King Cromwell reigns at Bellewstown
A treble at Bellewstown on Saturday capped a sensational run for Gavin Cromwell at the Bellewstown Festival. In all, the Champion Hurdle-winning handler recorded seven winners throughout the four-day affair.
Ming Dynasty (leading home stablemate Eejayteekay), Mac N Cheese and Bentham landed the spoils for the Meath handler, with three different jockeys doing the steering in Jonathan Moore, Brien Kane and Mark O’Hare.
Cromwell shares a hunger for success with his close friend Gordon Elliott, and a willingness to go wherever it takes to bag a winner. While he did not have to travel far to get to Bellewstown, Saturday’s treble brought his tally for the week to nine, as he had also scored on the double at Musselburgh on Wednesday.
There can be few hotter trainers around right now.
Ger and Brad walk on together
People often forget that Ger Lyons was a National Hunt jockey based in England for many years before returning to Ireland to become one of the premier Flat trainers in his native land.
The Glenburnie Stables supremo spoke briefly of his former guise after the victory of Marchons Ensemble in the Irish Stallions Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden for colts and geldings at Bellewstown on Saturday, as the Pour Moi juvenile is owned by long-time sparring partner Graham Bradley.
Bradley enjoyed far more success in the saddle, famously winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Bregawn to lead home a Michael Dickinson-trained 1-2-3-4-5 that year.
Afterwards, Lyons said that he was delighted to train the winner for Bradley, who also bred Marchons Ensemble (which is French for ‘let’s walk together’), as the ex-jockey had always looked out for young hopefuls in the north of England, Lyons himself included. He was glad, he said, to return the favour.
They might have a bit more fun together yet.
Meade’s Adventure is sweet
Noel Meade winning a bumper is hardly news, even in the era of Willie Mullins supremacy, but Star Adventure’s success in the Cairde Loch Garman INH Flat Race for mares at Wexford on Saturday did stand out for the fact that the legendary boss of Tu Va Stables bred the five-year-old himself.
Owned by the unrelated Philip Meade, Star Adventure is a half-sister out of Vivachi to Laura Bullion, a victor on the all-weather for her breeder/trainer last April, and Meade reports that there are more runners to come from his increasingly-valuable Red Ransom broodmare.
As for Star Adventure, the five-year-old appears to have a good level of ability, winning well for Mark O’Hare on racecourse debut having recovered from a cracked pelvis. There should be more to come.
Gallagher ends near six-year dry spell
Joseph O’Brien, Nathan Crosse, Donnacha O’Brien, Colin Keane, Aidan Fogarty and Madeleine Tylicki were just some of the others who will look back fondly on the weekend just past for a variety of reasons but few can have derived much more joy from a winner than Eamonn Gallagher.
The Cork-based trainer saddled Cailean’s Angel to score in the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle at Bellewstown on Saturday, with Darragh O’Keeffe doing the steering.
This was Gallagher’s first success under NH Rules since October 31, 2013, when Backinthere – also owned by Vincent Sheehan – claimed a mares’ beginners’ chase under Adrian Heskin.
Gallagher has not had many runners in the meantime, while he isn’t necessarily focussed on the point-to-point field either. He is one from two between the flags this season and had no runners last term. Idas Boy’s eight-length five-year-old maiden success in Dromahane in April was his first points win since the 2010/2011 campaign.
Idas Boy, who was bred by Stephen Curran, owner of former multiple Grade 1 victor Flemenstar, was subsequently sold at Cheltenham to Margaret O’Toole on behalf of Noel Meade for £155,000.
It is clear that when Eamonn Gallagher strikes, he makes it count.