HRI Review

Racing Review

O’Grady’s Given A Small Lift At Punchestown

Edward O’Grady’s first runner since the tragic loss of his wife, Maria, was a winning one as The West’s Awake rallied late under Andrew Lynch to win Punchestown’s BETDAQ Rated Novice Chase on Wednesday. The 16/1 chance was a very poignant winner and was given a heartfelt reception by those in attendance after finishing strongly to pick up the 11/10 favourite Woods Well. Champion trainer Willie Mullins saddled a double with Bon Papa putting in an impressive performance to win the beginners chase by 11 lengths in the hands of Barry Geraghty. The highly rated hurdler made a smooth transition to the larger obstacles and instigated a brace that was completed in the finale when Patrick Mullins steered Bang Bang Rosie to success on her first start for the stable. Bon Papa was providing jockey Barry Geraghty and owner JP McManus with a double on the card as a good week for trainer Gavin Cromwell started when Spades Are Trumps came out on top of a thrilling finish to the opening maiden hurdle. Noel Meade’s Minella Fair rewarded favourite backers in the second of the maiden hurdles on the card when he held off the strong challenge of Derrinross and Flynsini was a 16/1 shock winner of the handicap chase.

Ladies Day At Thurles As Love And Blackmore Combine

BoyleSports Irish Grand National winning trainer Dot Love and last season’s champion conditional rider Rachael Blackmore combined to take the feature honours at Thurles on Thursday as Dawn Shadow ran out an impressive winner of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Hurdle. Karalee, Barra and Lesley Dawn all carried lofty reputations into the race but Dawn Shadow proved best of all as she asserted close home and connections are eyeing the Mares’ Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham in March as a long term target. Second season novice Jett finally opened his account over fences in the opening beginners’ chase for Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power. Aided by the late fall of Montalbano, Jett did appear to have the upper hand when the favourite fell at the last and came home alone to record a 16 length success. A mixed day for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend was salvaged by Irish newcomer Real Steel who justified odds-on favouritism in the maiden hurdle to beat recent bumper winner Daly Tiger. The biggest shock so far at Thurles this season came in the Templemore Handicap Hurdle as former jockey Eoin McCarthy sent out 40/1 winner Pound A Stroke to win under Kevin Brouder. The five-year-old was a first winner on the track as a trainer for McCarthy.

First Four Timer For Walsh

Friday was a day to remember for Mark Walsh as the Kildare native enjoyed his first four-timer at Limerick with three of the winners coming for his boss, JP McManus. Walsh  began the day on Chris’s Dream for trainer Eugene O’Sullivan who ran out a snug winner of a competitive contest. Walsh later followed up with the McManus treble, the first two of which came for local trainer Austin Leahy who saddled Getoutwhenyoucan to win the seventh race of his career in the Christmas Racing Festival Handicap Hurdle before Wait Here ran out a convincing winner of the rated novice hurdle. Walsh struck again in the penultimate race as Let’s Twist Again backed up his recent Punchestown success to win again for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Joseph O’Brien. Gordon Elliott’s Suitor was a popular winner of the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle as the 8/1 shot was a first winner for the Goldman Racing Syndicate from County Meath. Shauna Larkin enjoyed her first ever winner on the track when she landed the Britain v Ireland Challenge Handicap Hurdle for amateur riders. The Galway native partnered the 7/4 favourite to success for Dermot McLoughlin, while Katie O’Farrell enjoyed her first winner since returning from injury when taking the bumper for Mags Mullins on Motown Girl.  

Four On The Bounce For Clear Skies at Dundalk

Aidan O’Brien’s Clear Skies won her fourth race since the start of November when taking the feature race at Dundalk on Friday evening. The daughter of Sea The Stars won her first three races under three different jockeys but Donnacha O’Brien made it two in a row on the improving four-year-old. Chris Hayes bagged a double on the all weather with Pillar Mountain impressing in the mile maiden for trainer Paddy Twomey at odds of 16/1 before Koybig racked up another win and justified his position as market leader to hold Complicit by a length and a quarter. Former champion jockey Pat Smullen was seen at his strongest when getting David Marnane’s Khwarizmi up in the opening five-furlong maiden to deny Snow Patch, while champion apprentice rider Oisin Orr prepared for a winter trip to Australia by enjoying a winner for his boss Eddie Lynam on Peace Officer in the six-furlong maiden. Apprentice jockey Ben Coen rode the second winner of his fledging career when guiding Mark Fahey’s admirable Oneoveryou to victory in the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Handicap and favourite backers were sent home happy as Tropic Thunder won the finale for Anthony McCann and Conor McGovern. 

