Art Power streaks clear in Sapphire for a fourth Curragh success

Art Power claimed a fourth win from as many visits to the Curragh with a dominant display in the Barberstown Castle Sapphire Stakes.

Tim Easterby’s rapid grey won the Group Three Renaissance Stakes in both 2021 and 2022 and made it a hat-trick at the home of Irish Flat racing in the Group Two Greenlands Stakes in May.

Four from four in Ireland overall having also won the Lacken Stakes at Naas three years ago, Tim Easterby’s six-year-old was the 6-5 favourite for his latest assignment, turning out just seven days after finishing fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket.

Any concerns about the quick turnaround were soon quashed as Art Power travelled with zest on the front end throughout before powering four and a quarter lengths clear once asked to extend by David Allan.

Go Athletico narrowly beat Moss Tucker to the runner-up spot.

“He’s been awesome and he loves coming to Ireland for some reason, nobody knows why but he seems to come to life here,” Allan said of the winner.

“Bringing him back to five we thought might be an issue, but I’ve always been confident five is going to be okay for him, especially if the ground is soft.

“It went right up his street today and it all worked out perfect. I was confident enough but a little unsure about coming back to five furlongs.

“The way he was powering up that hill I thought ‘they can’t go that fast to catch me’, especially in that ground – he was powering away.”

On the possibility of coming back to the Curragh later in the year, the jockey added: “I’d imagine he’ll have to won’t he, any race we can find we’ll run him in!

“You don’t have to do anything fancy on him, you can just bounce out and let him run his race.

“He’s ran well in some Group Ones in England but he’s just not got to it yet. I think if he gets proper soft ground it might just happen one day.”

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