Lumiere Rock sparkles in Blandford Stakes

Joseph O’Brien notched back-to-back victories in the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes, with Lumiere Rock the beneficiary of a smart ride from Dylan Browne McMonagle.

O’Brien, who won this race aboard his father’s Up during his riding career, saddled Above The Curve to land the Group Two contest 12 months ago and was enhancing his fine record in the Curragh contest with the Royal Ascot runner-up, who thrived in first-time cheekpieces.

Owned by Michael O’Flynn, the three-year-old was always well placed tracking the pace set by the front-running Red Riding Hood and when McMonagle asked his mount to set sail for home two furlongs out he had a willing partner.

The duo were clear entering the final furlong and although those from the rear, including 16-5 favourite Jackie Oh and British raider Araminta, tried to close the gap, they had no answer as Lumiere Rock galloped home to a three-length success over Jackie Oh in second.

The 6-1 scorer holds an entry for the Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot on October 21 and she was shortened to 12-1 from 25s for that Group One assignment by Coral.

O’Brien said: “She was running consistently well in real good company all season. She was just beaten in Ascot and just beaten in France the last day. She really did deserve her win in Group Two level and won today like a filly that will hold her own in Group One company as she gets older.

“She has two obvious targets for the autumn, one in France on Arc day and one in the fillies’ race in Ascot on British Champions Day.

“We’ll see how she pulls up and she’ll tell us which way we go. She’s an exciting filly and will hold her own in either of those two big races in the autumn.

“We think that potentially she’s a filly that can win a Group One so whether that is later this year or next year she’s a very solid consistent filly. She’s a joy to train and I’m sure to own for Michael.

“I thought in France the last day she just waited a little bit in front and I think she was sharper today. I think they (cheekpieces) helped her.”

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