HRI Review

Racing Review

Fahey Brothers Among Kilbeggan Winners On Monday

Monasterevin trainers Peter and Seamus Fahey were celebrating when they saddled the winners of the last two races at Kilbeggan on Monday. Peter landed the handicap chase with the Roger Loughran-ridden 5/2 chance Black Zambezi while his eldest brother Seamus saddled Scully’s Dream, a 20/1 chance, to win the bumper in the hands of John O’Neill. Mark McNiff added to his Downpatrick treble from earlier in the month when taking the second division of the 3m1f handicap hurdle with 2/1 favourite Cairnshill which was ridden by Derek Fox. The opening leg of the same race went to 15/2 chance Queeny which was ridden by Ricky Doyle for Killaloe, County Clare trainer Ronnie O’Leary. The four-year-old Landofhopeandglory made his second start over fences a winning one in the 2m4f novice chase for Joseph O'Brien and Mark Walsh. He was returned the 6/4 favourite and another successful market leader was 3/1 shot Lachares which took the 2m3f handicap hurdle for Ellmarie Holden and Davy Russell. Miss Sapphire, the 9/4 joint-favourite, got the better of her market rival Mr Showtime in the 3m1f novice hurdle while Cinema De Quartier, a 15/8 chance, easily saw off 1/1 favourite Monarch in the opening maiden hurdle.  

Madden Guides Miss Mardan To Last Gasp Success

Naas apprentice Tom Madden recorded a last gasp success when he brought 10/1 chance Miss Mardan with a telling run to land the 13f maiden at Ballinrobe on Tuesday. In the tightest finish of the night, Sean Byrne’s eight-year-old got up in the last stride to pip 5/4 favourite High Haven by a nose with Powersbomb just a short-head away in third place. It was Madden’s fifth success of the season. Killian Leonard is enjoying a good run and he notched up his sixth win of the term when landing the opening claiming maiden on Ado McGuinness’ 13/2 shot All The Mollies. Another youngster to visit the winners’ enclosure was Denis Linehan who got off the mark for the season when taking the apprentice handicap on the Michael Flannery-trained Palmones. The 12/1 chance was the local trainer’s fist winner since Lean Times won at the same track in May 2012. Gavin Cromwell and Declan McDonogh combined to win the nine furlong handicap with 10/1 chance Greenpanda and at the same price, Byron Beauty won the fillies’ handicap for Harry Rogers and Chris Hayes. The riding honours on the night went to Colm O’Donoghue who rode two winners. He took the 13f maiden on 2/1 joint-favourite Time Dee which is trained by Paul Deegan and followed up on 2/1 favourite Light That which won the handicap over the same distance for Jessica Harrington.

Three Different Jockeys Ride Winners For Aidan O'Brien At Naas

Aidan O'Brien enjoyed a treble at Naas on Wednesday and the three winners, all fillies, were each ridden by different jockeys. Seamus Heffernan was on board 5/6 favourite Butterscotch which ran out the impressive winner of the 6f maiden while Ana O’Brien did the steering as 9/10 favourite Pocketfullofdreams took the maiden over 8f at the end of the card. Key To My Heart was the middle leg of the treble and she impressed when landing the Listed Queally Group Naas Irish EBF Naas Oaks Trial in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien. Michael Halford and Shane Foley shared two winners on the night. They teamed up to win the 7f maiden with 2/1 shot Youlong Xionghu and added to that when 5/1 joint-favourite Claregate Street won the 10f handicap. The remaining two races were won by apprentice riders. Andrew Breslin, from Nurney, County Kildare won the 6f handicap on the Kieran Cotter-trained 7/1 chance while Graignamanagh, County Kilkenny-teenager Danny Sheehy took the apprentice handicap on Adrian Keatley’s 5/1 chance The Mcgregornator.

