Actress and Tithonus win on Irish Oaks day
Last Updated: 15/07/17 6:23pm
Tithonus backed up his recent Rockingham triumph by making most of the running in the Tote Scurry Handicap at the Curragh.
Denis Hogan's speedster bounced back to form at the Irish Derby meeting when blinkers were applied for the first time, and he was 10-1 to defy a subsequent 4lb rise.
Gary Halpin was positive on him from the outset and although he was pressed by a host of challengers entering the final furlong, Tithonus answered every call and held off Snap Shots by half a length.
Celebration was third, with Ma Fee Heela fourth
Hogan said: "That was class. I was a little worried coming to the Rockingham that he'd need the run and I knew he'd only improve coming here.
"He did and hopefully he can again. Gary was very good on him. It's unfortunate for Rory (Cleary) but they share the rides. Rory rides him when he's light and Gary takes off the few pounds after winning. Gary is like a free 3lb. He rides like a professional as he's around a while.
"We were thinking about the seven furlongs in Galway at the weekend. It's another good pot.
"I'd imagine he'll get an entry in the Ayr Gold Cup. He's 90 today and might end up in the Silver Cup.
"He was only up 4lb and it was reasonable enough for a head win the last day. He's a brilliant asset to me in the yard."
He added: "The O'Briens, Tony and Mike, are with me from the start. They are great supporters of mine and I couldn't be happier for them. The boys are dreaming of Dubai so hopefully he ends up there some day.
"Not too many horses have done the double in the Rockingham and Scurry and not too many of them have been placed in two maiden hurdles!
"He actually qualifies for a rating over hurdles and I'd imagine he's about a 100-rated hurdler."
Actress provided Aidan O'Brien with an 11th victory in the Jebel Ali Silver Jubilee Anglesey Stakes.
The daughter of Declaration Of War has had plenty of racing already and took on the boys on the back of defeats in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and when odds-on in a Listed race at Tipperary.
She disputed the early running with Brother Bear and Theobald in the centre of the track and as 9-10 favourite Brother Bear hung left to the rail, Actress (7-1) stayed on a true line and came home a length and three-quarters to the good over Theobald.
Winning rider Seamie Heffernan said: "I rode her last week over five and I thought they didn't go quick enough for me as I thought she was an out-and-out sprinter. I didn't think she'd see out the (six-furlong) trip as well today, but I kept her at it.
"If they have a bit of pace and want to go forward it's better to leave them at it. I was fairly confident after giving her one tap it was mine.
"I'd say being by Declaration Of War the fast ground is a fair help."
Caspian Prince denied Marsha in a thrilling finish to the Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes.
Marsha was a red-hot 1-2 favourite to regain the winning thread after managing only third behind brilliant American sprinter Lady Aurelia when strongly fancied for the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.
Having tracked the front-running Caspian Prince (10-1), all appeared to be going to plan when Luke Morris eased Marsha to the front over a furlong out, but she could not go away and Caspian Prince showed tremendous battling qualities in the hands of Declan McDonogh to get back up by a short head.
McDonogh said: "He's a battler, he's tough. He goes a good gallop and keeps finding plenty.
"The mare came to me and he battled and didn't want to be denied.
"Once I gave him a couple of cracks he was game and genuine."
Perhaps the most visually impressive winner of the day was the O'Brien-trained The Pentagon in the opening Club Godolphin Irish European Breeders Fund Maiden.
Ridden by the Ballydoyle handler's daughter, Ana, the 9-2 chance made most of the running and pulled eight and a half lengths clear at the line.
Severus justified 4-1 favouritism in the K Club Handicap.