Carey’s Home Flyer
Seskin Flyer made
home advantage pay to claim the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase at
Thurles on Saturday. A mix-up caused by having purchased new weighing scales
meant that jockey Kevin Brouder was carrying five pounds overweight. That the
margin of victory was eight lengths in those circumstances illustrates just how
dominant the victor was on the day, and explains why trainer Pat Carey is
looking to make hay in the Mr Binman Handicap Chase (3.10) at Limerick on St
Stephen’s Day. Seskin Flyer participates with a mandatory six pounds penalty
but that is almost written off by the added weight Brouder carried in Thurles.
In addition, the jockey will be able to claim his seven pounds, so this looks a
Carey, who trains
across the road from Thurles Racecourse, was celebrating his first triumph of
the season. Seskin Flyer was also responsible for his only win of last term,
and that came in December too, at Tramore. The festive season clearly appeals
to Liam Phelan’s Broadway Flyer seven-year-old and he might not be finished
Henry in a hurry
as the driving force behind Rachael Blackmore’s thrilling bid to become the
first woman to be champion jockey has actually overshadowed the phenomenal
season Henry de Bromhead has enjoyed to date. The Waterford trainer has already
bettered his tally of winners from last season and his total of 67, achieved at
a 17 per cent strike rate, is only one off his previous best registered in
De Bromhead left
Thurles with a treble to smile about. Honeysuckle’s listed success brought
Blackmore to 68 and within one of Paul Townend at the top of the table.
Blackmore had to settle for second on Stacks Mountain however, as another
Knockeen citizen, Plan Of Attack did the business under champion point-to-point
rider Barry O’Neill. Conditional jockey Dylan Robinson has ridden plenty of
winners for de Bromhead too and he got The King Of Brega home in the dying
strides to deny Gavin Cromwell’s Dundalk specialist Political Policy.
With the artillery
at his disposal now and the form the yard is in, it would be a huge surprise if
de Bromhead did not at least match his PB over the Christmas period.
Fasten your seat
The next few days
are among the most fascinating and enjoyable of the racing year, with some
ultra-competitive action on both sides of the Irish Sea. Potential will become
something more in some instances, but bubbles will be burst in plenty others.
Meanwhile the established stars will resume rivalries in a blur of hooves and
birch, and amidst a cacophony of cheers and groans.
It is a momentous
time for Limerick Racecourse in particular, which will be hosting a Grade One
contest for the first time on St Stephen’s Day. The Matchbook Betting Exchange
Novice Chase (2.00) is indeed Munster’s first Grade One and with a €100,000
prize fund, has attracted at strong line-up including Drinmore Chase third Jetz
(Jessica Harrington), Hardline (Gordon Eliott) and the exciting Getabird
Robbie Power has
chosen Limerick over Leopardstown to partner Jetz, which is a testament to the
race’s attraction, but the big news is the appearance of Ruby Walsh in
Patrickswell on December 26 for the first time in 22 years. That is a
tremendous reward for the ambition and endeavour of manager Patrick O’Callaghan
and his team, and certainly increases the attraction of making the trip to
It also provides an
indicator as to how highly rated Getabird is over the larger obstacles,
particularly going right-handed on easy going. It should be a contest befitting
its new status.