Moonstone Glistens in Darley Irish Oaks
Updated: Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:25 PM
Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:39 PM
Photo: Caroline Norris
Moonstone (#10) outlasts stablemate Ice Queen to capture the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) July 13 at the Curragh.
Moonstone earned her first career victory in spectacular fashion by just outlasting stablemate Ice Queen to capture the Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) by a short head July 13 at the Curragh.
The win gave trainer Aidan O’Brien his third straight victory in the Oaks, following those of Peeping Fawn and Alexandrova. It also marked the Ballydoyle trainer’s 13th Group I win of the 2008 season.
Making just her fourth career start, Moonstone was given a patient ride by Johnny Murtagh, who was content to keep the bay filly just behind the leaders in fourth. As the field entered the home straight with two furlongs to run, Ice Queen took command and appeared headed to a 66-1 upset victory.
Moonstone was a bit slow to get into gear, and Murtagh really had to work on her. Once the filly found her stride she quickly cut into Ice Queen’s lead, and was just able to get her nose down at the wire. The winning margin was officially labeled a short head, although it appeared much closer.
French-trained Gagnoa got up for third, two lengths further back. Final time for the 12 furlongs was 2:34.37 over a turf course rated as good.
Moonstone is from the first crop of champion Dalakhani, winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I) in 2003. The half-brother to North American champion turf horse Daylami captured eight of nine lifetime starts, his only loss being a third in the Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I).
Moonstone is out Solo de Lune, by Law Society. She is a three-quarter sister to Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-I) winner Cerulean Sky, and to L’Ancresse, runner up in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT).
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