Lemista puts down Classic marker with Park Express success

Ger Lyons enjoyed a one-three in the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes at Naas, with Lemista taking Group Three honours on the way to what could be even better things.

Stablemate Even So had to settle for third as the odds-on favourite, with Mick Halford’s Hamariyna splitting the pair in second and the front three all looking smart prospects for the future.

Lemista, a winner on heavy ground when last seen at Gowran in October, hit the front over a furlong out under Chris Hayes, who was completing a double on the day, after Even So had made her challenge against the seemingly unfavoured far rail.

Hamariyna tracked Lemista and was initially caught out for speed before staying on strongly down the centre of the track, but was beaten three-quarters of a length by the 8-1 winner.

Lyons’ brother, Shane, said: “We’re very happy with her. We had to throw her into that race with the way the ground is as we know she wants a mile and a half and you need a horse with stamina for that ground.

“Our horses are forward, but without having a run you don’t know how forward they are until they go to the track.

“They are really working well. This filly and Even So were working well at home, so you can’t leave them at home when there is a Pattern race like that.

“We’re delighted, she won her maiden by five lengths so you can’t be bad if that happens.”

He added: “Chris said she’d appreciate better ground to be able to use her long stride. Stepping up trip I think she is an exciting filly.

“She could be aimed at the Oaks. We never thought she’d be a Guineas filly, trip-wise. Since February onwards we’ve been very happy and we’re just delighted she’s gone and done it.

“The other filly (Even So) has run a cracker too. She got a little bit tired half a furlong from home and with her being down the inside where the ground is deader it just found her out.

“Better ground and stepping up a couple of furlongs as well she’ll be a nice filly. She is in the Guineas, but I don’t know if she’d be quick enough and both of them could go for Oaks trials.”

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