HRI Review

Racing Review

Percy Is Just Perfect At Galway On Monday

The Pat Kelly-trained Presenting Percy was easily the star of the show at Galway on Bank Holiday Monday when winning the 2m6f beginners’ chase in great style. An 11/4 shot, the six -year-old was running over fences for the first time and certainly looks one to follow after recording a cosy three-length success under Davy Russell. The former champion jockey followed up when taking the rated novice hurdle on John Kiely’s 6/1 chance Just Janice. Ruby Walsh teamed up with his brother-in-law Ross O’Sullivan to take the handicap chase on 2/1 favourite Call It Magic which made all the running to score from The Winkler. His rider Donie McInerney landed the 2m5f handicap hurdle on the Paul Nolan-trained Mon Lino which scored at odds of 5/1 for owner JP McManus at the main expense of 2/1 favourite Persistent which was ridden by Barry Geraghty. The Noel Meade-trained Half The Odds won the opening maiden hurdle under Jonathan Moore at a price of 10/1 while 9/1 chance Tomcoole Lad won the second handicap chase on the card for Dick Donohoe and Mark Enright. Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd landed the bumper with 7/4 favourite Moonlight Escape. 

First Career Double for Ricky Doyle

Kildare jockey Ricky Doyle recorded the first double of his career when landing back-to-back races at Wexford on Bank Holiday Monday. He won the opportunity handicap hurdle on 7/2 chance Antimatter which is trained in Kilfinane, County Limerick by Donnacha Duggan and followed up straight away on the Mark Fahey-trained 16/1 chance Come Home Quick which took the 2m4f maiden hurdle by just a nose. Joseph O'Brien also landed two winners at the meeting, winning the opening rated novice hurdle with the Chris Meehan-ridden 9/2 shot High School Days and the concluding bumper with 5/4 chance Imperial Way which was ridden by Patrick Mullins to beat 6/5 favourite Mad Carew and Nina Carberry by five lengths. The Listed MW Hickey Memorial Chase was won by 1/2 favourite A Genie In Abottle which was ridden for Noel Meade by Sean Flanagan. Dinaria Des Obeaux, trained by Gordon Elliott and partnered by Jack Kennedy, got up close to the line to deny the front-running Le Martalin in the beginners’ chase. The winner was returned at odds of 2/1. 

Keane Closes In On Title With Dundalk Treble

Colin Keane all but wrapped up his first jockeys title with winners for three different trainers at Dundalk on Wednesday night. He brought his season’s tally to 97 winners, 10 clear of Pat Smullen with wins on Ger Lyons’ 4/1 chance Overcoming in the 7f maiden, the Tom Cooper-trained 12/1 chance Bid Adieu in the 10f maiden and 2/1 favourite Ben Rumson which won the second division of the 12f handicap for trainer Tom McCourt. Shake The Bucket recorded his ninth win at the course when taking the opening division of the same race for Niall Madden and his son Tom. The 10-year-old joins Hes Our Music as a nine-time winner at the track. Alan Glynn rode his first winner on just his fourth ride on the racecourse when landing the apprentice handicap on the Denis Hogan-trained 16/1 chance Burren View Lady.  Glynn is 19 and is from Galway. Shinko Princess, the 5/4 favourite, landed the opening 6f maiden for Christy Donoghue and Declan McDonogh. Bookmakers got some relief when 25/1 shot Secret Wizard took the 8f handicap for Sheila Lavery and Ronan Whelan while Settle For Bay, a 15/2 chance won the Handicap for David Marnane and Donagh O’Connor. 

Fences Beckon For Clonmel Winner Hurricane Darwin

The Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan is next on the agenda for Hurricane Darwin which landed the 3m handicap hurdle at Clonmel on Thursday. Ridden for trainer Alan Fleming by Denis O'Regan, the 5/1 chance easily won from the Gordon Elliott-trained 6/4 favourite Hollow Tree. Elliott bounced back to take the mares’ chase with 4/9 favourite Shattered Love which had little difficulty in brushing aside her main market rival Miss Eyecatcher under Jack Kennedy. Dot Love and Rachael Blackmore combined to land the opening mares’ maiden hurdle with 6/1 chance Dawn Shadow while the 2m maiden hurdle went to the Henry De Bromhead-trained 2/1 chance Trainwreck which landed a gamble in the hands of Davy Russell. The handicap hurdle over the same distance went to 9/2 chance Tintown Robin which is trained in Kill, County Waterford by Vincent Halley and was ridden by Phillip Enright. Donie McInerney and Conna, County Cork trainer Seamus Spillane took the rated chase with 16/1 shot Goulane Chosen while an easier winner to find was 5/1 favourite Presenting Oscar which took the qualified riders’ handicap hurdle for trainer John Joe Walsh and William Cronin. 

