HRI Review

Racing Review

O’Brien And Moore Bounce Back At Naas

Cliffs Of Moher starred in a fine treble for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore at Naas on Bank Holiday Monday. Last year’s Epsom Derby runner-up was sent off the 13/8 favourite for the Group 2 Coolmore Camelot Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes and came from well off the pace to record a cosy win over Success Days. The pair captured the opening two juvenile races with the minimum of fuss as Fairyland made a winning start at odds of 7/2 in the fillies’ maiden and Van Beethoven, the 1/2 favourite, landed the winners’ race by three and a half lengths, the widest winning margin of the afternoon. Both are heading for Royal Ascot as is the William Jarvis-trained Mrs Gallagher which provided both the Newmarket-based trainer and Josephine Gordon with their first winner in Ireland when readily taking the Listed Polonia Stakes at odds of 7/1. Lightening Quick won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes over two furlongs further for Ger Lyons and champion jockey Colin Keane and a drop in trip is on the cards for the 9/2 winner. Imaging, a well supported 2/1 favourite, overcame some trouble in running to win the Listed Tetrarch Stakes for Dermot Weld and Declan McDonogh and a tilt at the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas could be next. Natalia Lupini and Shane Foley combined to win the 5f handicap with 4/1 joint-favourite Blairmayne while Jessica Harrington, among the winners at Down Royal on the same afternoon, captured the concluding 8f handicap with 12/1 chance Marshall Jennings which was ridden by Colm O’Donoghue.

Long Drive Rewarded As Peace News Scores For De Bromhead

Its 325 kilometres from Knockeen, County Waterford to Down Royal and the long trip for the Henry De Bromhead team was rewarded when Peace News landed the beginners’ chase under champion jockey Davy Russell. The 11/8 favourite was in front after the third last fence and had enough in reserve to beat Justmemyselfandi by a neck. Another winning favourite was the Jessica Harrington-trained even-money chance Moonshine Bay which ran out a cosy winner of the 3m conditions’ hurdle under Robbie Power at the line but the five-year-old certainly made it difficult for himself and victory certainly didn’t look to be on the cards as he received reminders early on. Racing began with success in the opening maiden hurdle for 5/4 favourite Canardier for trainer Dermot McLoughlin and Andrew Lynch who went on to record a double when landing the 2m handicap hurdle on Gavin Cromwell’s 7/1 chance Ejayteekay. The handicap chase over the same distance went to 6/1 shot Drumconnor Lad which was ridden for Adrian Keatley by Roger Loughran. Jim Dreaper and Lisa O’Neill won the hunters’ chase for the second year running when 4/1 chance Sizing Rome scored at odds of 4/1. Noel Meade and local amateur rider Mark O’Hare landed their second winner in as many days together when newcomer Jerandme took the bumper at odds of 9/2. 

Newcomer Upsets Previous Winners At Roscommon

The Jessica Harrington-trained Boho struck at the first time of asking at the expense of previous winners Future Proof and Burgundy Boy to land the median auction race at Roscommon on Tuesday evening. Set off a 10/1 chance, he outpointed the more experienced pair to win under Colm O’Donoghue. At the same price, the Adrian McAllister-trained Well Why Not won the 10f handicap under Chris Hayes but an easier winner for punters to find was 7/4 favourite Like An Open Book which won the fillies’ maiden for Holycross trainer John Burke and Wayne Lordan. The winner carried the colours of the trainer’s sister Elaine. Bianca Minola won the 12f handicap for Ballingarry trainer Richard O’Brien and Billy Lee to add to her success at Cork on the previous Saturday. Noel Meade and Mark O’Hare have struck up quite a partnership since Nina Carberry retired and the pair landed their third win in as many days when 3/1 chance Momus ran away with the bumper. The father and son team of Philip and Luke Dempsey captured the handicap chase with 7/1 shot Dinnie’s Vinnie while Willie Mullins and his nephew David won the mares’ beginners chase with 11/8 favourite Screaming Rose which edged out The Kings Baby by a head and then survived a lengthy stewards’ enquiry.

McCreery’s Improver In Full Bloom At Gowran Park

The Willie McCreery-trained Bloomfield made it three wins from five starts when readily accounting for old foe Glamorous Approach in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Vintage Tipple Stakes at Gowran Park on Wednesday evening. Ridden by Billy Lee, the 6/4 favourite headed her front-running rival with a little more than a furlong to race and pulled two lengths clear. The Group 3 Munster Oaks at Cork is next up for the successful four-year-old. Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning were out of luck with Glamorous Approach but scored with both 14/1 chance Dream Of Words in the 7f handicap and 13/8 favourite Aiseolas in the fillies’ maiden. Another successful market leader was 7/4 shot Camile which won the concluding handicap over 8f for brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien. Her win completed a double for the young Piltown trainer who had earlier taken the median auction maiden with 14/1 chance Irish Minister which was giving Shane Crosse, from Cahir, County Tipperary, his fourth career winner. County Kildare trainer Cormac Farrell and Rory Cleary teamed up to win the opening 7f maiden with 7/1 chance Sagittarius Rising while Johnny Murtagh and Maynooth apprentice Sean Davis took the fillies’ handicap over 8f with 9/2 chance Beach Wedding.

Mahon Rides First Track Winner And Then Doubles Up

Gort amateur Eoin Mahon rode his first winner on the racecourse at Tipperary on Thursday evening and then made it two in the space of an hour. With four point-to-point winners to his name, the 22-year-old was celebrating a breakthrough success when the Aengus King-trained 33/1 chance Capture The Drama won the handicap chase and better was to come as he also landed the novice hunters’ chase on Mabeywhoknowsmabey which scored for Noel Glynn at odds at 50/1. There were two bumpers on the card and Robert Tyner and Derek O’Connor won the first of them with 4/1 chance Carrigmoorna Wood while the finale saw Noel Meade’s 5/2 chance Famous Saying win under Mark O’Hare. Willie Mullins and his nephew David got favourite backers off to the best possible start when taking the maiden hurdle with 10/11 chance Prince D’Aubrelle while Lord Erskine, ridden by Rachael Blackmore, added to his Sligo success of five days previously when winning the handicap hurdle, at odds of 11/10 favourite, for Harry Rogers. A more difficult winner to find was Amaulino which won the beginners’ chase for Colin Bowe and Ricky Doyle at odds of 14/1.

Richard O’Brien Strikes With Curragh Double

Ballingarry-based Richard O’Brien was the big winner as the Curragh reopened for the season on Friday afternoon. He landed both handicaps on the card with 11/2 favourite Alans Pride taking the apprentice race over seven furlongs under Gary Halpin while Billy Lee was in the saddle as 6/1 shot Maths Prize won over a mile. Local trainer Michael O'Callaghan took the 5f maiden with 7/2 chance Recon Mission which was ridden by Leigh Roche while Dandys Ocean won the fillies’ maiden at odds of 5/1 for Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue. The County Cork jockey followed up with success on the Michael Halford-trained 20/1 chance Arcanears which won the maiden over 6f. At the same price, Andy Slattery’s Decisive Action won the auction maiden with his nephew Ben Coen doing the steering. Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes have plenty to look forward to with Hand On Heart which won the winners’ race over 8f at odds of 4/1 while brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien took the fillies’ maiden over the same distance with 3/1 favourite Wisdom Mind.

Mullins Name To The Fore At Kilbeggan On Friday

Willie Mullins, his son Patrick and his nephews David and Emmet were all among the winners at Kilbeggan on Friday night. Willie and David recorded trebles, the young jockey riding two winners for his uncle and one for his Bagenalstown-based cousin who sent out the well-backed 7/4 favourite Tornado Watch to win the 2m handicap hurdle. Willie and David teamed up to win with Redhotfillypeppers, another 7/4 favourite, in the novice hurdle and followed up straight away with 4/1 joint-favourite Steel Wave which scored a cosy success in the beginners’ chase. The champion trainer’s treble was rounded off when easy-to-back 2/1 chance Sancta Simona landed the bumper in great style with Patrick doing the steering. Owner JP McManus, Henry De Bromhead and Mark Walsh landed an opening race double with 9/10 favourite Plouios taking the 2m3f maiden hurdle while 9/2 shot Minella Times won the 2m maiden hurdle. Noel Meade continued his fine run when the Sean Flanagan-ridden Net D’Ecosse won the handicap chase in runaway fashion at odds of 7/1. 

Oaks Beckons For All-The-Way Curragh Winner

The Oaks at Epsom next month is next on the agenda for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Bye Bye Baby which made every yard of the running to win the Group 3 Plusvital Irish EBF Blue Wind Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday. With Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, the 11/4 chance was well in control with a furlong to race and beat evens favourite Jaega by two lengths. O’Brien and his son Donnacha took the 6f maiden with 11/10 favourite Land Force which will now be aimed at the Marble Hill Stakes. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane were also in double form with 7/1 chance Ardhoomey getting up close home to win the Listed Sole Power Sprint Stakes while Inscribe, the 3/1 favourite, won the 10f handicap. Johnny Murtagh and Shane Foley took the 6f handicap with 8/1 chance Urban Beat while another Curragh trainer on the mark was Patrick Prendergast who scored with the Cian Macredmond-ridden 10/1 chance Brave Display in the 5f handicap. Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes won the 10f maiden with 7/1 chance Carlo Biraghi which will now be stepping up to Group level.

