Having taken Sunday’s feature race at Gowran Park for the last two seasons, firstly with Caponata and then with I’m Yours, you could forgive Dermot Weld for going into the track’s fourth meeting of the season feeling confident.
His hope in the big race this year, the Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes, was Carla Bianca.
The grey filly had racked up a sequence of four wins at the back end of last season, and was subsequently well supported for her 2015 bow.
Sent off the 4/5 favourite, the daughter of Dansili got upset in the stalls and ran as if needing the run, folding tamely in the straight into a well-beaten fourth.
However, followers of the horse shouldn’t be writing her off just yet. She has now been beaten on all three seasonal reappearances, so can be expected to come for the run.
The winner, David Wachman’s Legatissimo looked a smart sort, travelling smoothly and picking up in taking fashion to score by 3¾l.
The manner in which she stayed on over the 9.5f trip suggests the chances of her following up with an Oaks success could be high, although a potential crack at the 1000 Guineas is still in the pipeline.
But the pattern of seeing his well supported horses turned over was not finished yet for Dermot Weld.
In fact, Carla Bianca’s defeat was the third Weld hot-pot turned over on the day, and was swiftly added to when Variable was downed as the 1/2 jolly.
There was some respite for the trainer though as Zafilani rounded the day off by taking the Golf Societies Welcome Race ahead of previous Group 2 runner-up Royal Navy Ship.
Cracks at the Irish 2000 Guineas and Derby double could still be on for the lightly raced type, and it would be no surprise to see him carry the Aga Khan’s colours to victory in the big races.
Next up though for the dual-purpose trainer is a bumper week at Punchestown, where the unexposed Tandem could be his best chance of a sizeable win in the Killashee Handicap Hurdle.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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