Indian Chief & Joseph O'Brien in full flow
©Healy Racing Photos
By Donal Murphy
Indian Chief showed an impressive turn of foot to win the opening race at Leopardstown this evening, the Bulmers Live Summer Racedays 2013 3yo Maiden, for Aidan & Joseph O’Brien.
Sent off the 4/7 favourite, the son of Montjeu, had just one run last year finishing second to subsequent French Group 1 winner Loch Garman at Navan.
His debut run was over a mile and stepped up in trip to one and a quarter miles today he was settled in rear as Dubai Deer attempted to make all under Chris Hayes for Paul Deegan.
<Indian Chief made smooth progress as they turned for home and once Joseph O’Brien asked him to go on, he quickly went to the front inside the final furlong, going on to score comfortably by two lengths.
< Dubai Deer ran a fine race to finish second at 8/1 while so did the Jessica Harrington trained newcomer Protestant, who finished a further length and a half back in third at 25/1 under Fran Berry.
Aidan O'Brien said afterwards: "I was afraid as last year he ran into Jim's horse (Loch Garman) and he emptied out.
"For a Montjeu colt he has plenty of speed. They went a steady gallop and he quickened up well. Being dropped in last in a slowly run race you might think it’s not the right place to be but he picked up easily.
"He might be a Dante (Dante Stakes, York May 16th) horse and the fellow who won here yesterday (Battle Of Marengo) might come back here."
The winner is now 20/1 (from 33's) with Stan James for the Derby.
(Additional reporting by Gary Carson)