Weld On The Derby Trail With Exciting Hazapour

Hazapour, a nephew of Epsom hero Harzand, will himself bid for Derby success after a taking victory in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday. A 16/1 chance, he struck the front early inside the final furlong and kept on well under Declan McDonogh to score from Delano Roosevelt. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combined to win the Group 3 1,000 Guineas Trial with 3/1 joint-favourite Who’s Steph which scored by a length on her first start in the famous George Strawbridge colours. Lyons and Keane had made a winning start to the day when 8/1 shot Bucky Larson landed the 8f maiden. Fozzy Stack made it three winners in as many days when the well backed 5/2 favourite Zihba maintained her unbeaten record in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes under high-flying Chris Hayes who was riding his 17th winner of the season. Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning won the 7f handicap with 13/2 chance Zorion while Jarlath Fahey and Ronan Whelan took the 12f handicap with 6/1 chance Sea The Lion. There was an odds-on winner of the concluding 12f maiden as Southern France won in convincing fashion for Aidan and Donnacha O’Brien at odds of 8/15.

Doubles For Jockeys As Willie Mullins Takes Three

Jockeys Robbie Power, Donie McInerney and Danny Mullins rode two winners but were out done by champion trainer Willie Mullins who had a treble on the opening day of the May Meeting at Killarney on Sunday. Robbie Power teamed up with trainers Tony Martin and Jessica Harrington for his winners. Magnium did not go unsupported as he readily held off 5/6 favourite Edelpour to win the 2m1f maiden hurdle for the County Meath trainer and the same could be said of Neverushacon which won the featured Redweld Stables Handicap Hurdle at odds of 4/1 favourite for Harrington an hour later. On a bad day for bookmakers, Willie Mullins saddled three winners, the first being the Danny Mullins-ridden Stormy Ireland which led home a 1-2-3 for the stable in the Listed Killarney Oils Mares Hurdle. Danny added to his success on the 9/4 chance when Up For Review took the novice chase at odds of 1/2 favourite. His uncle’s treble was completed when 5/6 favourite Yukon Lil won the bumper with Patrick Mullins in the saddle. Donie McInerney teamed up with Charles Byrnes to win the 2m1f maiden hurdle with 13/8 favourite which got up in the final stride to deny Gold Seal. The youngster’s brace was completed when Winter Breeze, trained by Michael Winters, won the handicap chase at odds of 8/1. At the same price, Le Martalin kept up Noel Meade’s great work when taking the beginners’ chase under Sean Flanagan.

Racing News

Colm O’Rourke To Present Irish Godolphin Stud And Stable Staff Awards 

Former All-Ireland footballer for Meath and RTÉ GAA analyst, Colm O’Rourke will present the trophies at the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, which take place in Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, County Meath on Monday, May 21st. Colm will join MC Richard Forristal, Editor of the Racing Post in Ireland, in front of an audience made up of the finalists in each of the 10 categories, their families, work colleagues and representatives of all sectors of the Irish racing and breeding industry. Colm O’Rourke is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of GAA football, his league and championship career with the Meath senior team spanning twenty years from 1975 to 1995. Principal of St Pat’s in Navan, Colm has worked with RTÉ as a studio analyst on the Sunday Game for over twenty-five years and also writes a weekly column for the Sunday Independent. Colm O’Rourke said: “I know the vital importance the back-room team play in all areas of sport, none more so than in racing and breeding. Irish stud and stable staff are the centre-field and the engine that drive the entire industry. Their hard work, dedication in all weather and unique horsemanship skills has significantly contributed to Irish racing and breeding’s global reputation around the world. I’m really looking forward to meeting all the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards finalists in Knightsbrook on Monday 21st May.”

Saxon Warrior Fancied For Further Success

Saxon Warrior has bookmakers on the run and is just 5/2 to complete the Triple Crown in 2018 following his 2,000 Guineas success. Donnacha O'Brien thinks anything is achievable from the horse he has hailed “the best he has ridden on the track”. O'Brien, who does not turn 20 until July, described his breakthrough Classic success as the most special day in his short career to date and admitted the speed Saxon Warrior showed at Newmarket was a pleasant surprise. “I was half expecting to have to get after him early, but he travelled so well that I could wait much longer than I thought to give him a squeeze. When I gave him a squeeze he made up five lengths in four strides. It was incredible”.  He added, “He is just a very, very good horse and, if he stays a mile and a half, he could be anything. He has so much pace. He was a bit slowly away and I had to take my time to get into a nice position, but we got a lovely tow into the race and I was always happy.”

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