Current Option grabs Concorde glory
Current Option doubled Adrian McGuinness’ career Group Three tally, with the Lusk trainer’s second win at that level in successive weeks, in the Coolmore US Navy Flag Concorde Stakes at Tipperary.
McGuinness was still searching for his first Group winner on the Flat only eight days ago – until Bowerman delivered for him in the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk.
Current Option proved he can do it on the turf too, just getting the better of a stirring duel with runner-up Laughifyouwant.
The four-year-old, already the winner of a big handicap and a Listed race this summer, was prominent almost throughout and produced a sustained challenge in the final furlong under Gavin Ryan to prevail by a short-head at 7-2 – with the staying-on Soul Search two lengths further back in third.
“That’s my first Group winner on the grass, but I had my first Group winner with Bowerman last week – it’s so easy after 20 years!” said McGuinness.
“This is brilliant and is great for the lads – this horse keeps improving, and we’ve had so much fun with him.
“It is great for (owners) the Dooley brothers in England, and the late Bart O’Sullivan was a great supporter too – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.
“He wasn’t a cheap horse (85,000gns at Tattersalls in July 2019), but he has well and truly covered himself long before today – and today we are in bonus territory.”
Overseas adventures may beckon next for the much-improved gelding.
McGuinness added: “We’ll see what’s on the agenda in Ireland, but more than likely he will go to the Middle East for some of their festivals.
“We haven’t killed him with racing this year either way – and we’ll sit back and think about things now.”
Sweet Gardenia earlier sprang a 25-1 shock in the Listed Coolmore Churchill Stakes.
John Joseph Murphy’s filly was an even bigger price when she struck for the first time at the third attempt as the 50-1 winner of the valuable Silver Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes at Naas back in August.
She had managed only fourth and 10th at Group Three and Listed level since, but got back to winning ways decisively under Robbie Colgan – by a length from 5-6 favourite Ontario.
The latter appeared to be going easily into the straight.
Colgan stole through to lead on the far rail, though, and kept on tenaciously to keep Ontario at bay.
The winning trainer’s son George said: “She is a very smart filly, but ran a small bit flat (last time) and we were disappointed with her at Leopardstown.
“The Ballyhane race was also a nice race to win, and we’re delighted to win this Listed race, and hopefully there will be plenty more to come with her.
“There are a couple of races she could run in later this year, but she’ll be a lovely filly for next year too.”