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PA Homeless Songs in the parade ring with trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Chris Hayes today.
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Piz Badile keeps Derby dream alive with Ballysax win
The Colt had to battle back to see off Buckaroo.

PIZ BADILE IS on course for Epsom after showing admirable resolution to land the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes for Donnacha O’Brien at Leopardstown.

After Vina Sena and Bluegrass had dropped away, it looked like the Joseph O’Brien-trained Buckaroo was going to be an emphatic winner once engaging top gear on the outside.

But as he got to Piz Badile and edged past, Gavin Ryan’s mount fought back on the inside and was back in front by a short head at the line.

Duke De Sesa, the 100-30 favourite who had beaten Piz Badile in the Eyrefield Stakes here in October, was three and three-quarter lengths back in third.

“He’s always been a beautiful horse and he’s matured well over the winter,” said O’Brien.

“It was a lovely performance and it’s nice to see him able to quicken like that because I know he stays well.

“He’s going to be better when he goes a mile and a half, but I think the fact that he can quicken means he’s got a bit of class.”

He added: “The plan has been here, Derrinstown (Derby Trial) and then Epsom. Obviously everything has to go right back here the next day, but that’s been the plan for a while and that’s what we’ll stick to.

“He’ll be fine on any ground, I’d have no problems with soft ground and no problems with good ground. He’s very versatile.”

Betfair make Piz Badile a 14-1 chance for the Cazoo Derby, with Buckaroo available at 25-1.

Earlier, Homelss songs put a couple of disappointing runs behind her with a smart performance to take the Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes.

ballyinch-stud-classic-trials-day-leopardstown-racecourse-saturday-april-2nd PA Homeless Songs in the parade ring with trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Chris Hayes today. PA

Dermot Weld’s filly had looked an exciting prospect when beating Agartha on her debut here in July, but two subsequent outings did not go as hoped.

She was back to the form of her racecourse bow, however, as the daughter of Frankel displayed a striking turn of foot in sweeping to the front, denying old rival Agartha – who was carrying a penalty – by a length.

Villanova Queen was another three-quarters of a length back in third, with favourite Sacred Bridge, who had to switch when Homeless Songs (6-1) and Chris Hayes made their move, fourth.

Bookmaker reaction was positive, with Betfair and Paddy Power cutting the winner to 12-1 from 33-1 for the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

“It was a very good performance, she had been working extremely well and Chris gave her a very confident ride,” said Weld.

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“We have to speak with her owner Eva Maria Haefner and we’ll see where we go with her. She’s in both the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas.

“She has a lot of pace and she’s able to carry it. It was seven (furlongs) today and I’d be very hopeful that she’d be able to carry it up to a mile.

“We’ll see how she comes out of the race and then decide where we go next.

“We just wanted to see how we got on here today. I thought it was very professional, her performance today.

“Chris took his time on her, she settled nicely, and he rode her for speed. You saw yourself the pace she has, she settled it really in three strides.”

He added: “It was a very good renewal, the standard of the fillies in the race was very high. Chris said she just took a blow going to the line, he was always very comfortable.”

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