The Irish News Archive: Aug 21 1998: Stravinsky hits all the right notes at York racecourse

Peter Davies
The Irish News Archive

STRAVINSKY lived up to the pre-race hype surrounding his talents with an impressive debut performance in the Moorestyle Convivial Maiden Stakes at York yesterday afternoon.

Michael Kinane had to wait for a gap to appear by the stand rail before sending his mount, who had reportedly been singeing Aidan O’Brien’s gallops at Ballydoyle, to the front inside the final furlong.

In little time the Nureyev colt had put two lengths between himself and Munjiz to earn a surreal-sounding 5- 1 quote for the 2000 Guineas.

Those odds seem to demonstrate the bookmakers’ First Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Win.

That said, Stravinsky’s first run left a lasting impression and it will take a good horse to lower his colours in his next race, possibly the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next month.

“It was an impressive turn of foot,” said Hills spokesman David Hood.

“Punters may not be falling over themselves at 5-1 but it is reflective of the performance and the liabilities from before his win.”

Belfast bookmakers Sean Graham have also cut the price of Stravinsky from 14-1 to 6-1 for next year’s 2000 Guineas.

The 14-match unbeaten run of Dungannon’s Patrick Wallace came to an end at the Qualifying School in Plymouth yesterday, losing 5-1 to Marco Fu, the 20-year-old rising star from Hong Kong.

Dubliner Stephen O’Connor, conqueror of Dennis Taylor in the previous round, also lost out, going down 5-3 to Englishman Tony Knowles despite recording a 107 break in the sixth frame.

Meanwhile Taylor, the 1985 world champion from Coalisland, announced yesterday that he will retire at the end of the season.

“I’m just not enjoying the game any more and I’ve always said that when that happens I’ll call it a day,” he said.

“The aim is to go out at the World Championship in Sheffield. I haven’t been back there to play for three years and it would be nice to finish my career at the Crucible where I have my greatest memory.”

SONIA O’Sullivan’s perfect European Championships continued yesterday when she earned a straight passage into Sunday’s 5000m final.

A dearth of entries means the organisers have abandoned this evening’s scheduled heats.

O’Sullivan, who was presented with her 10,000m gold medal yesterday, said she would “more than likely” be at the starting line for Sunday’s 5000m final.

10,000m silver medallist Fernanda Ribeiro yesterday withdrew from the 5000m and that will only increase the Irishwoman’s expected favouritism for the shorter event.

A relaxed O’Sullivan said yesterday that the relatively low expectations of her home fans, after some indifferent recent form, took the pressure off her in the run-up to Wednesday’s glorious victory.

DUBLINER Mark Riggs has been forced to pull out of his proposed fight with fellow city man, Michael Carruth. The fight was due to take place at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin, on September 19.

Carruth will now meet Glaswegian Scott Dixon over 12 rounds for the vacant WAA Welterweight title of the World.

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