Raydara shines in Debutante
Raydara put in an impressive performance to take the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh for Mick Halford and Shane Foley. Having just her fourth start, Halford’s charge seemed to thrive with the change of tactics used, as she caused a minor surprise in returning the 11/1 winner.
The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar had been a front runner in her three starts before today but was this time held up in rear by Foley behind a decent pace being set by Qualify and Run The Red Light. Joseph O’Brien would eventually take control of the race 3 furlongs out on the Ballydoyle filly Qualify but soon came under pressure entering the final furlong.
Raydara on the other hand had cruised away out the back throughout and having been switched to the outside in the closing stages, kept on strongly to come home a 1/2 length winner from 3/1 joint favourite Lucida, with Toogoodtobetrue back in third.
Halford said: “I’m thrilled with her. When she won her maiden she made the running after finding herself in front, but I thought we made a little bit too much use of her the last day. We’re only learning about her.
“She got a break to freshen her up after that. We took her away to the Curragh the other day and she worked very well.
“Shane said she went up through the gears pretty good and he was delighted. She’s a very smart filly. Today was a big test and she came through it well.
“I’ll talk to Pat (Downes, stud manager for the Aga Khan) now and he’ll discuss plans with his Highness.
“The Moyglare (Stud Stakes) is the obvious target, but she does love it fast and she might have had enough for this year.
“She’s had her four runs and this is the time of the season that fillies can start to go off.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
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