Nivvo (Tracey Collins/Pat Smullen, 7/2) earned her place for All-Weather Championships Finals Day when successful in the €25,000 32Red Fillies Race at Dundalk, Ireland on Friday, March 9.
The seven-furlong Polytrack contest was a Fast-Track Qualifier for the £150,000 32Red Fillies’ And Mares’ All-Weather Championships, run over the same distance and on the same surface at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30.
World’s Greatest (Keith Clarke/Shane Foley, 50/1) made the early running, establishing a clear lead as Nivvo raced in second. As the field entered the straight, World’s Greatest began to struggle and Nivvo, a five-year-old Dylan Thomas mare, moved into a challenging position, taking the lead a quarter of a mile from home.
Flawlessly (Sheila Lavery/Ronan Whelan, 9/2) made smooth progress in the straight and looked to have the upper hand in the final furlong as she edged into a narrow lead. However, Nivvo rallied gamely and got up in the shadows of the post to score by a head in 1m 26.57s. Poetic Choice (Keith Clarke/Robbie Downey, 9/1) stayed on from off the pace to take third, a further three and a quarter lengths back.
Winning trainer Tracey Collins said: “Nivvo’s stamina came in to play late on.
“She is now qualified for Good Friday and it is not too often you get one for that, so I would say she will probably go to Lingfield.
“I will speak to her owners but it is a rare opportunity to run for that money. I have already got one going over (Captain Joy, who is qualified for the Sun Bets All-Weather Mile Championships).
“Nivvo has been very consistent and sometimes those fillies like her, once they get a bit of confidence, can keep going forward.”
Elsewhere on the eight-race card at Dundalk, Mendelssohn (Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore, Evens Fav) led home a 1-2-3 for Ireland’s champion trainer in the €75,000 Listed Patton Stakes over a mile.
The three-year-old Scat Daddy colt, successful in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar, USA, last year, saw off stable companion and pace setter Threeandfourpence (Seamie Heffernan, 5/2) by three-quarters of a length with Seahenge (Donnacha O’Brien, 7/2) a further three and three-quarter lengths back in third.
Aidan O’Brien said: “You would be delighted with that. It was nice to get Mendelssohn started and he did everything right – he travelled and quickened well.
“He was a little bit rusty obviously on his first run in a long time but Ryan was very happy with him.
” Physically he has done very well and mentally he is good. He is very relaxed which is good.
“The plan was to come here, then go to Dubai and then hopefully the Kentucky Derby.
“We always felt that we would need a couple of runs in this part of the world before we go.
“Hopefully then we can look at Kentucky but obviously we have to run a big race in Dubai and go on from there but that is what we would be hoping to do. There is plenty of dirt in his pedigree and as we saw he is a good traveller and very good physically.
“Seamus’ horse was a little babyish in front, as he’s not used to being there, and Donnacha’s horse was a little bit slow away but they are all things we can work on.
“The plan with the three colts that ran tonight is to go to Dubai and then hopefully we go on from there.”