HRI Review

Racing Review

Back To Back Winners For Brothers O’Brien

Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien shared two winners as their tremendous run of form continued at Ballinrobe on Monday. The brothers were on the mark with two 7/2 winners, with Thomas O’Malley readily landing the 10f maiden 30 minutes before Detailed won the first of the handicaps over the same distance. Chris Hayes is on a good run of his own and he too enjoyed a brace of narrow winners. He teamed up with Kevin Prendergast to land the opening claiming race by a nose with 6/1 chance All For Nothing and won the 13f maiden on the Ado McGuinness-trained 11/2 chance All’s Quiet, the margin of victory being a short-head. Pat Smullen had an easy time of it on the Harry Rogers-trained Remarkable Lady winning the second 10f handicap, the four-year-old putting a below par display at Down Royal last time firmly behind her with a four-and-a-half length success over the veteran Vastonea. The 10-year-old USA gave young Dubliner Danny Redmond his second winner of the season when landing the apprentice handicap for Kilcolgan trainer Stephen Mahon at odds of 4/1. Johnny Murtagh and Connor King took the 13f handicap with 9/2 chance Full Court Press which won the race for the second year running.   

Ballinrobe Double For JJ Slevin

JJ Slevin recorded his third double since turning professional in August of last year when riding two winners at Ballinrobe on Tuesday. The Wexford jockey teamed up with Joseph O'Brien to land the opening four-year-old maiden hurdle with 7/4 favourite Spin A Yarn and followed up an hour later when Hello Sweetie, trained by Pat Collins in Bessbrook, County Down easily landed the handicap hurdle at odds of 5/2 favourite. Tom Mullins and his son David combined to win the maiden hurdle with 6/4 favourite Top Othe Ra which held off the Davy Russell-ridden Licklighter by just a head. Russell enjoyed better luck later in the evening when he landed the rated novice hurdle on the Gordon Elliott-trained 5/2 chance Westland Row. Karl Thornton and amateur rider Johnny Barry won the first of the 2m6f handicap hurdles with 8/1 shot Manuka and there was a bigger surprise in the following race over the same distance when 20/1 chance Beneficial Society comfortably held off 4/7 favourite Darkest Flyer to win for Lorna Fowler and Mark Bolger. It was Ms Fowler’s first success since Good Egg won at Navan in December 2013, another ridden by Bolger. Racing closed with another Mullins father and son success as 4/7 favourite Brahma Bull landed the bumper for Willie and Patrick.

Naas Listed Success For Joe Murphy And Gary Carroll

Only Mine, the well-supported 9/4 favourite, ran out the convincing winner of the Listed Yeomanstown Stud Dark Angel EBF Stakes at Naas on Wednesday evening. Trained in Fethard, County Tipperary by Joe Murphy and ridden by Gary Carroll, Only Mine is a Group 3 winner and was recording her third listed race success. Another County Tipperary trainer, Andy Slattery, was on the mark when the Declan McDonogh-ridden Emadee got up on the line to land the 5f maiden at odds of 12/1. Over six furlongs, the Darren Bunyan-trained 14/1 shot Flower Of May took the maiden in the hands of Leigh Roche while the handicap went to 12/1 chance Mo Henry which was ridden by Danny Sheehy for another Curragh trainer, Adrian Keatley. The session ended with two more winning favourites. Pincheck took the 8f handicap for Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue at odds of 2/1 while 4/5 chance Psychedelic Funk impressed when accounting for the long absent Panama Hat in the conditions’ event over the same distance. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combined for the final winner of the night.

