Dempsey’s Dinnie a Fairyhouse dish
He went off a 16/1 shot but Dinnie’s Vinnie never
saw another horse as he secured a commanding victory in the Baroneracing
Porterstown Handicap Chase. The 10-year-old clearly had loads left in the tank
at the end of the 3m 5f test, asserting his dominance once more when challenged
in the home straight to win by five and a half lengths.
It was a big win for trainer Philip Dempsey and his
son Luke, who did the steering. Dempsey has invested heavily in improving the
facilities at his Carbury yard and enjoyed his most fruitful season last year
with 14 winners. He hasn’t started as quickly this term but this was his fourth
success of the campaign and coming on such a significant day in the racing
calendar will come as a considerable boost. Also, with Mr Diablo finishing
runner-up in the Troytown Chase, the former jockey looks to have two contenders
for all the prestigious staying chases for the rest of the campaign.
Certainly, given that it was Dinnie’s third win at
Fairyhouse, it is easy to imagine him returning for the Irish Grand National,
although he would probably need to record an eight career success under Rules
to get into that. Given he has been victorious four times this calendar year,
you couldn’t rule out this late-blooming gelding doing just that however.
It would be a return journey his owners would
relish making. The TFC Syndicate comprise three members of the Beattie family
in Enfield, who have been supporters of Dempsey’s for a number of years now and
invariably have a strong representation, with children and grandchildren
ensuring a raucous welcome for their hero. It’s what the sport is all about.
What about Joseph?
There is already a danger of taking the young
Master of Owning Hill for granted. Joseph O’Brien is 25, drawing the curtain on
just his third flat year as a flat trainer and in the middle of his third in
the National Hunt sphere, and yet he has already saddled multiple Group and
Grade 1 winners alike, including the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, Unibet Irish
Gold Cup and Melbourne Cup. To date, he has conditioned 335 winners in Ireland
alone and that doesn’t count the multitude he was responsible for prior to his
name being on the licence.
Le Richebourg just missed out on Grade 1
glory in the Baroneracing.com Drinmore Chase but it was a standout weekend for
O’Brien nonetheless. When Desir Du Large stretched away from the field in the
Kettles Hotel Fingal Ravens Flat Race at Fairyhouse on Saturday under Tom
Hamilton, he was sealing a four-timer for O’Brien on the card.
That was a significant achievement in
itself, particularly as not one of the quartet went off as favourite to
prevail. Remarkably though, it brought the young handler’s tally to nine for
two days’ racing, having bagged five winners on Friday, made up of a double at
Limerick and a treble under lights on the all-weather at Dundalk. Any
discipline, any level, it makes no odds to the boss of Carriganóg Racing.
Orr Conor and Oisín?
Friday was a prolific day for the Orr
brothers too. Donegal isn’t renowned for its production line of jockeys even
though it has a strong tradition of excellence in equine pursuits generally.
Conor Orr is the older sibling and he is carving out a very fine niche for
himself after returning home having struggled to make an impact in England.
The Limerick card provided him with his
best day in the saddle to date as he recorded a treble, with two of those
provided by James Dullea and another by local trainer Austin Leahy. That gave
him bragging rights over former champion apprentice Oisín, who tried hard to
match his feats at Dundalk later in the evening but had to be content with
recording a double.
That made it a very proud day for the
family, who while they may be worried about how the two lads get on living
together and doing the laundry, need have no concerns about how they are likely
to fare in the saddle.
Charles Byrnes bookies again
Charles Byrnes has established a strong
reputation for hitting bookmakers where it hurts, while also a proven trainer
of high-class horses. Weapons Amnesty was a facile winner of the RSA Chase at
Cheltenham in 2010 but it was the redirecting of Solwhit to become a Stayers’
Hurdle victor at Prestbury Park three years later, having had the class to be a
four-time Group 1 winner over two miles but found world-record Grade 1 victor
Hurricane Fly an unyielding barrier to further success in that sphere, that
really highlighted his shrewdness.
The Limerick-based conditioner suffered a
lull in fortunes for a few years as a result of the recession but redoubled his
efforts a couple of years ago with the purchase of a number of younger horses,
many of which were introduced to the racecourse with a fair degree of success
It was good to see him triumphant in the
€100,000 Barracing.com Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse and no surprise either to
see Wonder Laish backed into 10/3 favouritism from 4/1, suggesting a fair
degree of optimism about the prospects. That Davy Russell was on board only
added to the confidence and Byrnes revealed afterwards that he had sounded out
Gordon Elliott during the week about the possibility of his long-time ally
Russell navigated the heavy traffic
beautifully to take the spoils. That brought up a treble on the day for the
champion jockey, who was very strong in landing Grade 1 and Grade 3 honours
earlier in the day for Elliott, courtesy of Chief Justice and Delta Work.
That’s how to keep everyone happy.