HRI Review

Racing Review

Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy Share Punchestown Treble

The in-form team of Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy shared three winners at Punchestown on Wednesday. The pair took the beginners’ chase with 4/1 chance Goodthynemilan and followed up with convincing wins for 11/4 favourite Sir Carno in the 2m4f handicap hurdle and Poormans Hill which was winning for the second time in four days when taking the 2m6f handicap hurdle at odds of 4/5 favourite. Charles Byrnes and Mark Enright combined to win the 2m7f handicap chase with 5/1 shot Oscar Lantern while the mares’ maiden hurdle went to 4/1 chance Moyhenna which was both trained and ridden by Denis Hogan. Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power took the mares’ handicap hurdle with 5/4 favourite Wings Like Arion which was also a winner at Gowran Park six days previously. Another winning favourite on the day was Eagle Lion which scored an impressive success for Pat Kelly and Davy Russell in the 2m4f maiden hurdle.

Local Trainers Hold Their Own At Down Royal

Three Northern Ireland trainers were among the winners at Down Royal on Wednesday. Newry-based Liam Lennon won the first 2m4f handicap chase with 8/1 chance Benarty Hill which was ridden by Adam Short while Keith Watson, who trains in Killylea, County Armagh, won the Robert McCoubrey Handicap Chase with 11/2 shot Blue Empyrean, the mount of Andrew Ring. Armagh trainer John Woods took the 2m3f handicap hurdle with the Robbie Colgan-ridden 5/1 chance Our Boy Boru. Henry De Bromhead sent Celtic Rising from Knockeen, County Waterford to win the 2m maiden hurdle in the hands of Andrew Lynch. He was returned the 7/4 favourite and was completing a double for the County Meath rider who had earlier taken the rated novice chase on the Tom Taaffe-trained 10/11 favourite Goose Man. Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy combined to win the rated novice hurdle with 2/1 shot Gun Digger which raced to a nine-length success while a winning margin of 11 lengths was enjoyed by the Mark Fahey-trained Well Set Up which won the bumper at odds of 20/1 under Richie Deegan.

Second Dundalk Double For Denis Linehan

Denis Linehan, from Glantane, County Cork, rode the second double of his career with two winners at Dundalk on Friday night. He partnered the Andy McNamara-trained 7/1 chance Mandarin Monarch to win the 12f rated race and followed up on Fergal Birrane’s 6/1 chance Glenmoore in the concluding 6f handicap. Another 5lbs claimer going well is Clones, County Monaghan jockey Conor McGovern and he partnered the Anthony Mulholland-trained 9/4 favourite Catchy Lass to win the 10f claiming race. Danny Sheehy, who also claims 5lbs, won the opening division of the 8f handicap on the Johnny Feane-trained 8/1 chance Texas Radio and the second leg of the same race was won by the Tony Mullins-trained Pari Passu which was ridden by Luke McAteer. More senior riders also got a look in with Conor Hoban teaming up with Michael Halford’s well-supported 5/1 chance Adaliya in another 8f handicap. Joseph and his brother Donnacha captured the 7f maiden with 10/11 favourite Downdraft while Conor O’Dwyer and Billy Lee took the handicap over the same distance with 3/1 favourite Jon Ess, another gambled-on winner. 

Supasundae Lights Up Super Saturday On Day One Of Dublin Racing Festival

Faugheen put his disappointing display at Leopardstown at Christmas firmly behind him but he still found one too good when losing out to the Jessica Harrington-trained Supasundae in the Grade 1 BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival on Saturday. With Robbie Power in the saddle, Supasundae jumped the final flight upsides 9/10 favourite Faugheen but stayed on best to record a two and a quarter length victory at odds of 8/1. The winner heads for the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Footpad made all the running to win the Grade 1 Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. A 4/9 favourite, he ran out a thoroughly impressive five-length winner from his main market rival Petit Mouchoir. Joseph O'Brien landed his first Grade 1 success in the jumping game when 25/1 chance Tower Bridge won the opening Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle under JJ Slevin who was riding his first Grade 1 winner. Willie Mullins and his nephew David won the Grade 2 Coral Dublin Chase with 11/8 favourite Min which comfortably accounted for the Nicky Richards-trained Simply Ned. Rachael Blackmore picked a good time to ride her first winner for Mullins and the pair combined to land the €75,000 Coral Sandyford Handicap Chase with 6/1 chance Patricks Park. Mullins made it four on the day when his son Patrick partnered Blackbow, the 11/4 favourite, to win the Grade 2 bumper. The Coral Hurdle went to Off You Go, a 6/1 chance which was ridden for Charles Byrnes by Mark Enright. 

