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Stellar Story grinds his way past the favourite

Stellar Story, left, grabs Ile Atlantique in the final stridesStellar Story, left, grabs Ile Atlantique in the final strides
© Photo Healy Racing

Stellar Story responded to Harry Swan's urgings to overhaul long odds-on favourite Ile Atlantique in the bumper at Naas.

Ile Atlantique (2/5f) set out to make all and looked to be tanking along for Patrick Mullins. Stellar Story moved into second over half a mile out, but Harry Swan was having to work on him after the home bend.

Mullins was still motionless on Ile Atlantique approaching the final furlong, but Stellar Story was still in there under the pump a couple of lengths away as he attempted to keep the leader more than honest.

When Mullins asked Ile Atlantique to go and win his race in the final furlong, he didn't get the response he was after and a grinding Stellar Story moved up to challenge him.

The pursuer grabbed him in the final strides to win by a head at 10/3 for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown.

Swan said: “He's a really gutsy horse. I was a little bit worried about the ground today, but he seemed to like it. He's a brilliant mover.

“He's a lazy type and down the back I had to get after him a little bit. All he does is stay and he'll probably want a lot further in the future. He's probably a big stayer.

“He learned tons from the last day when he was wandering around a little bit. He managed to stay straight today and he ground it out. He's a nice horse for the future.”

Stellar Story is a full brother to Down Royal Grade 1 Champion Steeplechase winner The Storyteller.

The Raceday Stewards interviewed Swanconcerning his use of t he whip in the latter stages of this race. Evidence was heard from the rider concerned who accepted he had breached the whip Regulation. Having viewed a recording of the race and considered the evidence the Raceday Stewards were satisfied that Mr. Swan was in breach of R.10.3(g)(frequency) and having considered his record, they suspended him for one raceday.

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.