Leahy Has 24 Hours To Remember

Fresh from his double at Limerick on Friday trainer Austin Leahy took Fairyhouse’s feature race on Saturday with 20/1 shot Nearly Nama’d. Ridden to victory by in-form Luke Dempsey, 20/1 shot Nearly Nama’d was winning the EasyFix Handicap Chase for the second time having previously won the 2015 renewal for former trainer Sandra Hughes and it was a surprise that day too as he was 40/1 on that occasion. Owner JP McManus enjoyed a double on the card as the well-backed Out Of The Loop won the Kettles Supporting Fingal Ravens GAA Handicap Hurdle for Christy Roche and Mark Walsh. Youcantcallherthat proved to be a blot on the handicap when making it two from two for trainer and jockey Denis Hogan. A facile winner at Cork, Youcantcalherthat was six lengths too good for 6/4 favourite Magic Of Light. A memorable weekend at Fairyhouse for Gordon Elliott began with The Storyteller coming late to bag the honours of the opening beginners’ chase but the trainer was to go down to a shock winner later on the card as Blow By Blow was denied by the minimum margin as Paul Nolan’s Doscorama obliged in the maiden hurdle. Minella Encore made a winning start for Willie Mullins when taking the bumper under Patrick Mullins.

Historic Day As Elliott Completes Grade 1 Clean Sweep

A second consecutive victory for Apple’s Jade in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle was the highlight of a historic day for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud as the trainer became the first to land all three top level races on the prestigious Fairyhouse card. In a performance described as the best of her career, Apple’s Jade pulled clear of a high-class field to record a nine length victory over multiple Grade 1 winner Nichols Canyon. Elliott’s Grade 1 treble was kick started in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle by new Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Mengli Khan who, ridden like Apple’s Jade by Jack Kennedy, was five lengths too good for Early Doors. The highly rated Death Duty maintained his unbeaten record over fences and made it three from three this season when landing the Drinmore Novice Chase under Davy Russell. Russell went on to complete a double on the card just over half an hour later when Cheltenham Festival winner Presenting Percy bolted up in the Porterstown Handicap Chase for Galway trainer Pat Kelly. Gavin Cromwell appears to have another star juvenile on his hands as Espoir D’allen justified support and his place as market leader in the Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle and the concluding bumper could also have thrown up a star of the future as debutant Downtown Getaway pulled 14 lengths clear to win for Mags Mullins and Katie Walsh at odds of 14/1.

Racing News

Total Recall Bridges Lengthy Gap For Irish At Newbury

Munster National winner Total Recall made a notable step forward to win the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury on Saturday for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. The 9/2 favourite became the first Irish winner of the race since Bright Highway in 1980 as the eight-year-old stayed on gamely under Townend to deny Nicky Henderson’s Whisper by a neck. The winning trainer paid tribute to both former trainers of Total Recall, Dessie and Sandra Hughes, in the immediate aftermath the Slaneyville Syndicate-owned gelding will now get entries for both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Aintree Grand National.  

National Hunt Provisional Summary Released for January to April 2018

The updated National Hunt Provisional Summary, released by Horse Racing Ireland Early last week, sees a continuation of many of the new race types successfully trialled through the summer and early part of the winter National Hunt season, providing additional opportunities for lower to medium tier horses. The new programme covers the period from New Year's Day to the end of the Irish National Hunt Festival at Punchestown in April and has a total of 441 races scheduled, including three new midweek programmes at Punchestown (January), Fairyhouse (February) and Leopardstown (March). 49 of the 62 fixtures have a feature race worth at least €20,000, while the remaining 13 fixtures will have one race worth at least €15,000. There will also be additional opportunities for riders who have yet to reach the 10-winner mark for the season.

This site uses unobtrusive cookies to store information on your computer, to improve performance and monitoring services.Click here for more info