HRI Review

Racing Review

Jer’s Girl Registers Her First Flat Success

Twice successful in Grade 1 races over hurdles, Jer’s Girl is now a winner on the Flat after her clear-cut victory in the 12f maiden at Roscommon on Monday. Sent off the 5/2 favourite, the five-year-old led approaching the straight and made the best of her way home to score from 6/4 favourite Solo Saxophone for trainer Gavin Cromwell and Seamus Heffernan. Young apprentices took the remaining three Flat races on the card with Denis Linehan notching up another winner for his boss Johnny Murtagh as 3/1 shot Guessthebill won the median auction race. Gavin Ryan rode his second winner as Keep Believing, an 11/2 chance, took the 7f handicap for Killeshin, County Carlow trainer Brian Nolan while Dylan Hogan and Johnny Feane won the apprentice handicap with 6/1 chance Lost History. The Grade 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Kilbegnet Novice Chase saw owner JP McManus record a 1-2 as the Joseph O’Brien-trained 2/1 favourite Landofhopeandglory got the better of Rock On Fruity under Mark Walsh. In the same colours, Teacher’s Pet took the 2m5f handicap chase at odds of 5/1 for the father and son team of Philip and Luke Dempsey. Gordon Elliott took the last two races on the card as the Jack Kennedy-ridden 9/4 chance Burren Life won the 2m4f maiden hurdle and Nina Carberry continued her remarkable comeback when taking the bumper on 4/11 favourite Flawless Escape. 

Double For Aidan O’Brien At Tipperary On Tuesday 

Aidan O’Brien duly captured two races at Tipperary on Tuesday but not with the horses many might have expected. While evens favourite Longing made no mistake in the fillies’ maiden, Zabriskie was only the third market choice of the Ballydoyle trio in the colts’ maiden and yet he readily saw off both Spanish Point and Saracen Knight as the stable recorded a 1-2-3. There was a dead-heat for first place in the opening 5f maiden with Court Queen, trained by Fozzy Stack and ridden by Pat Smullen, and Hushing, which was ridden for Willie McCreery by Billy Lee, sharing the spoils at odds of 8/1 and 7/4 favourite respectively. Tom Cleary and his son Rory won the handicap over the same distance with 12/1 shot Landline while Patrick Prendergast and Ronan Whelan combined to win the 7f nursery handicap with 5/1 shot Triple Sec. Feeling Easy, a 7/1 chance, took the 7f handicap for Cootehill, County Cavan trainer Anthony Mulholland and Niall McCullagh while Dick Donoghue, who trains in Gowran, County Kilkenny won the 9f handicap with 11/2 chance Harvey Spectre which was a second winner in two days for Denis Linehan. 

Elliott And Dempsey Take Two At Sligo

Gordon Elliott will have been happy to land two winners at Sligo on Wednesday but deep down he might have expected more from the final meeting of the year at the north-western venue. Davy Russell partnered 11/10 favourite Penny Jane to win the mares’ beginners’ chase while Jack Kennedy was in the saddle as 2/9 favourite Poormans Hill added to his runaway Downpatrick success with a 13-length victory in the novice handicap chase. One result that went against Elliott and Russell was the defeat of 8/15 favourite Bilko in the conditions’ chase. He lost out to the Dermot McLoughlin-trained 9/4 shot Some Drama which was ridden by Danny Hand. Pumbaa bounced back to form when taking the handicap chase for Andy Slattery and amateur rider Roger Quinlan at odds of 9/1 while 11/2 chance Routes Choice won the 3m handicap chase for in-form Philip Dempsey and Barry Browne. Dempsey had earlier won the 2m5f beginners’ chase with 11/10 favourite Coeur Joyeux while evens favourite Logical Song was successful in the 2m1f beginners’ chase for the mother and son team of Mags and Danny Mullins. 

Sizing Impresses At Clonmel On Thursday

To the delight of favourite backers, Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power teamed up to win the feature race of the day at Clonmel on Thursday. The pair scored with 2/1 chance A Sizing Network which made all the running to comfortably see off his main market rival Sir Abbot. Ruby Walsh was seen at his very best as he got 9/4 favourite Small World home narrowly to win the 3m handicap hurdle for Monasterevin trainer Peter Fahey. Bryan Cooper rode his first winner for Gigginstown House Stud since losing his position as first jockey to the leading owners in the days leading up to the Galway festival when Arvico Bleu, trained by Henry De Bromhead, won the maiden hurdle at odds of 4/9 favourite. The opening 2m1f maiden hurdle went to 7/1 chance Doldido which was ridden for Michael Winters by Brian Hayes. At odds of 10/1, Prince Garyantle took the novice handicap hurdle for Kilmessan, County Meath trainer Matthew Smith and Andrew Lynch and at the same price, Billy De Kid took the handicap chase for Tom Cooper and conditional rider Kevin Brouder. Willie Mullins and his son Patrick won the bumper with 6/1 chance Itsonlyrocknroll. 

Patrick Mullins Reaches Another Milestone Winner

Willie Mullins dominated at Gowran Park on Friday afternoon where he fired in three winners, but it was his son Patrick who stole the headlines as he rode his 500th career winner. The 28-year-old rider is just 45 winners short of Ted Walsh’s record of 545 winners after his success on 5/4 favourite Ainsi Va La Vie in the bumper. Mystic Theatre’s success in the Listed Pat Walsh Memorial Irish EBF Mares Hurdle was the highlight of Willie Mullins’ treble. Ridden by Ruby Walsh, the 2/5 favourite made most of the running to win as she liked and now heads to Down Royal for the Grade 3 mares’ hurdle early next month. Mullins and Walsh won the earlier four-year-old maiden hurdle with French import Sharjah which was sent off the evens favourite. Joseph O'Brien and JJ Selvin were on the mark with 15/8 favourite West Coast Time in the maiden hurdle and another claimer to visit the winner’ enclosure was Barry John Foley who partnered 6/1 chance Fairymount Boy to success in the 2m handicap hurdle for trainer Michael P Hourigan. Denis Cullen and Roger Loughran won the 2m4f handicap hurdle with 20/1 chance Dysios while Ballymadun, backed from 14/1 to 9/1 at the track, won the second 2m4f handicap hurdle for Dermot McLoughlin and Conor Maxwell. 

