GBI RACING

Eziyra impresses on return to action in Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown

Eziyra in winning action at Galway

Eziyra picked up from where she left off last season with a cosy success in the Grenke Finance Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown.

A fine third to Enable in the Darley Irish Oaks, the Dermot Weld-trained filly ended the campaign with a pair of Group Three victories, latterly at this track in September.

Making her first start since then back at the same level, the daughter of Teofilo travelled in last of the four runners, with the quartet taken along in single file by The King.

Yucatan moved up to challenge off the bend, but a patient Declan McDonogh had every moved covered on the 9-4 joint-favourite, joining issue and eventually getting on top inside the final 200 yards.

Two and a half lengths was the margin of victory from Stellar Mass, who edged Yucatan for second.

Weld said: “It was a very pleasing performance considering she hadn’t run for 11 months since winning here. I think she’s strengthened a lot since last year.

“She ran an excellent race behind Enable when she was placed in the Irish Oaks, apart from her three Group wins. This was the plan to start back here, and she has a number of Group One entries in the coming weeks and months.

“She could run in the Yorkshire Oaks, but we’ll have to see how she comes out of this race. The Fillies And Mares (at Ascot on Champions Day) would be a definite possibility for her.

“That was fast ground and she bounced off it, but she’s pretty adaptable ground-wise. The Breeders’ Cup is also worth considering.”

Eziyra’s win completed a fine evening for Weld and McDonogh, who were also on the scoresheet with Betsey Trotter in the Fitzers Catering Handicap and Centroid in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Centroid is a half-brother to Enable and looked a horse of potential himself as he made a winning start to his career as a three-year-old.

Weld said of the 4-5 favourite: “He’s still a big baby of a horse and very immature, but has the potential to make into a very nice horse. He’s been slow coming to hand, but I believe patience will pay dividends with this horse.

“I’ve no definite plans, but we’ll see how he progresses. I’ll speak with Lord Grimthorpe (owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager) and see how he comes out of the race and go from there.

“Potentially you would hope he will be a stakes horse later in the year. He would appreciate a lot more ease than he had today, but it was time to run him.”

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