Steel Bull so impressive in G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes

Steel Bull (Michael O’Callaghan IRE/Colin Keane) justified 2/1 favouritism with an impressive victory in the G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes, run over five furlongs for two-year-olds. It was a first Qatar Goodwood Festival success for both trainer Michael O’Callaghan and jockey Colin Keane.

The grey son of Clodovil was making just his second racecourse appearance having made an eye-catching winning debut at Naas a week ago.

Entering the final two furlongs, Steel Bull had a wall of horses in front of him but made rapid headway to move into a challenging position a furlong from home. He overhauled Ben Macdui (Kevin Ryan/Kevin Stott, 16/1) half a furlong out and went on to score by an ultimately comfortable three-quarters of a length.

Michael O’Callaghan, speaking to ITV Racing from his base at The Curragh, Ireland, said: “I actually struggled to see it properly because the internet dropped out on the computer I was watching on, so I had to try and get into the living room to watch it there. I watched the replay and he has done it very, very well. Colin was as good as ever – he is top-class and has done a great job on him. Obviously, we have a nice horse on our hands, thank God.

“We had a little bit of interest in him after winning his maiden but, at the end of the day, it was a five-furlong maiden and he had to go and prove he could do something like that. I don’t own him myself – I am involved with my father and another man called John Fleming. We buy all the horses together, they let me go away and buy them and we have been lucky at the breeze-ups. Thank God we have found another good one.”

Colin Keane said: “Looking at the replay of Steel Bull winning his maiden, he won it very well and when I was talking to Michael beforehand, he was very confident that he would have a lot of speed. We followed Rossa Ryan [on Sardinia Sunset] and he took us as far as we wanted.

“He showed a very good turn of foot. He puts his head down and tries very hard. I would imagine he is a horse who is going to keep progressing. I think he would get an extra furlong, because he settles. He is a nice colt.

“It was an unknown as to whether he would handle the track, but he’s a very straightforward horse. He handled it very well.

“I had to wait, but the lads beforehand were very adamant he had a good turn of foot, and that’s what I was hoping and hanging on to, and when I got out, he did have it.

“When you are on a horse like this, it makes it easy for you. He travelled everywhere and, when I gave him a squeeze, he picked up very well.”

2.45pm G3 Markel Insurance Molecomb Stakes 5f

1 Steel Bull – Michael O’Callaghan 2-9-01 Colin Keane 2/1F

2 Ben Macdui – Kevin Ryan 2-9-01 Kevin Stott 16/1

3 Internationaldream – Richard Fahey 2-9-01 Paddy Mathers 50/1

Winner owned by Michael O’Callaghan

Breeding: Clodovil (IRE) – Macarthurs Park (IRE) (Equiano (FR))

Breeder: Macarthurs Park Partnership

10 ran

Time: 58.59s

Distances: ¾, 1½

Tote Win: £2.80 Places: £1.30, £4.70, £6.60 Exacta: £34.20

Michael O’Callaghan – 1st winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival

Colin Keane – 1st winner at the Qatar Goodwood Festival