Cristoforo Colombo gets his head in front at Dundalk
©Healy Racing Photos
By Michael Graham
Joseph O’Brien moved to within one of Mick Kinane’s record number of wins in an Irish flat season in Ireland when driving Cristoforo Colombo through to win in Dundalk.
Kinane had 114 winners in 1993 and O’Brien brought up number 113 this season on the 4/5 favourite trained by his father Aidan.
Once O’Brien sent him on to win this six furlong race with two to go, he had more than enough to keep Tennessee Wildcat (22/1) at bay. The latter came at him deep inside the final furlong, but went down by a length with Gary Carroll in the plate.
Joseph O’Brien said: “He’s a lovely horse. We spent all winter trying to get him to relax so he would get a mile. He didn’t get a mile at Newmarket.
“He got a break and we brought him back. He still doesn’t know how to sprint yet, but when the penny dropped today he quickened up well. He has a chance of making a decent sprinter.
“He still thinks he’s running over a mile and just relaxes too much early on.”
This was a step down in class for Cristoforo Colombo who this season had been fifth in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May and a close-up eighth in a Group 3 at the Curragh last month.
Last season, as a juvenile, he was second in the Group 2 Railway Stakes and fourth in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson