HRI Review

Racing Review

Oxx Flying With Fairies At Roscommon

John Oxx landed his second listed success of the season when Flying Fairies put an unlucky run in a Group 3 race at Cork behind her to win the Lenebane Stakes at Roscommon on Monday. She came from off the pace to get the better of the front-running Glamorous Approach to win under Gary Carroll at odds of 14/1, giving Oxx his sixth success in the race in the last ten years. Carroll had earlier landed the 7f maiden on the Sheila Lavery-trained 100/30 chance Burgundy Boy. Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning shared two winners with 14/1 chance Panstarr making all the running in the fillies’ maiden while 9/2 chance Slaney Street made every post a winning one in the 10f handicap. Pat Martin and Leigh Roche won the fillies’ handicap with 5/1 shot Aspen Belle which was another to lead from start to finish. Tom Dooley saw off his stable companion Alans Pride to give Ballingarry trainer Richard O’Brien a 1-2 in the apprentice handicap with Maynooth jockey Sean Davis on board the 4/1 winner. Powersbomb sent punters home happy when running out an easy winner of the 12f maiden at odds of 11/10 favourite. Colin Keane rode the winner for Brian McMahon.

Three for Willie Mullins At Roscommon On Tuesday

Willie Mullins sent out three winners at Roscommon on Tuesday with Paul Townend and Katie Walsh doing the steering. Walsh partnered newcomer Vittorio to success in the lady riders’ bumper, the 2/1 joint-favourite scoring by all of nine-lengths. Paul Townend had just as easy a time on his two winners for the champion trainer. Law Girl, the 11/10 favourite, won the mares’ maiden hurdle by all of 11 lengths while 9/2 chance Robin Des Foret won the rated novice hurdle by seven lengths. Both Davy Russell and Adam Shortt had to work a little harder for their winners. Russell was on the mark on the Ken Budds-trained Ted Bach in the handicap hurdle, 5/1 favourite winning by three parts of a length, the same margin as High Five Oscar which sprang a 25/1 surprise for Pat Kelly and Short in the opportunity maiden hurdle. Gordon Elliott and Donagh Meyler combined to win the 3m handicap hurdle with 6/1 co-favourite Presenting Julio while Joseph O'Brien and Tom Hamilton won the 2m4f bumper with Thermistocles, another running for the first time. 

Listed Race Plan For Dundalk Winner Moviesta

The Listed Mercury Stakes at Dundalk in October is high on the agenda for Moviesta after the seven-year-old impressed in the 5f handicap on the all-weather track on Wednesday. Backed from 9/2 to 11/4 favourite, Eddie Lynam’s charge made no mistake in the hands of Kilcock apprentice Robbie Downey as he readily accounted for his main market rival Go Kart in some style. Aidan O'Brien recorded two winners. The champion trainer’s daughter Ana was in the plate as 7/1 chance Nutcracker Suite landed the 7f handicap while Donnacha O’Brien did the steering as 4/9 favourite Diodorus won the maiden over the extended ten furlongs. Donnacha had earlier teamed up with his brother Joseph to win the 8f maiden with 6/4 favourite Dilum. Another winning market leader was 4/1 shot Zippy which landed the 8f handicap under Donagh O’Connor. All Body And Soul was the 4/1 winner of the 12f handicap for Tracey Collins and champion jockey Pat Smullen and at odds of 6/1, Six Silver Lane made all the running to win the claimer for Johnny Levins and Colin Keane.

Downpatrick Riding Honours Shared Between Sean Flanagan And Patrick Mullins

Sean Flanagan and Patrick Mullins were both in the winners’ enclosure on two occasions as they shared the riding honours at Downpatrick on Thursday. Flanagan certainly had the easier time of it as Mr Showtime had little difficulty in justifying odds of 8/13 favourite in the opening conditions’ hurdle for Noel Meade while Ruben James looked to have a little in hand as he won the 2m6f maiden hurdle by two lengths for Colin Bowe at odds of 9/1. The former champion amateur jockey shared his winners with his father Willie and had to work hard on them both. Blixt didn’t win a bumper but made a winning start to her jumping career in the mares’ maiden hurdle, the 15/8 shot seeing off 11/10 favourite Delayed Eloquence by a length while 7/4 chance Exchange Rate got the better of 11/8 favourite Anytime Now by three parts of a length in the bumper. Trainer Dessie McDonogh and Ger Fox won the 2m3f handicap hurdle with 7/2 chance Shek O Lad while the remaining two races went to 14/1 shots. A Year To Remember, trained by Joseph O'Brien and ridden by Jody McGarvey beat 4/6 favourite Super Bowl in the 2m3f maiden hurdle while the Neil McKnight-trained Better Back Bob ran out a good winner of the 2m6f handicap hurdle under Robbie Colgan. 

Tandem Heads West With Weld

Tandem will be part of Dermot Weld’s Galway festival team after his gutsy success in the €100,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nasrullah Handicap over 10f at Leopardstown on Thursday night. The eight-year-old added to wins at Tipperary and the Curragh this season when beating the Jim Bolger-trained Ceol Na Nog at odds of 12/1 under Pat Smullen. Bolger and Kevin Manning had earlier won the 7f maiden with 7/2 co-favourite of three horses Fior Cliste and another successful market leader was the Aidan O'Brien-trained 2/1 shot Easter Lily which won the opening 7f fillies’ maiden for Donnacha O’Brien. Curragh trainer Takashi Kodama and Ross Coakley won the 8f handicap with 12/1 chance Elusive Time and over the same distance 7/2 chance Lightening Fast won the three year old handicap for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. Ger O’Leary and Niall McCullagh won the 13f handicap with 5/1 shot Jan Van Eck while the colours of Ronnie Wood were once again carried to success by Sandymount Duke which won the amateur riders’ event at odds of 6/5 for Jessica Harrington and her daughter Kate.

Double For Champion Jockey Pat Smullen

It is generally agreed that Pat Smullen has a fight on his hands to retain his title of champion jockey this season but the County Offaly superstar is sure to put up a fight and two winners at Navan on Friday evening will have helped the cause. Smullen’s wins came late in the session with Michael O’Callaghan’s newcomer I Am Power landing the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Maiden at odds of 4/1 and Political Policy, a 9/1 chance, showing plenty of determination to land the concluding 13f handicap for local trainer Gavin Cromwell. But not everything went Smullen’s way. He lost out in two photo-finishes on a pair of O’Callaghan-trained runners. Mur Hiba went down by a short-head to the improving Red Sabor which won the conditions’ sprint for Andy Slattery and Declan McDonogh at odds of 11/4 while Aggression was beaten a head by 9/1 shot Polly Douglas which Nurney, County Kildare apprentice Andrew Breslin rode for Portarlington trainer Kieran Cotter. If Smullen is to give up his crown, perhaps Colin Keane will be the beneficiary and he bagged a winner of his own when the Ger Lyons-trained Buffalo Blues won the claiming race at odds of 100/30. Wexford native Willie Byrne (17) rode his first winner when landing the apprentice handicap on the Jim Bolger-trained 6/1 shot Mainicin. Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes combined for the surprise of the night as 16/1 shot He’s Complete got the better of 6/5 favourite Mirror Man in the near-6f maiden.

Treble For Sean Flanagan At Cork On Friday

Sean Flanagan kept up the good work when riding three winners for three different trainers at Cork on Friday night. He got the evening off to a winning start when combining with Kilmeaden, County Waterford trainer Shay Barry to land the four and five years old maiden hurdle on 11/2 chance Abraham and got a second winner when 11/4 favourite Major Destination won the 3m maiden hurdle for Noel Meade. Rashaan rounded off the treble for the Palace East, County Wexford rider when overhauling the Willie Mullins-trained 13/8 favourite Pique Sous late on the run-in to take the conditions’ hurdle at odds of 5/2. The colours of RTE and ITV pundit Brian Gleeson were carried to success by Deor in the six years old and up maiden hurdle, the 3/1 chance winning in fine style under Davy Russell. Curragh trainer Adrian Keatley and Roger Loughran took the 2m handicap hurdle with 11/1 chance Mr Champers while there was further County Wexford success as the Colin Bowe-trained Pixie Lane won the mares’ handicap hurdle at odds of 6/1 under Ricky Doyle. The father and son team of Willie and Patrick Mullins have been enjoying mixed fortunes with their bumper runners of late but 2/1 favourite Katie Connell made no mistake in the last of the night.

Empress Enable Completes Oaks Double

The John Gosden-trained Enable added to her stunning success at Epsom early last month with an equally convincing triumph in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday. Giving Frankie Dettori a fourth win in the race and a ninth Irish Classic victory, the 2/5 favourite raced to a five and a half length win over Aidan O'Brien’s Rain Goddess stamping her as the top three-year-old middle distance performer in Europe. As is so often the case at the Curragh, the remainder of the day belonged to O’Brien. He won three races beginning with the 7f maiden where his daughter Ana did the steering as the gambled-on 9/2 chance The Pentagon raced to an eight and a half length win. The champion trainer teamed up with Seamus Heffernan to win the Group 3 Jebel Ali Silver Jubilee Anglesey Stakes with 7/1 shot Actress and Heffernan was also on board 9/10 favourite Air Supremacy which made all the running to win the 12f maiden. Dulla, County Tipperary-based Des Donovan won the 7f handicap with the Pat Smullen-ridden 4/1 favourite Severus while Cloughjordan’s Denis Hogan landed a bigger prize when 10/1 chance Tithonus and Gary Halpin came home in front in the €100,000 Tote Scurry Handicap. Originally from Naas, Tony Coyle is now based in Norton, North Yorkshire and he sent out Caspian Prince to land the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes. Declan McDonogh partnered the 10/1 winner. The Boodles Derby went the way of 9/2 chance Miles To Memphis which was ridden for Enfield, County Meath trainer Denise Foster by Lisa O’Neill.

