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Priest provides salvation for Listowel punters

Mary The Priest and Gary Carroll win the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden Mary The Priest and Gary Carroll win the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden
© Photo Healy Racing

Mary The Priest benefited from a typically well judged front running ride from Gary Carroll to win the opening Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden at Listowel.

Encountering quicker conditions for the first time in her career, the Joseph Murphy trained filly had previously hinted at ability when showing up well in two stronger maidens at the Curragh.

Well away from stall 6, Carroll was able to dictate matters from the front on the daughter of Belardo. From over two furlongs out, only eventual second Scorchio looked like posing any form of threat but once her rider asked for more at the furlong pole, Mary The Priest kicked clear and took command.

Favourite Blame Thechampagne was pushed up to hold a handy position from her outside draw under Nathan Crosse but those early exertions began to tell early in the straight and she had no more to give.

Winning trainer Joseph Murphy said: "she is a filly that is in a hurry in the preliminaries and in the aftermath but relaxes better in her races. She is improving all the time and we like her.

"That was a goodish maiden and the form was holding up."

Joe Muphy junior added; "she is in the Ballyhane Stakes and the Tattersalls Super Auction Stakes and that is the route she will be going down. We'll find a winners' race, then a nursery beforehand."

Additional reporting by Thomas Weekes

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About John O'Riordan
John has worked for the Press Association since 2022. He also writes a weekly column for The Irish Field and is a regular contributor to the Irish Racing Yearbook. He has previously written for the Racing Post, Irish Examiner and Irish Daily Mirror. He has been involved in racing for over three decades; having experience as a syndicate member, sole owner and breeder.