Chelsea Rose gave veteran trainer Con Collins his first group I success in 20 years when she captured the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) for 2-year-old fillies at The Curragh Sunday.
Ridden by 41-year-old Pat Shanahan, Chelsea Rose, sent off at odds of 9-1, reached the front about three furlongs from home and held off the challenge of Pictavia by three-quarters of a length. Saoire finished third in the seven-furlong event. The daughter of Desert King tallied her first stakes victory for owners Tony and Frances Donnelly.
"I thought she had a bit of a chance, but they were good fillies in the race and it was hard to be confident," Collins told Racing Post
. "I thought she would run well, but I didn't back her. I haven't backed one for about three years. The money is so good when you win a race these days, there is no point."
Shanahan, 41, was aboard for Collins when Princess Pati won the Irish Oaks 20 years ago. Collins said that Chelsea Rose would be pointed toward the Irish Oaks.
Silk and Scarlet, the 11-8 favorite who won the Debutante Stakes (Ire-II) over the same course last month, finished sixth. Chelsea Rose was third in that race, 2 1/2 lengths behind Silk and Scarlet.
"It's fantastic to ride another group one for Con after all the years we've worked together," Shanahan said. "My filly traveled really well and as I knew she would stay I decided to kick on almost three (furlongs) down. The ground wasn't ideal for her – she likes a bit of an ease – but it wasn't as fast as it was when she ran here last month and that helped her."
The final time was 1:24.20 on good to firm going.