Third Career Double For County Wexford Apprentice Donagh O’Connor

Donagh O’Connor, who hails from New Ross, County Wexford, rode the third double of his career at Tipperary on Thursday evening. He shared both winners with Curragh trainer Johnny Levins and the pair struck first with 16/1 chance Zippy in the handicap over the extended 7f. They also landed the second division of the 12f handicap with the well-supported 6/1 shot El Tren and O’Connor’s career tally now stands at 39 winners. Brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien combined to win the median auction maiden with 10/1 chance Ruby Shoes. More senior riders dominated the remainder of the card. Champion jockey Pat Smullen partnered 8/13 favourite Pious Alexander to success in the 5f maiden and another well-fancied winner was Cirin Toinne which won the 9f rated race for Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger. Monasterevin trainer Peter Fahey continued his fine run of form when 11/4 chance Hamley took the fillies’ handicap under Billy Lee and Fahey’s brother Jarlath saddled 10/1 shot Lucca for Ronan Whelan to win the opening division of the 12f handicap. Pat Flynn and Chris Hayes won the 9f handicap with 12/1 shot Storm Ranger.  

Curragh Friday Double For Chris Hayes

Chris Hayes made a great start to Derby festival weekend at the Curragh with two winners on Friday. He teamed up with Fozzy Stack to land the 8f maiden with 6/1 chance Casla and followed up straight away when landing the 6f handicap on the Aidan Howard-trained 9/1 chance Enter The Red. Happily got favourite backers off to the best possible start when taking the 7f fillies’ maiden at odds of 8/11 for Aidan O’Brien and his son Donnacha. The well-supported 5/1 chance Zeftan landed the apprentice Derby for local trainer Adrian Keatley and gave Danny Sheehy his second winner of the week. Monasterevin trainer Jarlath Fahey and Ronan Whelan continued their good run when landing the valuable 12f handicap with 6/1 chance Sea The Lion. The Jim Bolger-trained Clongowes added to his big success at Down Royal on the previous Saturday when taking the 10f handicap for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning at odds of 5/2 favourite. There was a well-fancied winner of the concluding 10f maiden when Cannonball readily justified odds of 10/11 favourite for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.

O’Brien And Heffernan Combine For Thrilling Derby Success

Aidan O'Brien and Seamus Heffernan shared their third Irish Derby success together when Capri came out on top in a thriller at the Curragh on Saturday. A well-backed 6/1 shot, Capri showed loads of determination as he saw off British-raider Cracksman, Epsom hero Wings Of Eagles and the French trained Waldgeist. It was a 12th Derby success for O’Brien and a first for Heffernan since he won back-to-back runnings of the race in 2007 and 2008 with Soldier Of Fortune and Frozen Fire. O’Brien and Heffernan had earlier combined to win the 6f maiden with 13/2 chance U S Navy Flag and the champion trainer was on the mark again as Asking and his daughter Ana landed the 7f handicap at odds of 8/1. Gordon Elliott enjoyed his biggest success on the Flat when Beckford scored a cosy one length win in the Group 2 Gain Railway Stakes. Declan McDonogh partnered the 11/2 winner which will now be aimed at the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. Fethard, County Tipperary trainer Joe Murphy won the Listed sprint with 1/1 favourite Only Mine which just held off the game Gordon Lord Byron under Gary Carroll. The Listed race over 8f went to the Johnny Murtagh-trained True Valour which won at odds of 6/1 under Shane Foley. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane added to their winner at the track on Friday evening when 6/1 shot Tony The Gent came from off the pace to win the 8f handicap. At a much bigger price, Three Kingdoms won the 2m handicap for Dermot Weld. Leigh Roche did the steering on the surprise 33/1 winner.

