David Loughnane’s Go Bears Go made every yard to get back to winning ways in the Rathasker Stud Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
Away well in first-time cheekpieces, Rossa Ryan was always at the head of affairs aboard the son of Kodi Bear and showed tremendous tenacity to keep finding when challenged in the closing stages, holding off Ano Syra to record a one-and-a-quarter-length victory.
It was the second time the Amo Racing and Omnihorse Racing-owned colt has struck at the Kildare venue, having also landed Railway Stakes as a two-year-old, and the all-the-way victory was the perfect way for the speedy three-year-old to build on his second in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.
There was no joy for fellow UK-based raiders Wings Of War and Dubawi Legend, who finished fourth and fifth respectably.
Loughnane said: “It’s easy to train a good horse. He loves it here – three runs, two wins and a third in the Phoenix Stakes last year where I thought he was a bit unlucky in the wrong part of the track with a strong headwind.
“He disappointed in Royal Ascot but just got out of the wrong side of the bed, overheated and didn’t run his race.
“He’s only been out of the frame twice in his life and is an absolute pleasure to train. He’s a horse that I hold very close to my heart and probably always will.
“He’s a terrier and would step into a ring with Mike Tyson – he’s afraid of no one. The longer they come at him the better he is. I’d love to see him over seven.”
Go Bears Go was cut to 12-1 for Haydock’s Betfair Sprint Cup by the sponsors, while Paddy Power go 12-1 from 16-1 for the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot over a track and trip Loughnane’s stable star was successful over earlier in the season.
But Loughnane revealed an American adventure was on the cards for Go Bears Go, possibly followed by a trip to Paris.
He said: “At the moment the plan is to head to Kentucky Downs on September 10. There is a Grade Two over there worth a lot of money over six and a half furlongs and then possibly a tilt at the Foret in October.
“He doesn’t want too long between his races, he gets a bit bored. He wants three weeks, maybe four, and he loves travelling. This race worked in nicely.”