HRI Review

Racing Review

Meade And Flanagan Double Up

Sean Flanagan continued his fruitful association with Noel Meade since taking over as stable jockey to the former champion trainer and the pair enjoyed yet another double at Galway on Tuesday. The Rory Story instigated the brace when somewhat upsetting the odds by beating hot odds-on favourite Poli Roi by four-lengths. That 8/1 winner was followed up later on the card by A Genie In Abottle who landed the the most valuable race on the card. A Genie In Abottle had two and a half lengths to spare over Mala Beach back in second and he set up a double for the owner, Gigginstown House Stud who also won the beginners chase on the card with Calino D’airy. Bryan Cooper was back in  the winners enclosure wearing Michael O’Leary’s colours as his 14/1 shot, trained by Henry de Bromhead, made all the running to open his account at the first time of asking over fences. It was a day of doubles at Galway as Joseph O’Brien sent out Persistent to win the 2m handicap hurdle and then The Gunner Murphy made a winning racecourse debut in the concluding bumper. 

Gowran Park Fixture Kicks Off A Good Week For Title Chasing Keane

With less than a month to go until the end of the Irish Flat season, every race carries huge significance for Ireland’s leading jockey Colin Keane and he left Gowran Park on Tuesday with two more winners to extend his lead in the jockeys championship. Keane’s boss, Ger Lyons, provided both winners for the Meath native, the first of which was Inscribe who won on his handicap debut. Many punters would have been wary of Keane’s second winner despite the fact that World War was an odds on shot. The three-year-old had been beaten on 10 previous outings and finished second on five of those, however he duly obliged in the 1m1f maiden, beating 20/1 shot Warnaq back in second. Wednesday’s Gowran Park meeting will forever be a day to remember for 18-year-old Scott McCullagh who rode his first ever winner when guiding Mark Fahey’s Invincible Queen to land the first division of the 7f handicap. McCullagh is a son of jockey Niall McCullagh. Thomond O’Mara’s Voyageofdiscovery was the narrowest winner of the day under Tom Madden as he just held on to win second division of the seven-furlong handicap by just a head to give him a second win in just three days. Laid Back Luke completed the full house on the track for Sheila Lavery in the final race as the nine-year-old won the concluding 1m6f handicap and added to his previous wins in a bumper, hurdle and chase.

Hat-Trick Up For Mullinavat As Thurles Returns

Thurles returned for the first time this season and punters who took the long odds on Henry De Bromhead’s Mullinavat weren't disappointed. The 1/3 shot gave his backers few concerns during the first division of the two-mile handicap hurdle and duly followed up two wins at Tramore to beat 33/1 shot Hughies Bay. Davy Russell was aboard Mullinavat but had earlier been denied in two close finishes. The two-time champion jockey looked all over a winner on Gordon Elliott’s hurdling newcomer Mitchouka in the three-year-old maiden hurdle but he failed to see out the race after the final hurdle and was collared on the line by Joseph O’Brien’s Apparition. Then 35 minutes later Russell came out second best in a Gigginstown House Stud 1-2 as Gordon Elliott’s Vengeful got the better of Noel Meade’s Dis Donc in the four-year-old maiden hurdle. The knowledgeable Thurles crowd saw a decent performance from Born To Size in the opening beginners chase but had to wait until the last race to see the most impressive winner of the day. Holding Pattern was returned an 8/1 winner for the mother and daughter combination of Jessica and Kate Harrington but she sprinted clear up the straight and was eased down crossing the line to record a five and a half length win over The Granson and Harrington may seek some black-type for the daughter of Teofilo.

Elliott Signs Off At Downpatrick With A Treble

Gordon Elliott was awarded the leading trainer award at the final Downpatrick meeting of the year on Friday and he signed off 2017 at the track with a treble on the day. Bumper winner Monkshood made the smooth transition to hurdling to win the 2m6f maiden in the hands of Jack Kennedy and that trainer/jockey combination went on to make it a quick double as Poormans Hill made light work of his handicap mark in the 2m6f 80-95 handicap hurdle. Keith Donoghue has formed something of a successful partnership with Elliott’s Canny Tom now as he got the consistent, but at times frustrating seven-year-old to win for the second time in the beginners chase for the Meath-based Half Two You’ll Do Racing Syndicate. There was further Meath success on the card as Des McDonogh’s Alterno won the 2m2f handicap hurdle under Grand National winning jockey Ger Fox and Noel Meade’s Joey Sasa had no trouble in winning the conditions hurdle. 

