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.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
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

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Software Solution Technician - Peterborough - up to £21,000

£20000 - £21000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Solutio...

Supply teachers needed- Worthing!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Supply teachers needed for va...

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 4 Primary Teachers needed Rand...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering