Prince of Lir's The Lir Jet Wins the Norfolk

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Having broken the all-aged track record on debut at Yarmouth June 3, The Lir Jet (GB) was a temptation that Qatar Racing couldn't resist and the operation's acquisition proved on the money as he emulated the 2009 G2 Norfolk S. success of his first-season sire Prince of Lir (Ire) on Friday. Registering the breakthrough first win for that freshman on fast ground at the East Anglian venue, the 9-2 shot had easier conditions to deal with here and also a trailblazing Wesley Ward runner as Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) powered over the easy turf up ahead. Asked the question as early as halfway, the bay took until the final yards to get to the US raider but Oisin Murphy found the line in time to prevail by a neck, with three lengths back to Imperial Force (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) in third. His success meant that within the space of a few minutes Ballyhane Stud stallions had been responsible for the Albany and Norfolk winners.

“The way he won at Yarmouth, he didn't learn a lot and today he really had to dig in,” trainer Michael Bell commented. “He will have learnt how to race and showed a good attitude which bodes well for his future. He's all speed–he'll definitely get six, but I wouldn't think he'll get further. Prince of Lir won the Norfolk on soft, so we didn't think the ground would be a worry and he's one of those lucky horses who goes on anything.”

Bell explained the origins of The Lir Jet, another inexpensive purchase to multiply his value in the space of a few weeks. “My son Nick found him from Robson Aguira, who bought him very cheaply and was going to breeze him up,” he said. “When the breeze-ups were cancelled, Robson and Nick came to an arrangement and the horse came to us. Then Sheikh Fahad was watching Yarmouth on telly and sent me a text asking if he was for sale and the rest is history. A good bit of business for all involved, and very nice for us to have a good winner for a very important owner–it is high-profile for us. Any trainer needs good horses and good winners, especially for big operations like Qatar. I am particularly pleased, because this is very much Nick's deal and he must take a huge amount of credit.”

As far as the immediate future is concerned, bell is looking at the big prizes for the precocious. “If he runs in another group two, he'll be carrying a penalty so I'd be inclined to point him at something like the [G1] Prix Morny, but I think we should talk to Sheikh Fahad and David Redvers and come up with a plan,” he added. “The [G1] Nunthorpe would be another option, but the balls will go in the air. When you start winning group races with two-year-olds there is stallion potential, so there are all sorts of things that need to be considered. If Battaash was to go for the Nunthorpe, I would probably say he should be avoided. The Commonwealth Cup would be an obvious target this time next year.”

The Lir Jet is out of a granddaughter of the G2 Premio Lydia Tesio and G3 Premio Federico Tesio winner Papering (Ire) (Shaadi), who is in turn out of the G1 Oaks d'Italia runner-up Wrapping (Ire) (Kris {GB}).

Friday, Royal Ascot, Britain
NORFOLK S.-G2, £50,000, Royal Ascot, 6-19, 2yo, 5fT, 1:01.55, g/s.
1–THE LIR JET (IRE), 127, c, 2, by Prince of Lir (Ire)
1st Dam: Paper Dreams (Ire), by Green Desert
2nd Dam: Pickwick Papers (GB), by Singspiel (Ire)
3rd Dam: Papering (Ire), by Shaadi
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN. (€9,500 Wlg '18 TATFBR; £8,000 Ylg '19 GOFFPR). O-Qatar Racing Ltd; B-Donal Boylan (IRE); T-Michael Bell; J-Oisin Murphy. £29,600. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $41,965. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Golden Pal, 127, c, 2, Uncle Mo–Lady Shipman, by Midshipman. ($325,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Ranlo Investments, Llc; B-Randall E Lowe (FL); T-Wesley Ward. £11,195.
3–Imperial Force (Ire), 127, c, 2, Camacho (GB)–Cafetiere (GB), by Iffraaj (GB). (72,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-M A R Blencowe; B-Ballyphilip Stud (IRE); T-Andrew Balding. £5,595.
Margins: NK, 3, 2HF. Odds: 4.50, 12.00, 7.50.
Also Ran: Lipizzaner, Macho Pride (Ire), Ventura Tormenta (Ire), Andronicus Beau (Ire), Jojo Rabbit (GB), Eye of Heaven (GB), Nelson Gay (Ire), Cooperation (Ire), Papal Bee (Ire). Scratched: Emirati Dirham (Ire), Get It (GB). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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