Racing: Friendly win completes an Oaks double: Robert Wright reports on a British win in the Irish Oaks
Sunday 12 July 1992
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.
Latest in Sport
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Arturo Vidal: Midfielder must ask to join Manchester United, say Juventus
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: Gunners complete £16m transfer of right-back
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...