Moss Tucker flying high at the Curragh

Moss Tucker stayed on strongly to land a decisive blow for the home team in the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes.

The Curragh Group One was stacked with British talent, but it was Ken Condon’s unheralded five-year-old who scooped the €236,000 first prize at odds of 16-1.

Although now an eight-time winner, it was just the second time Moss Tucker was appearing at the highest level and while all eyes were on the near-side group where Art Power was being closely attended by Bradsell and Highfield Princess, Moss Tucker was getting the ideal tow through the race by Charlie Hills’ Equality.

The two groups merged with two furlongs to run, but whereas distress signals were being displayed by the fancied runners, the Billy Lee-ridden Moss Tucker still had plenty in the tank and he proved his stamina to deny Clive Cox’s Get Ahead in the closing stages with the front-running Equality going down bravely in third.

Condon said: “It’s fantastic on the Curragh, on the most important weekend in Irish racing. It’s just been a great story with this horse how he has progressed and kept improving.

“You’re thinking if we got placed it would be a super effort and then the heavens opened about an hour and a half ago which helped us a good bit.

“I thought he got a superb ride, Billy was just brilliant on him and he had a willing partner.

“He was very good here the last day a month ago. We thought that was a career-best and obviously this is another step in the right direction.

“He’s the kind of horse you would want to be going into battle with. We were having a quite time of it so to have a horse like him that can be competitive in these races – that’s what we all get up for in the morning.”

Lee added: “Ken and I love this horse and he has been a brilliant servant who has made his way up through the grades.

“He is just a brilliant horse and while we (the Condon team) have had a quietish year, this one winner makes all the difference.”

Highfield Princess was sent off the even-money favourite but could manage only fifth, one place in front of Art Power.

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