Weekend Takeaways from The Curragh Spring Festival


Monday, May 27, 2019
Lupini

Blairmayne with Natalia Lupini, Killian Leonard and The Raintree Racing Partnership after winning The Heritage Hotel and Spa Handicap Photo.carolinenorris.ie


Slattery shines for Shaw

Andrew Slattery added another landmark to his burgeoning CV with three winners at the Curragh during the Guineas Festival, including a double yesterday.

The young apprentice, who celebrated his 18th birthday earlier this month and will sit his Leaving Cert next month, earned high praise from Dermot Weld for his pre-race study and execution of agreed tactics in swooping late the nab the Boodles Handicap on Dalton Highway.

A half-hour later, Slattery was at it again, this time on 50/1 outsider Telepathy in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden.

Permit holder, Tom Shaw was recording his first ever winner on the Flat and it couldn’t have been on a more appropriate day, his father Tom Snr having trained Zenobia to win the Irish 1000 Guineas under Liam Ward in 1960.

Shaw, who is retired from the Irish Army and is a brother of National Hunt handicapper Andrew (known to all as Sandy), has had one success on the track previously, thanks to Chapter Two in a handicap hurdle at Cork 12 months ago. Chapter Two, who he also owns, has provided him with four of his five point-to-point successes too.

Slattery, who won’t forget this weekend in a hurry, bagged his first winner of the weekend for Weld on Jassaar in the TRM Excellence In Equine Nutrition Handicap on Monday.

 

Twomey’s two thirds a telling tale

Paddy Twomey is certainly a name people have taken note of this year after the Athassel House operator stepped up his operations, having initially focussed on buying and selling. While having his juveniles ready to run early and finding a buyer for them remains a key element of the operation, Twomey’s weekend illustrated his ability to handle high-class operators even if it was fruitless in terms of actual victories.

Decrypt and Foxtrot Liv ran phenomenal races to be third in both the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday and yesterday’s 1000 Guineas. Twomey’s handling of the pair has been top class and he has two very valuable horses in his care now.

It has been an excellent start to the season for the Cashel man, with five winners from just 17 runners to date, finding the target at a 29 per cent strike rate. Four of his victories have come from three-year-olds, while he is one from three with his juveniles. He is clearly a man to stay on the right side in all spheres of the game now.

 

Lupini smile lights up new Curragh

Aidan O’Brien may have carried on in his merry way by garnering the opening two Classics of the Irish season, to add to the pair he claimed in Newmarket, but the Spring Festival ensured a very healthy spread of winners for owners, trainers and jockeys.

There were 14 successful jockeys from the 22 races, with the figure rising to 17 for victorious trainers and owners. Few would have worn broader smiles than Natalia Lupini though and few have travelled as far to get there.

The Milan native arrived in Ireland as a teenager in pursuit of a career with racehorses and trains in Banbridge, County Down, having taken out her licence in 2014.

Blairmayne has been a key member of her small team, winning four times and being placed on a further six occasions. On Saturday, he travelled well and stayed on strongly under Killian Leonard to win the Heritage Hotel & Spa Handicap for the Raintree Racing Partnership, whose members celebrated wildly.

Lupini relished having a winner at the newly-renovated headquarters of Flat racing on Irish 2000 Guineas day, particularly as her mother made the journey from Italy to be in attendance. 

There were 14 successful jockeys from the 22 races, with the figure rising to 17 for victorious trainers and owners. Few would have worn broader smiles than Natalia Lupini though and few have travelled as far to get there.

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