Just beautiful for the Irish as Morning lands season’s top prize at Great Yarmouth
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Irish eyes were smiling across Great Yarmouth yesterday as Beautiful Morning sparkled on a beautiful afternoon to land the racecourse's most valuable contest of the season.
The £40,000 John Musker Fillies' Stakes, over 10 furlongs, attracted a quality field of 11, but nothing could match Beautiful Morning, under Irish jockey Colm O'Donoghue for trainer Jessica Harrington.
O'Donoghue was making his first visit to Great Yarmouth and won the opener before steering the 9/4 favourite through on the inside to cruise home by more than two lengths from Vintage Folly and fast-finishing High Hopes.
'The horse had problems earlier this year but Mrs Harrington sorted out the niggles and got her right,' said O'Donoghue, whose mount was third in the Blandford Stakes at The Curragh 10 days ago. 'She's got some real quality and deserved this win. She travelled well and won well.'
O'Donoghue had ridden the winner of the opening division of the maiden with Imperial Past on debut for trainer Charlie Appleby. The uneasy favourite drifted to 5/2, but won from the heavily-backed Prime Minister.
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The second division went to 9/4 chance Regal Reality under Ryan Moore for Sir Michael Stoute. Always in front, Moore kept the colt up to his work, holding off Rich Identity.
Moore went on to complete a double when he marked day two of the Festival with a royal winner, driving home The Queen's Swiftsure, at 13/8, after a pulsating finish to the Parklands Leisure Handicap.
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The 21st running of the Danny and Peggy Wright Memorial Handicap went to Josephine Gordon on the Hugo Palmer-trained Fortitude. Third on her last two runs, the filly, at 3/1, beat favourite Dream Start.
There was no easier winner than Zebeel Prince, who had a facile 8/11 success in the Sea-Deer Handicap. Andrea Atzeni hardly moved a muscle as the Roger Varian-trained gelding outclassed his rivals. Atzeni and Varian then went on to complete a double when 3/1 favourite Equitation won the finale.
Jamie Spencer produced a flying finish when the Robert Eddery-trained 12/1 chance Equimou beat five opponents in the Stanley Threadwell Handicap.