HRI Review

Racing Review

Bachasson Bounces Back With Impressive Win At Thurles 

On just his fourth start over fences the Willie Mullins-trained Bachasson landed the listed Boomerang Bedding Horse & Country Chase at Thurles on Thursday in fine style. Off the track since February the 8/11 favourite showed no signs of rustiness as he recorded a 24-length success over Val De Ferbet and instigated a double on the card for the champion trainer and jockey Paul Townend. The second leg of that brace was completed by Ainsi Va La Vie, who also justified favouritism, as she landed the Sportsmens Mares Maiden Hurdle by 13 lengths. The three-time bumper winner put her disappointing effort at Galway behind her to open her account over hurdles at the second time of asking.

Townend shared the riding honours on the day with Sean Flanagan as the Wexford rider won the Handicap Hurdle on Broder before following up with a surprise winner on Erick Larkin’s 20/1 shot Oakfield Rose in the Killinan Handicap Hurdle. 

Gordon Elliott notched up his century for the season with a double on the card as Burren Life won the INH Stallion Owners EBF Rated Novice Hurdle under Jack Kennedy to give the trainer 99 winners since the Punchestown Festival but the easy to back Gun Digger rallied late in the concluding bumper to deny the game All For Joy to bring the ton up for the Gold Cup winning trainer.

Champion Jockey Gets One Over The Boss

Champion jockey Colin Keane was among the winners again on Friday night, this time getting the better of his boss Ger Lyons when he got John Kiely’s Check Your Pockets up to deny Mojambo by a neck in the Joe Wall’s 70th Birthday Nursery Handicap. While Keane was continuing to show the type of form that won him his first championship earlier in the month, it was a landmark evening for Thomas Sherry from Dublin’s city centre as the 19-year-old partnered his first ever winner on the track in the opening five-furlong handicap.  Sherry, who is apprenticed to Michael O’Callaghan on the Curragh and is a RACE graduate, looked the part when steering O’Callaghan’s 3/1 shot Aggression to victory. 

Aidan O’Brien and sons Donnacha and Joseph were all among the winners at Dundalk on Friday with Aidan and Donnacha combining with Clear Skies to complete a hat-trick in the Crowne Plaza Jockey & Trainer Awards Handicap, while Sean Corby rode another winner for his new boss, Joseph, as Unpretentious got up by a neck to deny Lady Nathaniel in the Dundalk Business Club 2018 Fillies Maiden. Trainer Eddie Lynam made the relatively short journey to the all-weather a fruitful one as Clare Island won the finale in good style under Robbie Downey. 

Min Is Magnificent On Seasonal Debut

Min put in an almost flawless performance to win the Ladbrokes Bet 10 Get 40 On The Grid Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday. The exciting six-year-old made most of the running under Paul Townend and shrugged off his two rivals to record a 36-length success on what was his first outing since last Christmas. Sent off a 1/9 shot to maintain his unbeaten record over fences, Min’s only defeat for Mullins came in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham and he’ll now be considered for the Grade 1 John Durkan at Punchestown although Christmas would look a more likely target for the son of Walk In The Park. 

Former champion jockey Townend continues to make the most of his opportunities in the absence of Ruby Walsh and he recorded a treble for Mullins at the trainers local track. Carter Mckay was a 15-length winner on his hurdling debut before Sharjah justified favouritism to win the novice hurdle on the card.  There was a big upset in the beginners chase at 28/1 shot Dounikos provided Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown with a 1-2 in the race with Keith Donoghue aboard the long-priced winner and the father and son partnership of Philip and Luke Dempsey continued their fine season with the tough Persian Wind lasting out to win the concluding two-mile handicap chase. 

Elliott Wins Fourth Troytown In A Row

Gordon Elliott’s Mala Beach won the feature €100,000 Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at Navan on Sunday as the trainer made it four-in-a-row in the prestigious race. The classy Mala Beach, owned by Chris Jones and ridden to victory by Davy Russell followed Elliott’s other winners Balbriggan, Riverside City and Empire Of Dirt onto the roll of honour as he held off the best efforts of Dont Tell No One who finished well to take second from Noel Meade’s Bonny Kate with Elliott also saddling the fourth placed Poormans Hill in a race where short priced favourite Acapella Bourgeois fell at the seventh fence. Elliott sent out two winners on the day and his first was the extremely highly rated Samcro who had no problems in keeping his unbeaten record intact. The fine five-year-old cruised into the straight and son asserted over the last couple of flights to record a 12-length success in the Grade 3 Monksfield Novices’ Hurdle which Elliott won last year with Death Duty. Trainer Robbie McNamara won the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Mares Auction Maiden Hurdle with Ratoute Yutty making a successful start to her career over jumps. After some creditable placed efforts, the four-year-old proved too good for her rivals and was 13-lengths ahead of 50/1 shot Miz Dilleen going by the judge. 

Al Boum Photo won the beginners chase on the card for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend and the valuable Proudstown Handicap Hurdle went the way of 28/1 shot Red Devil Lads for the cousins Emmet and David Mullins. There was a very taken performance in the concluding bumper as Crackerdancer toughed out the listed Coolmore NH Sires Mares Race to win for a third time for trainer Ray Hackett.  

Racing News

Sizing John Set For Punchestown

Gold Cup hero Sizing John is set to make his seasonal debut at Punchestown on December 10 after missing his intended target at Haydock last Saturday. The Leopardstown, Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cup winner was due to start off in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday but testing ground conditions forced a rethink from trainer Jessica Harrington and the eight-year-old will now be targeted at Punchestown’s 2m4f Grade 1 John Durkan Chase. Two-time winner Djakadam is most likely to represent champion trainer Willie Mullins in that contest on what is a busy weekend of racing as Mullins also eyes up the Tingle Creek at Sandown and the Hilly Way Chase at Cork. Un De Sceaux would look a more likely candidate for the Tingle Creek with Douvan on course to start his season with a defence of the Hilly Way Chase he won last year. 

New Admission Ticket Policy for Racehorse Owners

The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) has announced the introduction of a standard policy of additional tickets for racehorse owners at Irish racecourses, commencing on December 1 at Limerick and Dundalk. Along with their current allocation of AIR access cards, sole owners, partnerships, clubs and companies can request up to an additional four admission tickets. A syndicate can request admission for any registered member of the syndicate who does not have an AIR card, thereby ensuring all members receive admission when they have a runner. Further details can be obtained from Aidan McGarry, Owner Relations Manager, HRI.  

Dates Release for 2018 Irish Stallion Trail

The fourth running of the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) Irish Stallion Trail will take place on Friday January 12 and Saturday January 13 2018.  Twenty-two stallion farms will open their doors to the public, with some of the top stallions in the world on show over the two days. Following a record attendance of almost 3,000 attendees in 2017, early registration is advisable.  A full list of participating stud farms and registration is available at

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