Forever Together shed her maiden tag with a stunning victory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his son, Donnacha, Forever Together was a 7-1 chance having failed to win any of her three previous starts, most recently chasing home stablemate Magic Wand in the Cheshire Oaks.
O’Brien fielded five of the nine runners in all and it was Bye Bye Baby who cut out the early running.
She began to falter early in the home straight and was swiftly passed by Forever Together and the 5-2 favourite Wild Illusion.
However, it was soon clear Forever Together had far more to give and she came home four and a half lengths clear of the market leader.
Bye Bye Baby boxed on bravely for third, with Magic Wand fourth.
Donnacha O’Brien – who won the 2000 Guineas for his father aboard Saxon Warrior – told ITV Racing: “She was very impressive. I got a beautiful trip through, I followed Ryan (Moore, on Magic Wand) and he gave me a bit of company until I got to the rail.
“She’s very genuine and galloped right out to the line, she’s a proper staying filly.”
He added: “I should have been closer at Chester, we just ran into a bit of trouble. About a week ago I thought she had a right good chance and then the rain came so I was a bit worried, but she’s handled it really well.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect her to do it. I had the perfect position the whole way. It all went perfect.
“When you’re riding one of his (his father’s) you have a chance, he’s an absolutely genius. He can do things with horses I don’t understand, he brings out massive improvement and I don’t know how he does it.”
Aidan O’Brien said: “It’s incredible, I’m so delighted for everyone, so thankful to Michael (Tabor), John (Magnier) and Derrick (Smith), it’s brilliant for everyone.
“She caught the eye at Chester, she’s a staying filly and got the trip very well.
“She’s obviously by Galileo and it’s unbelievable. Donnacha gave her an unbelievable ride, it’s incredible.
“We’re all so happy and grateful.”
Trainer Charlie Appleby said of Wild Illusion: “She ran a very creditable race. The winner looks to have outstayed us.
“She got a good run into it, but I thought the leader had skipped clear. She has just been outstayed, it’s as simple as that.
“When William (Buick) made his move I thought she was going to go through with it. William said she was not comfortable coming down the hill. She came there to win her race, but the winner has outstayed us and was the better horse on the day.
“I don’t think we’ve lost too much in defeat.”
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Lack of water forces Kilbeggan cancellation
Today’s meeting at Kilbeggan has been cancelled due to a water supply issue on the course.
A burst main pipe in the nearby Dysart has led to a lack of water running to the track and it would be unsafe for the horses involved to race without access to water before and after.
Managing Director of Kilbeggan Races Paddy Duncan confirmed the decision in a statement.
“It is with deep regret that I announce that Kilbeggan Races have been called off today due to a burst water main which has left the racecourse with no water. My sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.”
AFL live: Kangaroos up against Lions, Magpies face Dockers
Email North Melbourne v Brisbane, Collingwood v Fremantle, Adelaide v Giants: AFL round 11 live scores, stats and commentary
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The Kangaroos are at home to the Lions, the Magpies are meeting the Dockers, while the Crows will look to bounce back against the out-of-form Giants.
Follow the action with our live AFL ScoreCentre.
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‘We will be ready to go’ – Meyler welcomes break
Cork dealt with the relentless rhythm of the new round robin championship better than most – recording two draws and a win in three weeks to sit top of the Munster SHC.
Three games in as many weeks has been a challenge for many thus far.
Offaly looked jaded last week against Wexford, the Model men were second all day to Galway on Saturday, while Kilkenny will be glad for this weekend off after their unusually languid display against the Tribesmen last week.
Cork were not at their best against 14-man Limerick in Páirc Úi Chaoimh on Saturday evening, but they pulled out a draw against the Division 1B champions and arguably should have snatched the win at the death.
Manager John Meyler will welcome the break now as his team can rest up before facing Waterford in Thurles in their final game.
“On to Waterford now in two weeks’ time. We could use a week off, we will be fresher and we will be ready to go,” Meyler told RTÉ Sport.
The former Wexford manager was frustrated by his team’s second hand performance as 14-man Limerick turned the match on its head, but credited his side’s doggedness as they were a single pass from stealing the two points.
“We lost our shape midway through the second half but we showed great spirit to come back again. Great fighting spirit. Incredible game of hurling again tonight.
