Age Of Aquarius shows right signs

One the day of the new Flat turf season in these isles, there was more attention paid to non-combatants than those involved in the early skirmishes on the track. Aidan O'Brien chose the wide open spaces of the Curragh yesterday to give some of the Ballydoyle stars, past and future, a mind and body-bracing awayday.

In three large groups, established performers like Yeats, Septimus and Frozen Fire and high-profile three-year-olds including Guineas fancies Mastercraftsman and Rip Van Winkle, galloped seven furlongs. No serious questions were asked, but one who did catch the eye was one entrusted to the care of Johnny Murtagh, the Galileo colt Age Of Aquarius.

Where it mattered yesterday, though – and that is at the winning post, and later in the bank account – the afternoon belonged to Jim Bolger, who took home three of the seven first prizes and nearly €80,000.

Chief among the Coolcullen strikes was the surprise win by the appropriately named Oh Goodness Me, who mugged the Dermot Weld pair Firey Red and Mad About You in the last stride of the Group Three mile contest.

Four-year-old Mad About You, placed in four Group Ones last year, started 30-100 favourite and looked set to justify her odds as she ranged smoothly into a gap between the rails and her 20-1 stablemate inside the penultimate furlong. But she could not go through with her effort, and although Sean Gorey, on the trailblazer, finally took his eye off her and made strenuous efforts to keep his mount in front, Oh Goodness Me and Davy Moran prevailed by a nostril.

Bolger has high hopes of the three-year-old daughter of his favourite stallion, Galileo. "She'll be a big improver this year," he said. "Today's trip might have been on the sharp side and I'll now have to make up my mind between the English and Irish Guineas, the Musidora Stakes and the English Oaks."

Bolger's stable jockey and son-in-law, Kevin Manning, was on the Co Carlow yard's other two winners, four-year-old Three Rocks and three-year-old Toraidhe. His presence on Three Rocks, at nearly his minimum weight so early in the year, was the time-honoured tip in itself and though he needed a cool head after the colt was left five lengths in the sprint handicap, he had a length and three-quarters to spare even after having to circle the field.

Toraidhe, Irish for outlaw and the origin of the political term Tory, took the concluding mile maiden in solid style. The son of High Chaparral holds the Derby entry.

There was another Classic heads-up at the last hurrah of the all-weather campaign at Lingfield on Saturday, when Nashmiah ran away with the seven-furlong Listed contest, the Spring Cup. The tall bay filly was nearly three lengths clear of the smart colt Elnawin at the line and has Clive Brittain dreaming of a third 1,000 Guineas.

The 75-year-old doyen of Newmarket trainers, who took the Rowley Mile showpiece with Pebbles 25 years ago and with Sayyedati in 1993, reported his latest rising star not to have turned a hair of her still-woolly coat after her eyecatching effort. "She went out for a pick of grass this morning," he said yesterday, "and was quite relaxed about it all. But then, she didn't really have a hard race."

The daughter of Elusive City, rated a 50-1 chance in some betting lists, will not race again before the Guineas. "She's still very backward," added Brittain, "and the idea was to get a race into her and then let the warmer weather bring her on again. On that run on Saturday she's probably improved a stone and there's more to come."

Optimism from Brittain is never a surprise, but he was not the only one impressed by Nashmiah. "I know our horse needed the race," said Richard Hannon Jnr of Elnawin, whose three straight wins last term included a defeat of subsequent Grade One winner Square Eddie, "but he's quick and I didn't think any horse could go past him in a matter of strides like she did. She could be very good."

Five riders picked up 12-day bans at Huntingdon yesterday when they took the wrong course in a handicap hurdle. The quintet went the wrong side of a marker; the three jockeys who got it right in the field of eight were led home by Tony McCoy on Yossi.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected