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Punchestown News

Punchestown News: Trader causes a shock as Irish Flat season kicks off

Posted: 20th Mar 2016

Kieran Fallon starts his new role with Michael O'Callaghan on the opening day of the flat season The Curragh Photo: Patrick McCann

Kieren Fallon before his first ride for Michael O'Callaghan on Sunday

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos  

Mister Trader causes a shock as season kicks-off

Report: Curragh, Sunday

Tally Ho Stud European Breeders Fund Maiden 5f, 2yo

JIM BOLGER, successful in the race four times in the last ten years, including with champion Dawn Approach in 2012, saddled Intensely Focussed in the opening race of the Irish Flat season but came up short in sixth behind the Darren Bunyan-trained Mister Trader.

Ridden by Leigh Roche, the son of 2006 Coventry Stakes winner Hellvelyn was giving Curragh trainer Bunyan just his 12th winner under rules but there seemed little fluke as he stretched clear in the final furlong for an impressive victory at 25-1.

Comhghairdeas, who cut out the early running with the eventual winner, stayed on well for second, with Callender back in third.

Fallon back again

The Curragh contest also saw the return of Kieren Fallon to race-riding in Ireland, after the six-time British Flat champion jockey revealed last week he would be linking up with Curragh trainer Michael O'Callaghan this season after recent spells riding in both Britain and the United States.

Fallon, formerly retained by Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien, finished out of the frame in fifth on the O'Callaghan-trained Terrific Feeling, who shaped with promise on debut.

Also at the Curragh on Sunday

Tote Irish Lincolnshire 1m

TRAINER Paul Deegan went one better than his 2015 second as Pricewise selection Sruthan ran out a comfortable 12-1 winner of the Irish Lincolnshire.

Aussie Valentine, who Deegan saddled to finish second last campaign, was also in the race and rated the best of the trainer's chances but once again filled the runner-up spot to give the yard a one-two in the race.

Gabrial's Kaka came home third with Lily's Rainbow in fourth.

Lodge Park Stud European Breeders Fund Park Express Stakes (Group 3) 1m, 3yo+

QUEEN BLOSSOM came from last to first to make her first foray into Group company a winning one under an inspired Fran Berry ride.

Godolphin's 11-4 favourite Devonshire looked to have matters under control when quickening from the front to open up a commanding lead inside the last furlong, only for Queen Blossom to weave through from the back and nose ahead in the final strides.

A winner on debut at Cork last season, Queen Blossom finished fourth on her only other run at two in a Listed event at Leopardstown in October and left that form behind as she beat a competitive field in style.

The winner, trained by Patrick Prendergast, holds an entry in the Darley Irish Oaks.

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