Trossachs dug deep for a tenacious victory in a highly-competitive limerickraces.ie Maiden.
Jim Bolger’s Godolphin colt, who still holds an Irish Derby entry, had to be tough to get the better of a field containing several unexposed rivals from leading yards.
Aidan O’Brien’s King Pellinor was sent off the 5-4 favourite and set out to lead throughout over the extended mile and three furlongs.
But the Ballydoyle hope had to settle for third, as Trossachs led into the final furlong and held off the late charge of runner-up Elite Trooper Grey to win at 9-2 and complete a quick double for Kevin Manning.
Trossachs had managed no better than his four-and-a-half-length fourth at Leopardstown last month in any of his three previous attempts but had kept very good maiden company throughout.
Manning said: “He had a very good run at Tipperary two runs ago (behind Sir Dragonet), and the experience stood to him today.
“He has done it well and is a grand big horse who is still developing and is growing into his frame. He stays well, will get further and handles that good ground.”
Joseph O’Brien’s three contenders in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden included the 7-4 favourite – but he prevailed instead with one of his two 11-1 shots.
Crossfirehurricane and Shane Crosse challenged decisively on the rail deep inside the final furlong – taking over from stablemate, favourite and long-time leader Erlking.
The winning margin was a length from fellow debutant Marchons Ensemble, with Erlking eventually fading into fourth.
O’Brien’s new assistant Brendan Powell said: “It was brave for a horse first time out – and from where he was Shane gave him a lovely ride.”
The Drive Play Live At Limerick Racecourse This Evening Rated Race was over half a furlong shorter, and panned out in very similar fashion – Hit The Silk the successful last challenger this time to edge his duel with Improving.
Hit The Silk, trained by Pat Murphy, had half a length to spare at the line as Wayne Lordan timed their run expertly for a 12-1 success.
Canford Art wore down long-time leader Cruella Dovil to take the Tiny Giants Play Live At Limerick Racecourse On June 21st Handicap by a length and a half, kickstarting doubles for Manning and trainer Peter Fahey.
The 8-1 winner was doing so for the first time since her successful debut at Dundalk in December 2017.
The Party Time Family Fun Day On July 7th Apprentice Handicap went to CJ Cregg for in-form trainer John McConnell – and provided a first career winner for jockey Amy O’Hanlon.
She brought the 6-1 winner into contention in the straight, and they stayed on to keep favourite Dromana at bay by three-quarters of a length as CJ Cregg demonstrated her durability by following up her own first victory at Roscommon just five days ago.
O’Hanlon, a 21-year-old from Dundalk, described her first win as “unbelievable, the best feeling ever”.
She added: “I couldn’t believe it when I hit the straight, and everything started quickening. I thought ‘Yes, I’m going to have a winner finally.”
A delighted McConnell said: “It is great for Amy.
“She has been placed a lot of times. She is with me two years and is a very good horsewoman, and just needs the breaks to get a chance.”
Fahey’s Sky Moon was produced late by Oisin Orr to win the Stagefright Play Live At Limerick Racecourse On July 13th Handicap by a length and a quarter at 12-1.
Orr said: “They went along hard and came back to me, which helped, but I was still travelling strongly turning in and the gaps opened up for me.
“When he learns to switch off he might get a bit further, but he is doing everything right now and he did it well.”
Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley got on the scoresheet with 7-2 favourite Onlyhuman in the Handipak Play Live At Limerick Racecourse On July 25th Handicap.
Foley said: “I think he needs to be delivered late and I was kicking myself last time, I just wanted to see what he’d do today when he was in front early. He has a little look, but he’s very genuine.
“He was probably a week short the last day, he needs cut and with the ground being the way it was we weren’t doing much with him. When the rain came, we had to run him.”
He added: “The Topaz Mile might be on the agenda off a light weight, he’s gone well around Galway before.”