“Michael Cahalane could have passed that last ball there but he didn’t. Fair play to Limerick they blocked him down.”
Eddy hails ‘enormous’ result as Ireland reach 7s semi
Ireland recorded a historic victory in the World Sevens Series with a 22-12 win over the USA at Twickenham.
Appearing at the tournament on an invitation, Ireland reached the quarter-final after finishing second in Pool B behind Australia.
Anthony Eddy’s men got off to the perfect start when Jordan Conroy finished off a length-of-the-field move, outpacing USA flyer Carlin Isles.
John O’Donnell took a quick tap penalty moments later to touch down in the corner, and Hugo Keenan was on hand to grab Ireland’s third just before the break for a 17-0 lead.
That advantage was reduced when Martin Iosefo got the USA on the board with three and half left to play but Jimmy O’Brien’s try soon after putting the result to bed with Isles’ late score proving only a consolation.
The result sets up a semi-final against Fiji at 2.48pm.
What a result boys! Epic performance. #HSBCWorldRugbySevensSeries pic.twitter.com/O5hxyacaql
— Brian O’Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) June 3, 2018
“Obviously we had a plan coming into the game,” Eddy told Sky Sports after the surprise win over the USA. “It required us to be very accurate from the kick-off, which we were.
“We kept the pressure on them defensively and that was our target, to come up in midfield and stay high on the outside.
“We controlled the kick-offs, we controlled the tempo and we have speed and footwork in the midfield and we used that to great effect.”
On the feat of reaching the semi-final, Eddy added: “It’s enormous. I’ve been part of this programme since it started five years ago…and everything was put in place to get us on the Series.
“We wanted to come here as preparation for the World Cup but also to show the world that we are serious about this and we can perform and be competitive.”
RE:LIVE: @IrishRugby continue to make sevens history as they progress to their first ever Cup semi-final on the world series after beating USA at the #London7s pic.twitter.com/TRDs4hPwRq
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 3, 2018
Declan Rice comfortable with the weight of expectation
Declan Rice is not remotely fazed by the suggestion that he is a Republic of Ireland captain in waiting.
The 19-year-old is just three games into his senior international career and is yet to play a competitive game for his country, but retiring stalwart John O’Shea has already seen enough to tip him to wear the armband one day.
However, having handled his introduction to the big stage with the minimum of fuss, the West Ham defender is taking the acclaim in his stride.
Asked about O’Shea’s comments, he said: “He’s been at the top of the game and played with some top, top players. To hear that from him, I don’t like to take it on too much, but it’s nice to hear. I’ve had a little joke with him.
“Maybe one day I do see myself as a future captain because I do have it in me to tell people and order people around.”
Rice was handed his debut in Turkey in March, initially lining up at the back and then moving into a midfield role, and he was asked to do the reverse in much more illustrious company in Monday night’s 2-0 defeat in France.
He played as a holding midfielder in Saturday evening’s 2-1 victory over the United States and impressed once again to illustrate a potential which has left manager Martin O’Neill believing he has a genuine talent on his hands.
“I’m here and I’m playing for Ireland.”
The teenager also qualifies to represent England and until he makes a competitive appearance for the Republic – his first chance will come against Wales in September – there will be those who may feel Hammers co-chairman David Gold’s challenge to new manager Manuel Pellegrini to make him a fixture in a Three Lions shirt could yet come to fruition.
However, Rice has repeatedly insisted his decision has been made and there is no possibility of a rethink.
He said: “It’s a question that keeps being asked. I’m just focusing on playing at the moment and enjoying my football – that’s the main thing. There are two games coming up in September and we’re looking forward to them.”
Asked about Gold’s remarks, he replied: “It’s one of those things, he’s just come out and said it. I’m not going to take too much from it. I’m here and I’m playing for Ireland.”
At club level, Rice worked under Slaven Bilic and David Moyes during the last campaign, which saw him make 31 appearances, and he will return for pre-season with another manager to impress.
However, he admits he could not have envisaged what has happened to him in the last 10 months.
He said: “Even at the start of the Premier League season, I couldn’t have said I would go on to play that many games. It’s just down to the hard work of both managers that I’ve had at club level who believed in me.
“Martin believed in me here too and the players have also put trust in me, giving me the ball and letting me express myself. I’ve really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to do it more.”