GBI RACING

Debutante Etoile plays starring role

Seamus Heffernan rode Etoile to victory

Etoile made a winning debut in the Group Three Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes at Naas for Aidan O’Brien.

Ballydoyle interests pre-race had concentrated on Ryan Moore’s mount, So Wonderful, who had finished second to Ger Lyons’ Peace Charter last time out – and the pair met again.

However, odds-on favourite So Wonderful never looked like threatening – and while Peace Charter stayed on for pressure for Colin Keane, it was Etoile who showed the best turn of foot.

American Lady led against the far rail  and held her advantage until deep inside the final furlong – but she had no answer to Etoile, who burst out of the pack in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.

The 12-1 chance won by half a length, with Peace Charter second and Celtic Beauty third.

The winner was given a 5-1 quote by Paddy Power for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“She is a work companion with the other filly and is very well bred,” said O’Brien.

“Seamus was just saying that he rode her mother (Gagnoa) in the Irish Oaks to finish third behind two of ours (Moonstone and Ice Queen in 2008).

“She was working nicely, but first time it was a big ask for her. Obviously it was a good performance from a first-time-out filly, and you would imagine there would be plenty of improvement.

“I’d imagine she will go now for the Albany at Ascot.”

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