British Raider Secures Curragh Group 1 Victory

The Roger Varian-trained Nezwaah ran out the impressive winner of the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. Ridden by Andrea Atzeni, the 13/2 chance scored a clear-cut success over Aidan O'Brien’s Rain Goddess to give the Newmarket handler a third Irish Group 1 victory. Aidan O'Brien enjoyed better luck in the Group 3 fillies’ sprint when the Ryan Moore-ridden Clemmie saw off her stable-companion Butterscotch to win at odds of 6/4 favourite. The pair had earlier taken the Group 3 10f contest with 5/2 favourite Johannes Vermeer and had begun the day with success in the 7f maiden with 11/8 favourite Gustav Klimt. Joseph O'Brien enjoyed a notable win when Rekindling saw off 11/8f Wicklow Brave to win the Group 2 race over 1m6f. Wayne Lordan partnered the 4/1 chance. Joe Murphy and Gary Carroll shared their second winner of the weekend when 6/1 chance Silverkode won the 7f handicap while Ronan Whelan was back in the winners’ enclosure as Hamely added to her win at Tipperary three days earlier in the 10f handicap. The 8/1 winner is trained by Peter Fahey.

Racing News

Longines Irish Champions Weekend Races Taking Shape 

Jean-Claude Rouget’s dual Royal Ascot winner Qemah and Aidan O'Brien’s star filly Winter feature among 30 entries for the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 9th. Rouget was responsible for the first French-trained winner on Longines Irish Champions Weekend when Almanzor landed the Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes last September, and his Qemah added to her success in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2016 when taking the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes two weeks ago. Qemah finished third to Aidan O'Brien’s Alice Springs and John Gosden’s Persuasive in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes last year and all three are entered once again. British trainers are responsible for 17 of the 33 entries for the €300,000 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, September 10th, the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend. A Group 2 race for the third time, the overseas challenge is headed by the Clive Cox-trained Profitable which chased home Lady Aurelia in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Sir Mark Prescott’s Marsha finished third in that race and she too has been entered up as has the fourth-placed Muthmir, trained by William Haggas and David Griffiths’ Take Cover which was fifth. The home challenge for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes looks stronger. The brilliant Caravaggio stretched his unbeaten run to six when he landed the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month and has been entered by Aidan O'Brien, who has seven horses in the race including last year’s runner-up Washington DC. Ardhoomey won the race for Ger Lyons last September and could well bid for a repeat success. The Fozzy Stack-trained Son Of Rest continues to live up to the promise he showed behind Churchill in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes on Longines Irish Champions Weekend last year and is another interesting entry.

Epsom Winner Wings Of Eagles Retired

Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles has been retired after finishing a close third in last Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. The son of Pour Moi suffered a fracture to his near-fore sesamoid and will not race again. His trainer Aidan O'Brien has also revealed that his seven-time Group 1 winner might not make it back to the racecourse. She hasn't run since scoring at Naas in May and O’Brien has admitted that he is in a race against time with her.  

RTE’s Dragons to ‘Experience It’ at Bellewstown

The Dragons from RTE’s hugely popular Dragons’ Den will experience racehorse ownership for the first time at Bellewstown Racecourse on Friday 7th July. The Dragons and their production team will join the ‘Experience It’ campaign, a new initiative by Horse Racing Ireland to promote racehorse ownership. ‘Experience It’ offers individuals and groups with an interest in racing the opportunity to trial racehorse ownership before making a full commitment. The campaign facilitates a group to lease a horse for a day. In the lead up to the raceday they can follow their horse’s progress, visit their trainer’s yard and have a runner on the track in their name. The newly formed Dragons’ Den syndicate are hoping that fellow dragon Chanelle McCoy, former Galway festival winning jockey and wife of the legendary 20-times British champion jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, will steer them in the right direction. Chanelle will be joined by Dragons Alison Cowzer and Eleanor McEvoy to also judge the Best Dressed Lady competition on the evening.

Galway Girl Wins Best Dressed Lady At Ballinrobe

Caroline Whelan, a newly-qualified primary school teacher and event planner from Ardrahan in County Galway was the stand-out winner at the Best Dressed Ladies Day at Ballinrobe last Tuesday. Caroline collected the top prize of €1,500 cash and each of the nine runners-up received a goody bag to the value of €130. Caroline wore a royal blue jumpsuit from Sarah Jane Boutique in Magherafelt, County Derry and her headpiece was by Galway-based milliner Caithriona King. Caroline’s embellished belt was from eBay, shoes from Pennys and she bought her bag in the Galway Hat Shop. 

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