Ireland’s Richie Moloney took the first international class of this week’s four-star World Cup meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, last night.

The Irish rider and Slieveanorra were fastest of 43 combinations in the 1m50 Welcome Stakes speed class, denying long-time leader Jessica Springsteen a home win.

Springsteen had taken an early lead with Davendy S, and a succession of riders failed to come anywhere near the target until Moloney zipped home on Slieveanorra in 59.98, over half a second faster.

America’s Jack Towell took third place with New York, with compatriot Catherine Tyree in fourth on Enjoy Louise.

Irish rider Shane Sweetnam and Cornwall had briefly held third place in the contest, and their time of 64.26 proved good enough for fifth place at the finish.

Mike Dunne