Edwulf Is A Shock Winner On Day Two Of Dublin Racing Festival

It didn’t look good for Edwulf when he collapsed after the final fence in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last year but he was back to his very best and ran out the shock winner of the Unibet Irish Gold Cup on the second day of the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Sunday. Just 24 hours after Tower Bridge gave him his first Grade 1 success over hurdles, Joseph O'Brien was celebrating his initial Grade 1 winner over fences as top amateur rider Derek O’Connor brought the nine-year-old home a neck to the good over Outlander at odds of 33/1. It was easier to find the winners of the remaining Grade 1 races on a stellar card. Samcro was a spectacular winner of the Deloitte Novice Hurdle for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy and after his runaway success over the Willie Mullins-trained Duc Des Genievres, he is now an odds-on favourite for victory in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Mullins got the better of Elliott in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle when 3/1 chance Mr Adjudicator readily accounted for Farclas as 4/5 favourite Espoir D’allen disappointed. Monalee narrowly beat the Mullins-trained pair of Al Boum Photo and Invitation Only to win the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase at odds of 11/4 joint-favourite for Henry De Bromhead and Noel Fehily. Jessica Harrington, out of luck with Our Duke in the Gold Cup, won the opening mares’ handicap hurdle with 4/1 favourite Alletrix which was ridden by Robbie Power. Total Recall took full advantage of a favourable mark over hurdles to win the 3m handicap hurdle for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. He was returned the 5/6 favourite and his trainer enjoyed a 16/1 winner as Relegate won the Grade 2 mares’ bumper in the hands of Katie Walsh. Last Goodbye was another big Leopardstown winner for Liz Doyle and the biggest win of his career for Adam Short when taking the €100,000 2m5f handicap chase. 

Racing News

Day Two Treble Sees Mullins Land Leading Trainer Prize At Dublin Racing Festival

Trainer Willie Mullins saddled seven winners across the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival and along with jockey Paul Townend, finished the weekend as the Lep Inn-sponsored leading trainer and jockey. Mullins saddled a Grade 1 winner each day with Mr Adjudicator on Sunday adding to Footpad’s impressive opening day success. There were also two Grade 1 wins for Joseph O’Brien at the Dublin Racing Festival, and one each for Gordon Elliott, Jessica Harrington and Henry De Bromhead. Attendance on day two was 12,031, giving a combined two-day attendance for the Dublin Racing Festival of 26,136. “It’s a new concept and is very exciting and we could not have been happier with the way year one has gone,” said Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh. “So much thanks is due to the owners and trainers who supported the festival with the very best of their horses, because the quality on the track was phenomenal. The contribution of the sponsors is hugely significant because it is their support and generosity that has allowed us build this festival and the prize fund. And most importantly I would like to thank the thousands of people who turned up and enjoyed the Dublin Racing Festival this weekend. The support we have received from people in the locality, from all over Ireland, and from Britain, has been fantastic.”

Release Of 2017 Irish Thoroughbred Industry Statistics

After a year in which Irish-trained horses enjoyed unprecedented success on the track, Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has announced a positive set of 2017 industry figures. Nineteen Irish-trained winners at the 2017 Cheltenham festival set the tone for a year of international success, followed by a Melbourne Cup success for 24-year-old trainer Joseph O’Brien, and a world record 28 Group and Grade 1 winners for his father, Aidan. The industry continued to perform well, with continued growth across bloodstock sales, race sponsorship, Tote Ireland turnover and entries and runners under both codes. Irish bloodstock sales increased for the seventh consecutive year and exports for the seventh consecutive year. Tote Ireland also experienced a year of growth, with turnover up by over 7%. Commercial sponsorship continued its recovery, growing by another 3%, while European Breeders Fund (EBF) support grew by 15.8%.  Total runners in both codes was up 3.5%. Registered racing clubs made a significant jump with a 50% increase in the number of clubs active in 2017. While overall attendances were down on the previous year, figures reflect the reduced numbers at the Curragh, in particular the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and day two of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend. Attendances at the major jumps festivals in the first six months of 2017 were very strong, highlighted by Punchestown’s Spring Festival, which attracted a record attendance of 122,557. Prize-money grew by 7.6% to €61.1m with a further increase of €2.2m (3.6%) budgeted for 2018. 

Launch Of Online Horse Care And Welfare Training Course

Horse Racing Ireland’s Careers and Racing Education (CARE) department, in association with the Irish Horse Welfare Trust (IHWT) and RACE, has launched a new online Horse Care and Welfare online training course. The course has been developed following the success of the equine outreach courses which have been run by the IHWT over a number of years in various parts of Ireland including Moyross in County Limerick, Darndale and Finglas in County Dublin. The Horse Care and Welfare course is a blended learning programme and can be delivered through local equine groups, community groups, and Garda outreach programmes. It is available to be licensed to local authorities around the country and for further information about licensing opportunities please email The course syllabus consists of eight online modules covering legislation around horse ownership, horse behaviour, safe handling, feeding, stable management, and first aid. It is envisaged that the programme will act as a stepping stone for young people wishing to progress a career in the equine industry.

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