Eziyra and Declan McDonogh pictured on their way to victory
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Eziyra rounded off an evening to remember for Dermot Weld and Declan McDonogh at Leopardstown, as she took the feature Grenke Finance Ballyroan Stakes.
Successful earlier on the card with Betsey Trotter and newcomer Centroid, Weld and McDonogh would have high hopes coming into this Group 3 contest.
Third in the Irish Oaks last year, and a winner at this level on her last two starts,Eziyra was sent off a 9/4 joint-favourite this evening, on her first start since September.
Settled in rear by McDonogh, the daughter of Teofilo improved into third under two furlongs out, and was pushed along to lead inside the final furlong, going on to score comfortably by two and a half lengths.
Just a nose and a head separated the other three runners, with Stellar Mass (9/4jfav) finishing second, ahead of the easy to back Yucatan and The King.
Weld said afterwards: "It was a very pleasing performance considering she hadn't run for 11 months since winning here. I think she's strengthened a lot since last year.
"She ran an excellent race behind Enable when she was placed in the Irish Oaks apart from her three Group wins. This was the plan to start back here, and she has a number of Group 1 entries in the coming weeks and months.
"She could run in the Yorkshire Oaks but we’ll have to see how she comes out of this race. The Fillies And Mares (at Ascot) would be a definite possibility for her.
"That was fast ground this evening and she bounced off it but she’s pretty adaptable ground wise. The Breeders Cup is also worth considering."
Additional reporting by Alan Magee