Racing: Friendly win completes an Oaks double: Robert Wright reports on a British win in the Irish Oaks

USER FRIENDLY maintained her unbeaten record with victory in the Irish Oaks at The Curragh yesterday, but had to display the utmost determination to do so.

Following her impressive win in the Oaks at Epsom last month, she was supplemented for yesterday's race at a cost of pounds 25,000 to owner Bill Gredley, but had to overcome both the sustained challenge of Market Booster and a stewards' inquiry.

George Duffield pushed User Friendly to the front entering the straight but was unable to get away from Market Booster, who came with a smooth challenge under Michael Kinane with two furlongs to run, and looked sure to pick off the 8-11 favourite. But stamina is User Friendly's strongest suit and she kept on strongly to win by a neck, giving trainer Clive Brittain his first Irish Classic success.

'User Friendly quickened well off a furious pace, but the strong gallop probably won it for us in the end,' Duffield said.

Brittain, never frightened to aim high with his horses, said: 'User Friendly's long-term objective has always been the Arc in October, and we will not make any further plans for her until we get home and see how she is.'

While there was little doubt that User Friendly would keep the race in the stewards' room, Arrikala, who finished a close-up third, appeared to be an unlucky loser. Her jockey, Kevin Manning, caused the inquiry by trying to force his way through a non-existent gap between User Friendly and the rails throughout the final furlong.

Manning said: 'I just had to sit and suffer. The winner never strayed off the rail long enough to let me through. We were unfortunate, but I was instructed to keep Arrikala covered up and not to switch her wide as she tends to idle when she sees daylight.'

If Duffield joins the Green Party when he hangs up his riding boots, few will be surprised. Last season he won the Eclipse Stakes on board Environment Friend, and he has partnered User Friendly to both of her Classic successes this season. At the age of 46 he is on target to ride 100 winners in a season for the first time.

While the stewards in Ireland were content to let the result stand, their York counterparts played a major role in the outcome of the day's main betting race, the Magnet Cup.

Mr Confusion, ridden by apprentice Ollie Pears, passed the post a length clear from Tell No Lies, with Steerforth a further neck away in third. But Pears had persistently used his whip in his right hand, and Mr Confusion hung to his left, hampering Steerforth in the process.

Once the stewards had found Pears to be guilty of careless riding, they had no option but to place him behind Steerforth. The decision shocked Mr Confusion's trainer Steve Norton, who described it as 'diabolical', adding that he would be appealing.

Tell No Lies, trained by Peter Easterby, was the beneficiary. His rider, Mark Birch, also expressed surprise: 'I didn't think I would get the race but the rules were infringed for Steerforth.'

Lingfield yesterday staged the first ever televised all-weather contest. Jason Weaver, one of the season's leading apprentices, showed plenty of flair in sending 14-1 outsider Norfolkiev clear three furlongs from home, and never looked in danger of being caught. The world's largest bookmakers paid pounds 10,000 to sponsor the race. It was money well spent.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine