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Prince X J delivers for 'quietly confident' O'Callaghan

Prince X J comes home a comfortable winner under Billy LeePrince X J comes home a comfortable winner under Billy Lee
© Photo Healy Racing

Prince X J made the breakthrough on his third start, as he overturned odds-on favourite The Caribbean in the opener at Fairyhouse, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2yo Maiden.

Ninth of 11 on debut at the Curragh in March, the Michael O'Callaghan-trained bay was a more encouraging seventh on his next outing at Navan.

Encountering quick ground for the first time this evening, he came in for plenty of market support, going off a 12/1 chance from early shows of 40/1.

Soon in a share of the lead with the market leader, he gained an outright advantage a furlong and a half from home, keeping on well in the closing stages to score by two-and-a-quarter lengths under Billy Lee.

Returned at 8/11 (from 6/4 early) The Caribbean finished second under Wayne Lordan for Aidan O'Brien, while Jakajaro (20/1) ran on late to snatch third.

"I rode him in Navan and I thought he actually ran well, in what turned out to be not a bad maiden," said Lee.

"I just felt it was the ground that day, he just couldn't quicken out of it. The two runs have stood to him today.

"He jumped nicely, was in a nice rhythm the whole way and he picked up and kept grinding away well.

"He's a horse that probably will go seven in time and I think he'll mature again. He just feels a little bit immature yet so hopefully he'll improve again.

"Michael said he had improved and he had been working well at home so he was quietly confident he'd run a big race and he was spot on.

"I thought he'd improve plenty for the ground anyway but whether he was good enough to win I didn't know. Michael was very confident."

When asked if he might be stakes material, he added: "He'll keep improving but he'll probably have to improve a bit to be stakes material. He'll definitely be a good quality handicapper and who knows. I definitely think there is plenty of improvement to come."

Out of Quinns Red Rose, who won once in 10 starts for O'Callaghan, the winner was sold for 21,000 pounds as a foal.


W.M. Lordan, rider of The Caribbean, trained by A.P.O'Brien, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount didn't handle the track.

D. McMonagle, rider of Ascendent trained by Joseph Patrick O'Brien, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount didn't handle the track.

C.D. Hayes, rider of Hispanolita trained by Andrew McNamara, reported to the Clerk of the Scales that his mount ran green throughout this race.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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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.