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Congratulations go to Gradulations

Gradulations leads home her rivals in front of the Sligo crowdGradulations leads home her rivals in front of the Sligo crowd
© Photo Healy Racing

Gradulations deservedly got off the mark in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.

Having filled the runner-up spot on her last two starts, the Andy Oliver trained bay was expected to make the breakthrough this evening, going off the 11/10 favourite, having touched 13/8 in early shows.

Prominent in the early stages, the Mukhadram bay was eventually settled in second by Ronan Whelan. She was pushed to the front with over two furlongs to race and soon went a few lengths clear.

Whelan could afford to ease his mount in the closing stages, as she came home three-and-three parts of a length clear of A Shin Undine (10/1) and Andrew Slattery in second. Spartan Army (4/1) was a neck away in third, while Kirati Beach was a well-beaten fifth. The latter came in for plenty of market support this morning (went as short as 6/4), but was easy-to-back on-course and eventually went off at 10/3.

"She had run well the last couple of times and we know she stays so the slightly extended trip suited her," said Oliver.

"She's very ground-versatile so we weren't worried about that. She did everything well and it was nice and straightforward.

"We ran her in a Group race last year so we did think a bit of her, but she actually ran no race that day and came back with a runny nose, so we put a line through that.

"She's a big strong filly who stays well and is tough, and we should have plenty of options with her."


A.J. Slattery, rider of A Shin Undine trained by J.A.Stack, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount ran around inside the final furlong.

D. McMonagle, rider of Lisadobber trained by Joseph Patrick O'Brien, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount was awkward from the starting stalls.

Additional reporting by Mark Nunan

About Donal Murphy
Donal graduated from Maynooth University in 2010 with a BBS in Equine Business and since attained a diploma in Sports Journalism from Dublin Business School. He holds a variety of roles in the horse racing industry, reporting for the Press Association and p2p.ie, while also working for SIS and the Tote. From Wexford, he is a keen runner and has completed over 100 parkruns at various locations around the country.