06/13/2010 11:00PM

Roan Inish may face males in Queen's Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Carolyn Costigan has always had the highest regard for Roan Inish. The filly's owner/breeder Bob Costigan had faith in his daughter's judgment.

And, Roan Inish justified those good opinions with a game head victory under jockey David Moran in Sunday's 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

"I was very confident in her competitiveness and in her ability to go the distance," said Carolyn Costigan. "I thought the race would shape up the way I needed it to, and I thought I had a fit horse."

As it transpired, Roan Inish needed every one of those assets to prevail over Moment of Majesty while rallying between horses in an exciting finish.

"She loves a dogfight," said Costigan. "When she was two furlongs from home, I was screaming. I knew she could see the other horses and as long as she could see them, she could beat them."

The $501,200 Woodbine Oaks was just the second start of the season for Roan Inish, who had finished second in her first start of the year in the seven-furlong Fury here May 1.

Although Roan Inish had options for a two-turn prep three weeks prior to the Woodbine Oaks, Costigan followed her own muse and elected to train her up to the 1 1/8-mile race.

While Roan Inish's workouts may have seemed to be on the slow side, Costigan evidently knew what she was about.

"I was riding her every morning, and in her works," said Costigan. "She was doing what I needed her to do; it wasn't about time.

"I had this race in mind, and there are no prizes for morning workouts."

If Roan Inish continues to meet her trainer's expectations then she could be back in action for the July 4 Queen's Plate, where she would face males at 1 1/4 miles.

"I like the fact that she'd be getting weight from the boys, going a longer distance, with two races under her belt after a lovely relaxed winter in California," said Costigan. "As far as I'm concerned, she'd be going into the race improving."

Costigan, 28, is in her first full campaign as a trainer after beginning her career in auspicious fashion by sending out Roan Inish to win the $251,200 Princess Elizabeth here last Oct. 31.

Prior to her move to Canada, Costigan had spent two years as an assistant to Jim Bolger in Ireland, where Roan Inish began her career.

Moran, 27, is Bolger's second rider and has crossed the pond to pilot Roan Inish in three of her four starts.

"I'm sure she'll get a mile and a quarter," said Moran, who was recording the biggest win of his career in his Woodbine Oaks and is looking forward to being back for the Queen's Plate.