Woody Creek, near side, catches Empire Line© Photo Healy Racing
Woody Creek wore down stablemate Empire Line in the closing stages of the premier handicap at Naas to give Fozzy Stack a one-two.
Woody Creek's sustained challenge under Andrew Slattery in the final furlong paid off as the pair got up by half a length at 12/1 in this six-furlong contest. Runner-up Empire Line, with Mike O'Connor in the saddle, was a 5/1 chance. Hammersmith was three and three quarter lengths away in third at 20/1 as the front pair separated themselves. Feretti, the well backed 7/2 favourite, completed the placings in fourth.
Fozzy Stack said: "I didn't think that the other horse (Empire Line) would be capable of giving her a stone.
“If she came back to where she was as a two-year-old, at level weights I've always said she would be better than him.
“She lost her confidence badly in Leopardstown that day she got knocked over. She was quite sore after it and then she ran absolutely terrible again in Leopardstown, it was probably the wrong place to run her.
“I said to Craig (Bernick, owner) that hopefully she'd get a little but further in time but I just wanted to get her in a habit of racing again today on a straight track where she'd have plenty of room around her.
“It's worked anyway and it's great for Craig who has been a great supporter. It's nice to have a winner for him, we've had out trials and tribulations and haven't had much luck so far but hopefully this is the start of something. It was a good pot.
“I always had a high opinion of her last year but at Leopardstown it just all went wrong.
“She actually ran okay here the last day when she was drawn on the wrong side of the track.
“Young Andy gave her a good ride and Mikey gave the other horse a good ride, he did nothing wrong.
“The weight told in the last 50 yards. Mikey is a bit sick but he'll have his day someday.”
The Stewards enquired into an incident at the junction of the racecourse over three furlongs from the finish involving Woody Creek (GB), ridden by A.J. Slattery, placed first and Sonaiyla, ridden by A.J. Farragher, unplaced , where it appeared that Woody Creek (GB) made a manoeuvre and Sonaiyla checked. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. A.J. Slattery gave his evidence in the presence of Francis Slattery and A.J. Farragher gave his evidence in the presence of Michael Halford. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were of the opinion that the incident was caused by A.J. Slattery riding carelessly, this being a breach of Rule 214. Having taken his previous record into consideration, the Stewards suspended A.J. Slattery for one race day.
The Stewards enquired into an incident over two furlongs from the finish involving Ferretti (USA), ridden by D. O'Brien, placed fourth, Barend Boy (GB), ridden by C.D. Hayes, unplaced and Sonaiyla, ridden by A.J. Farragher, unplaced, where it appeared that Sonaiyla ran short of room and checked. Evidence was heard from the riders concerned. A.J. Farragher gave his evidence in the presence of Michael Halford. Having viewed the recording of the race and considered the evidence, the Stewards were of the opinion that D. O'Brien had caused the incident by riding carelessly, this being a breach of Rule 214. Having taken his previous record into consideration, the Stewards suspended D. O'Brien for two race days.
Additional reporting by Gary Carson