Keane Draws Clear In Championship Race

Colin Keane put daylight between himself and Pat Smullen in the race to be crowned champion jockey with a fine treble at Dundalk on Friday night. He shared two winners with Ger Lyons, the pair taking the opening division of the fillies’ maiden with 5/2 favourite My Mystique and the 6f conditions’ race with 9/4 chance Reckless Endeavour. Keane moved on to the 76-winner mark, three clear of Smullen, when he won the 12f handicap on 13/2 chance Ben Rumson which is trained in Stamullen, County Meath by Tom McCourt. Michael Halford and Ross Coakley took the apprentice handicap with 12/1 chance Yamato and at a price of 20/1, My Direction took another 12f handicap for Ellmarie Holden and Oisin Orr. Aidan O'Brien won two races, taking the second leg of the fillies’ maiden with the Seamie Heffernan-ridden 3/1 chance I Can Fly and 7/2 shot War Decree which ran out the impressive winner of the Group 3 Koffy Diamond Stakes in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien. Noel Meade and Shane Foley won the 7f auction maiden with Cocohulababy which was returned the 9/4 joint-favourite. 

Elliott and Kennedy Are the Big Winners At Gowran Park

Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy captured a big early season prize when 6/1 chance A Toi Phil won the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday. The seven-year-old ran out a comfortable winner from Galway Plate hero Balko Des Flos. On a good day for owners Gigginstown House Stud, High School Days took the 2m handicap hurdle in their colours for Henry De Bromhead and Donie McInerney at odds of 7/1 while 8/1 chance Tout Est Permis landed the beginners’ chase for Mouse Morris and Mark Enright. Templemore trainer John Ryan won the valuable 3m handicap hurdle with 16/1 chance Kilcarry Bridge which was ridden by Danny Mullins. The opening three-year-old hurdle went to 9/4 chance Masterstonemason which was ridden for County Limerick trainer Flan Costello by Rachael Blackmore. Alletrix, a 10/1 shot, continued the good run of Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power when winning the auction maiden hurdle at odds of 10/1 while at half that price, Deputy’s Pass took the 3m1f handicap chase for Alan Fleming and Kevin Brouder who was riding his second winner of the week. 

Jezki Bounces Back With Stunning Grade 3 Success

Jezki, the Champion Hurdler in 2014, landed his first Graded win since his victory in the Grade 1 Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at the Punchestown festival in 2015 when taking the Grade 3 Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary on Sunday. The nine-year-old looked as good as ever when coming from a little off the pace to score at odds of 6/1 for Jessica Harrington and Mark Walsh. Rathvinden continued on his winning ways when successful for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh in the Grade 3 Like-A-Butterfly Novice Chase. The 4/5 favourite ran out an 18-length winner and was completing a double for the champions who had earlier scored with evens favourite Sayar in the Grade 3 Joe Mac Novice Hurdle. Mullins completed a treble of his own when his son Patrick partnered evens favourite Brahma Bull to win the bumper. Joseph O'Brien and Shane Shortall won the 2m handicap hurdle with 9/2 chance Persistent. On the Flat, the big winner was Colin Keane who extended his lead over Pat Smullen in the championship race to four winners when taking the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes on 6/1 chance Psychedelic Funk which is trained by Ger Lyons. Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue took the 9f maiden with 9/4 joint-favourite Whirling Dervish while On The Go Again, trained by Mick Mulvaney, stretched his winning run to four with success in Handicap under Gary Carroll. 

Racing News

O’Brien Closes In On Bobby Frankel Record

Aidan O'Brien enjoyed big winners in both Britain and France over the weekend and brought his Group 1 tally for the year to 22, just three short of Bobby Frankel’s record haul of 25. At Newmarket on Saturday, the Ryan Moore-ridden Clemmie got the ball rolling when taking the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket and her stable companion U S Navy Flag edged O’Brien closer to the record when beating his stable companion Fleet Review to win the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes in the hands of Seamie Heffernan. At Chantilly on Sunday, O’Brien added two more top flight wins to his tally with the fillies Happily, ridden by Moore, taking the Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Rhododendron beating another Ballydoyle runner, Hydrangea to land the Prix De l’Opera under Heffernan. 

Increased Entry For JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National

The Ladbrokes Munster National, to be run at Limerick Racecourse on Sunday, will again carry the name of John Thomas McNamara. For the second year, the €100,000 event will commemorate the legendary local amateur rider who partnered 602 winners on the point-to-point circuit alone but whose considerable talent reached a much wider audience with his many high-profile wins on the racecourse, particularly at the Punchestown and Cheltenham Festivals, in a long and successful career. Three previous winners feature among the 40 entries for the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National, up from 36 in 2016. Tiger Roll gave Gordon Elliott his first win in the race last year and has been allotted 11st 3lbs this time. Elliott’s narrow Guinness Kerry National winner Potters Point has been handed 11st while his team also includes the 2016 Galway Plate winner Lord Scoundrel on 11st 5lbs and A Toi Phil, a Grade 2 winner at Gowran Park on Saturday, on 11st 3lbs.

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