, as he kept to his task well to leave True Solitaire a length and a half back in second, with Sanus Per Aquam third.

"I'm delighted with him. He was a bit disappointing first time in Tipperary, but that can happen over seven furlongs there," said O'Brien.

"He came forward great from that and won nicely in Killarney where Emmet (McNamara) liked him.

"He picked up plenty when asked and battled well."
At The Races




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