Aidan O'Brien Takes Leopardstown By Storm

Aidan O'Brien saddled no less than four winners, ridden by three different jockeys, at Leopardstown on Thursday evening. Wayne Lordan partnered the first of the quartet as newcomer Delano Roosevelt, a 14/1 shot, got up in the dying strides to deny his stablemate Coat Of Arms, the 4/5 favourite ridden by Ryan Moore, in the 8f maiden. Moore then rode back-to-back Group 3 winners for O’Brien, taking the Silver Flash Stakes on 8/11 favourite Happily and the Tyros Stakes on 4/11 favourite The Pentagon. The champion trainer completed his four-timer when Belgravia, ridden by his son Donnacha, landed the conditions’ race over 12f on 9/4 chance Belgravia. The opening claiming race was won by 12/1 shot Island Affair which was ridden for Ado McGuinness by Rory Cleary and at the same price, Paul Deegan’s Magwadiri won the 8f handicap to complete a double for Wayne Lordan. Anthony McCann and Kevin Manning combined to land the 15f handicap with 7/1 chance Temasek Star.

The West’s Awake Follows Up for Edward O'Grady and Paul Townend

The West’s Awake landed his second success over fences at Limerick in the space of just five days when easily taking the novice chase on Thursday evening. A 5/2 winner on the previous Saturday, the six-year-old was a 2/5 favourite this time and raced clear from the second last fence to win by nine lengths from Fire In Soul. Another successful odds-on favourite was 4/11 chance Miss Sapphire which won the mares’ novice hurdle for Willie Mullins and his nephew Danny by all of 16 lengths, the same winning margin enjoyed by Sharlanda in the beginners’ chase at odds of 2/1 for Colin Bowe and Sean Flanagan. Snugsborough Benny was a winning 5/4 favourite in the amateur riders’ handicap hurdle, staying on well in the straight to win for Liam Cusack and Richie Deegan. Stage Summit was another well-fancied winner when taking the bumper at odds of 3/1 for Cappoquin, County Waterford trainer Roger McGrath and Declan Queally. A more difficult winner to find came at the start of the card when 14/1 Absolute Grit, trained by Harry Kelly and ridden by Eamon Corbett, caused a mild surprise in the 2m4f maiden hurdle.

The Tartan Spartan Returns Home For Biggest Win

Although trained in County Kilkenny by Pat Shanahan, The Tartan Spartan was having his first start in Ireland when landing the Listed Her Majesty’s Plate at Down Royal on Friday night. Each of his previous eight starts had been across the water but he returned home for his biggest success to date when comfortably accounting for 13/8 favourite Twilight Payment at odds of 10/1 under Ronan Whelan. Wayne Lordan added to his two winners at Leopardstown on Thursday evening when partnering the Tom Cooper-trained 16/1 chance Lisard Lady to success in the 7f auction maiden. Over the same distance, the Ado McGuinness-trained 16/1 chance Guanabara Bay led in the final stride to win the handicap under Declan McDonogh to give the Lusk, County Dublin trainer his second success of the week. Johnny Murtagh and Niall McCullagh combined to win the 5f conditions’ race with 4/1 shot Sankari Royale while the handicap over the identical trip went to 6/1 chance Mr Michael for Athlone trainer Adrian Joyce and Shane Foley. The apprentice handicap was won by the Johnny Feane-trained Set To Fire which was a last gasp winner at odds of 5/1 under Maynooth’s Sean Davis. Boom Or Bush won the concluding handicap for Harry Rogers and Pat Smullen, the 7/2 chance coming home a clear winner from All Of Me to give Rogers his second winner in four days.  

Townend Keeps Up The Good Work At Wexford

Paul Townend made it two winners in as many days when landing the 2m4f handicap hurdle on the Martin Brassil-trained I Will Follow at Wexford on Friday evening. The former champion jockey brought the heavily supported 11/8 favourite an easy winner, building on a promising performance at Roscommon. The mother and son team of Mags and Danny Mullins landed the opening maiden hurdle with 6/1 chance Get Smart while 4/1 favourite Milestone Prince won the 3m handicap hurdle for Bagnelstown-trainer Michael McCullagh and the in-form Paddy Kennedy. Market’s Field ran out the 14/1 winner of the beginners’ chase for Enda Bolger and Donie McInerney. Also over fences, JJ Slevin partnered the Liam Lennon-trained I’m An Izz Wizz to a cosy success in the 2m4f handicap while Rachael Blackmore did the steering as 8/1 chance Prosperity Square won the 3m1f handicap for trainer Conor O’Dwyer. There was another Wexford connection to the final winner of the meeting as Jamie Codd won the bumper on the Gordon Elliott-trained 6/5 favourite Osco Mosco.