Sunday Group 2 Double For Champion Trainer

Aidan O'Brien added to his treble at the Curragh on Saturday when landing both Group 2 events at headquarters 24 hours later. He sprang a surprise in the Kilboy Estate Stakes when 12/1 chance Elizabeth Browning and Seamus Heffernan came from last to first to land the spoils but there were no raised eyebrows as Ryan Moore partnered 5/2 joint-favourite Spirit Of Valor to an all-the-way success in the Qatar Airways Minstrel Stakes. The Jim Bolger-trained Dawn Delivers was backed from 11/10 to 4/7 favourite to win the opening fillies’ maiden and she didn’t disappoint when beating Ballydoyle’s newcomer Magical. Another winning favourite was 11/4 shot Golden Spell which took the first nursery of the season for local trainer Johnny Murtagh and Colin Keane. Michael Halford and Shane Foley won the fillies’ handicap with 9/1 shot Surrounding and at half those odds, Danny Sheehy partnered the Adrian Keatley-trainer Zeftan, fourth in the ladies’ Derby the day before, to win the 2m handicap. Kamili, trained by Joseph O'Brien and ridden by his brother Donnacha, came from off the pace to win the 8f fillies’ maiden while the Corinthian Challenge Race was won in great style by the Jessica Harrington-trained Nearly Famous. The 11/4 winner was ridden by Lynne McLoughlin from Baltinglass, County Wicklow. 

Sean Flanagan Among The Winners Again At Sligo

Fresh from his treble at Cork on Friday, Sean Flanagan was again among the winners as Sligo made a welcome return to the fixtures roster on Sunday. Flanagan teamed up with Liz Doyle to win the rated novice hurdle with 8/1 chance La Bella Vida but unfortunately his days ended with a fall in the 2m4f handicap hurdle that was won by Se Mo Laoch. The 11/2 joint-favourite was ridden for local trainer Brian McMahon, his second winner of the week, by Phillip Enright. The first race of the year at the track went to 11/2 shot Father Mattie which is trained by Eamonn O’Connell and was ridden by his son Eoin. Niall Madden and Mark Enright won the five years old and up maiden hurdle with 12/1 chance Boherbuoy while Roachdale House won the 2m handicap hurdle for Colehill, County Longford trainer Paul Flynn and Keith Donoghue. Eight Till Late, a 7/1 chance, won the opportunity handicap hurdle for Peter Casey and Castlecomer, County Kilkenny trainer Andrew Ring while the longest priced winner of the day came in the bumper as 25/1 shot Royal Zorro won in great style for Enfield trainer Nigel Slevin and Danny Benson.

Racing News

Two Former Champion Jockeys Pass Away Only Days Apart

Irish racing lost two of its all-time greats early last week with the passing of Martin Molony and Tommy Carberry. Moloney, who died on Monday at the age of 91, was six-time champion jockey. He won the Irish Grand National three times and enjoyed Cheltenham Gold Cup success in 1951 aboard Silver Fame. Molony also won the Irish Oaks in 1947 on Desert Drive, the 1,000 Guineas in 1950 aboard Princess Trudy and the 2,000 Guineas in 1951 on Signal Box, demonstrating his ability to operate at the highest level under both codes. Equally effective on the Flat, over hurdles or over fences was Tommy Carberry (75) who died on Wednesday. A four-time champion jockey and one of jump racing's leading figures in recent years, Carberry was probably best known for his association with dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner L'Escargot, winning the Cheltenham Festival highlight in 1970 and 1971, and he also rode the horse to victory in the Aintree Grand National in 1975. Upon retiring from the saddle in 1982, Carberry started training and in 1999 won the Aintree Grand National again, this time with Bobbyjo, who was ridden by his son Paul. Bobbyjo also gave the pair success in the Irish Grand National at their local racecourse, Fairyhouse in 1998. 

Seven-Time Group 1 Winner Minding Retired

Seven-time Group 1 winner Minding, who proved herself one of the best and most versatile fillies of modern times through victories in the English 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, has been retired. Aidan O’Brien, who hailed Minding as “one of the best fillies I have ever trained”, said, “We were really looking forward to this season after she won at Naas as she had done remarkably well from three to four. Unfortunately, she injured her pastern and when it looked like we were running out of time to get her back to the track the lads decided to retire her as she was just too important.” A dual Group 1 winner at two, Minding improved all last season, winning the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks, the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth ll Stakes. She won her only start at four, posting an effortless win in the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas.

New Seven Furlong Straight  For Cork Racecourse

Work has commenced on a new straight seven-furlong track at Cork which, when complete, will be a unique addition to Irish racing. Groundworks began this month on extending the current six-furlong sprint track at Mallow, making it one of only two straight seven-furlong facilities in the country. The €600,000 development works form part of the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) Racetrack Improvements Scheme, available to racecourses throughout the country to encourage the continued improvement of racecourse track and associated works through the provision of capital grant aid. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, welcomed the development, stating: “I am delighted to hear that Cork Racecourse is developing the potential of this wonderful local amenity by availing of funding for a new sprint track through HRI’s Racetrack Improvements Scheme.”

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