A creditable second last week at Bellewstown following almost a year off the track, the Al Mamoura Partnership-owned ROYAL BLEND (Zoffany x Timely) scored a first career success when taking the Welcome Back To Limerick Racecourse Maiden at Limerick on Saturday, October 9th.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the three-year-old had shown plenty of ability throughout 2020 without hitting the target. Following almost a year’s absence, ROYAL BLEND returned to action with an excellent second place at Bellewstown last week. A combination of heavy going and a drop to 1,300m has seen the filly get off the mark only nine days later under a determined ride from Dylan Brown-McMonagle.
Settled behind the early leader ARTICIAN (Dark Angel), ROYAL BLEND travelled well through the early stages of the 1,300m contest. ROYAL BLEND was hampered on the turn out of the back straight when attempting to make a move on the leader from inside. Forced to sit and wait for a gap, she was three lengths down on ARTICIAN as the field turned for home. Once the gap is there at the 400m pole, ROYAL BLEND was switched out and asked to close down the long-time leader ARTICIAN. Not picking up in the expected fashion, ROYAL BLEND still had two lengths to make up inside the final 200m. The filly kept on gamely and as ARTICIAN tired inside the final 50m, ROYAL BLEND bounded clear to a two and three-quarter length success. THE POCKET FLYER (Prince Of Lir) and INVETERATE (Dragon Pulse) took advantage of the fading ARTICAN and stayed on strongly to take second and third placings respectively.
Bred by Dentord Stud Ltd, ROYAL BLEND is by Coolmore Stud stallion ZOFFANY (Dansili). Her dam TIMELY (Pivotal) was unraced, but is a sister to nine winners, including AUSSIE RULES (Danehill) winner of the Group 1 Poule d’Essai Des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and now a stallion standing at Lanwades Stud, and APPROACH (Darshann) a listed winner and dam of dual Group 1 winner CORONET (Dubawi).
Source: Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club