O’Brien Domination Continues At The Curragh

Fresh from his four-timer at Leopardstown on Thursday night, Aidan O'Brien was once again the dominant force at the Curragh on Saturday afternoon where he shared an opening race treble with his son Donnacha. The pair landed the 8f maiden with 7/4 joint-favourite Ballet Shoes and followed up when 4/5 favourite Fleet Review took the 6f maiden. The fillies’ maiden over 7f also went their way when 11/4 favourite Pavlenko won in great style. Joseph O'Brien also got in on the winning act as 2/1 favourite Apparition won the Amateur Riders Derby in the hands of Derek O’Connor meaning that the crack County Galway pilot has now ridden a winner at every racecourse in Ireland. Joe Murphy and Gary Carroll added to their listed win with Only Mine at Naas on Wednesday evening when the promising Silverkode completed a hat-trick of wins in the 7f handicap. Ice Cold In Alex led in the final strides to win the 5f handicap for Ken Condon and Niall McCullagh while Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning were on the mark with 5/2 chance Ringside Support in the concluding 10f maiden.

Racing News

Bryan Cooper No Longer First Jockey For Michael O’Leary

Bryan Cooper will not be riding as first jockey to Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud after the champion owners revealed on Friday that the team will operate without a retained rider for the remainder of the season. A statement announced that Gigginstown would now use the best available rider on a race-by-race basis, and that Cooper will still be part of the team. Gigginstown and Cooper enjoyed tremendous success together and combined for the ultimate glory with the Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack in the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Cooper rode seven Grade 1 winners in the Gigginstown House Stud colours last season, including three top-flight wins on Apple’s Jade.  

Group 2 Success For Condon’s Star At York

On the mark with Ice Cold In Alex at the Curragh, Ken Condon landed a bigger prize when his stable star Success Days captured the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes at York on Saturday. Ridden by Shane Foley, the 3/1 favourite battled well to give Condon the biggest victory in his 15 year training career. Success Days will now be aimed at Longines Irish Champions Weekend when the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes or the Boomerang Stakes will be his target. Roly Poly, a Group 1 winner for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore at Newmarket two weeks ago, added the Group 1 Prix Rothschild to her cv at Deauville on Sunday.

Jogging Johnny Murtagh Gunning To Run A Personal Best

Multiple Group 1 winning jockey-turned-racehorse trainer, Johnny Murtagh together with his family and staff at Fox Covert Stables on the Curragh are all set to take part in Jog for Jockeys 5km and 10km races on Sunday August 27. This year, the race will take place at Naas Racecourse and all monies raised will be donated to the Irish Injured Jockeys. These one of a kind 5km and 10km routes allows participants to walk, jog or run on the unique setting of Naas’ racetrack. Normally, only top racehorses and jockeys have access to the Grade 1 track and it’s challenging uphill finish. Johnny Murtagh said: “The Jog for Jockeys is a very special race, allowing runners and racing fans access to Naas Racecourse to run with lots of jockeys and trainers. My family and I take part in it every year and we have great fun. By their nature, jockeys and trainers are very competitive, so serious bragging rights are at stake for this year’s races. I ran a lot as a jockey for fitness and weight management and I’m back in full-time training to achieve a PB in the 5km race.” Online advance entry costs €20. All runners who pre-register online will receive a race t-shirt and will be provided with timing chips to record accurate race times. Entry on the day will be €25, while a team of five is €100, with the three best times to count. Children can take part free of charge but there is a €10 fee for any child who would like a T-shirt and a timing chip.

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