Goldrush Continues To Excite As She Makes It Two From Two

Kevin Manning admitted he was “thrilled” with Goldrush after she won the feature Carlingford Stakes at Dundalk on Friday evening. The regally bred filly is by Frankel and out of the high lass mare Alexander Goldrun and she has gone someway to repaying her €1.7m price tag by now, adding a listed success to her maiden victory. Jim Bolger’s charge is now two from two for the China Horse Club and Manning suggested that there was still more to come from the three-year-old. Colin Keane would have been fairly anxious after seeing Pat Smullen win the opening 7f maiden at Dundalk on Friday as just a week after a four-timer at the track Smullen brought Keane’s lead back to two on Michael Halford’s filly Andesh. However, Smullen had to settle for a couple of near-misses later on in the card and Keane won the last on Tom McCourt’s 5/4 favourite Ben Rumson to restore his three-winner lead in the enthralling battle between the duo. Keane was winning the second division of the 45-65 mile handicap and in the first division Leigh Roche completed a 98/1 double on Jessamine by beating Keane. Galway native Roche had earlier won on the other mile handicap on the card on Atlas for Denis Hogan. 

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 double at Cork on Saturday. Ger Lyons was once again responsible for saddling both of Keane’s winners as Celebration won the 7f handicap to deny the game Not A Bad Oul Day another quick win. There was plenty of celebrations as Lyons and Keane won the feature race with stable favourite Brendan Brackan who came back to form to give Keane a five winner advantage over the nine-time champion. Killian Leonard is also title chasing and he is playing his part in a fascinating climax to the apprentice championship. Leonard was among the winners in Mallow when Aunty Audrey came from a wide draw in 18 to go one better than her previous outing for Pat Flynn and land the spoils in the 45-65 mile handicap. The most emphatic winner of the day was in the opening race as Aidan O’Brien’s Kenya ran out an eight-length victory for Emmet McNamara. 

Seven Up Now For Keane After Naas Treble 

Colin Keane and Pat Smullen once again swapped blows in their epic championship battle but it was again Keane that came out on top with a treble at Naas on Sunday. It was Ger Lyons that once again provided all three winners and two of them were stable newcomers as Moonlight Bay landed the prestigious Birdcatcher Nursery as a well backed 9/2 shot. The winner was purchased at the Goffs Sale on Irish Champions Weekend and followed up her previous course win for Kevin Prendergast to begin a good afternoon for the in-form trainer and jockey combination. Leg two of the treble looked most unlikely all the way up the straight and into the final furlong but Elegant Pose rallied late and got her nose in front where it mattered to win the listed Clodovil Irish EBF Garnet Stakes, denying Smullen on Making Light. The winner is a half sister to Brendan Brackan who had scored for the same connections at Cork the previous day. And the treble was completed in the penultimate race on the card as another stable debutant, Mustajeer, proved a shrewd purchase by David Spratt and he too was fulfilling plenty of confidence as an 11/4 winner. Smullen’s only winner on the card was the Dermot Weld-trained Yulong Gold Fairy who won the final leg of the popular Foran Equine Irish Auction Race. The smart juvenile is likely to be aimed at Guineas trials next season by Weld. Tony Martin also saddled his first ever two-year-old debut winner as Nibiru won the opening maiden at odds of 20/1.

McManus Strikes At Cork With A Double 

Ballyoisin ran out an impressive winner of the feature 2m1f Grade B handicap chase at Cork on Sunday for Enda Bolger and JP McManus. The 6/1 chance was ridden to victory by in-form 7lbs claimer Donie Mcinerney and could well develop into a smart type over the winter months. The famous McManus colours were quickly in the winners enclosure again when Teacher’s Pet continued the fine run of form of Philip Dempsey and son Luke. Teacher’s Pet was following up her recent Roscommon win when landing the rated novice chase. Sean Flanagan was also on the mark with a double as he won the novice hurdle on the impressive Moyross before following up on Broder for John Joe Walsh on his first ride for the trainer. Punters would be ruing a missed opportunity in the last race as Navan bumper winner Sally Park was sent off at odds of 16/1 when following up in the last on Sunday. Paul Flynn’s charge held all comers to make the running and beat 25/1 shot Getoutameway by three parts of a length. The victory saw winning Barry Browne’s claim reduced from 7lbs to 5lbs.

Racing News

Focus on O’Brien’s Record Turns To Ascot 

Aidan O’Brien contested five Group 1 races over the weekend and brought his tally of top level wins one closer to Bobby Frankel’s record when U S Navy Flag led home Ballydoyle domination in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. The colt was slashed by the bookmakers for next years 2,000 Guineas as he led home an extraordinary O’Brien-trained 1-2-3-4 as Mendelssohn, Seahenge and Threeanfourpence filled the minor places. O’Brien was out of luck in the Fillies Mile at the same track on Friday and in Canada on Sunday night where Rain Goddess and Idaho never troubled the judge but he came close in Australia with Johannes Vermeer finishing rapidly to just go down by a head in the Caulfield Stakes and he is now likely to contest the Caulfield Cup on Saturday. There was a disappointing outcome to that race for Willie Mullins however as his runner, Riven Light, finished injured and has been ruled out of taking on Winx in the Cox Plate later in the month. 

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