The Crisford team make Irish trip worthwhile as A’Ali powers to victory

Covert Love winning the Irish Oaks

A’Ali hit the line full of running to win the Holden Plant Rentals Sapphire Stakes for Simon and Ed Crisford at the Curragh on Sunday.

He was well beaten over six furlongs at Newcastle on his reappearance in June but has since left that form well behind and could now compete against the very best.

A Royal winner

He won the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last season and it looks like sprinting over the minimum is his game as he failed to stay the 6f on both tries to date.

He gave the classy Liberty Beach 3lb and a beating at Sandown earlier this month and connections decided to step him up in class and go for the Group 2 in Ireland and the decision has proved to be the correct one.

The Society Rock colt looked an unlikely winner at halfway as Make A Challenge went clear on the far side of the track but he powered home under Colin Keane and showed an immediate turn of foot.

What does the jockey think?

Colin Keane said: “He’s a very speedy horse. I thought at one stage that I was in trouble. It wasn’t by design that I was away from the main group and it would have been better to get a tow into the race, but I felt I was on a fresh strip of ground.”

Paddy Power cut the runaway winner in to 8-1 from 10-1 for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month, and Keane added: “He’s very straightforward and feels like a Group One horse.”

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