Keane Secures Title With Dundalk Winner

Colin Keane wrapped up his first champion jockey title when taking the 5f maiden on the Ger Lyons-trained It’s Two O Clock at Dundalk on Friday. The 4/9 winner saw him extend his lead to 11 over Pat Smullen and he was out of reach. Killian Leonard kept his hopes of catching Oisin Orr in the race to become champion apprentice alive when taking the claiming race on the Pat Martin-trained 11/2 shot Reckless Lad. Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes won the 5f handicap with 6/1 shot Bambari while there was a winning favourite in the 8f maiden as the Johnny Murtagh-trained 2/1 chance Harmonyofthestars landed the spoils under Niall McCullagh. The opening division of the 7f handicap went to 5/1 chance Tynamite for County Kilkenny trainer Paul McEnery and Nathan Crosse and the second leg went to the Padraig Beggy-ridden 9/1 chance Glenmoore which is trained in County Mayo by Fergal Birrane. Tom Madden teamed up with Jessica Harrington to take the 6f handicap with 25/1 outsider St Brelades Bay while Elishpour, trained by Alan Fleming and ridden by Billy Lee, won the 12f handicap at odds of 10/1. 

Melon Takes Grade 2 Hurdle At Down Royal

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh landed the biggest prize of the afternoon at Down Royal on Friday when one of last season’s top novices Melon ran out the ready winner of the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle. Sent off a 2/5 favourite, the five-year-old went clear on the run-in to account for his stable companion Coquin Mans. Gordon Elliott landed a treble and all three winners were ridden by different jockeys. Davy Russell had an easy time of it on 1/4 favourite Poli Roi in the 2m6f maiden hurdle while Jack Kennedy was left clear at the final fence by the fall of Gilt Shadow to win the beginners’ chase on 11/8 favourite Tombstone. Elliott’s treble was rounded off when 4/9 favourite Felix Desjy took the bumper in the hands of Patrick Mullins. Davy Russell added to his win in the opener when taking the Grade 3 mares’ novice hurdle on 9/2 chance Just Janice. The John Kiely-trained five-year-old was winning for the second time in a week having scored at Galway on Monday. There was a 16/1 winner of the handicap hurdle as the Ger Lynch-trained Alaliya scored for Liam Gilligan and at odds of 9/1, Crazywork De Vassy took the handicap chase for Michael McDonagh, who trains in Shannon, County Clare, and Mark Enright. 

Outlander Takes First Grade 1 Of The Season

Outlander, the horse that gave Jack Kennedy his first Grade 1 success when winning the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas, secured the first big prize of the season under the young riding sensation in the Champion Chase at Down Royal on Saturday. The 16/1 chance battled well to see off the Noel Meade-trained Road To Respect but a big talking point was the dismal display of 5/6 favourite Our Duke which trailed in last of the seven finishers but later scoped badly. Meade gained a measure of compensation when 5/4 favourite Disko made all the running under Sean Flanagan to take the Grade 2 Chase. But the day belonged to Elliott who added to Friday’s treble with three more winners. He won the 3m handicap chase with 5/4 favourite Poormans Hill which was completing a double for Jack Kennedy and took the bumper for the second day running when 11/10 favourite Rapid Escape won under Patrick Mullins. There was a very good winner of the three-year-old hurdle as 2/5 favourite Espoir D’Allen scored for Gavin Cromwell and Barry Geraghty. In the same JP McManus colours, Ten Ten won the maiden hurdle at odds of 9/2 for Philip Dempsey and Mark Walsh. Top Othe Ra landed the 2m handicap hurdle for Tom Mullins and Paul Townend at odds of 12/1. 

Champion Keane Makes It 100 For The Season

Colin Keane rounded off a memorable season with a double on the final day at Naas on Sunday to bring his tally to 100 winners for the first time. With the jockeys’ championship already secured, Keane’s day of celebration was highlighted by his success on 11/8 favourite Inscribe for trainer Ger Lyons in the 10f handicap. He notched up his first century of winners when the Matthew Smith-trained 7/4 favourite Warnaq took the 12f maiden. Pat Smullen has enjoyed better years and while he paid a fulsome to the new champion he bowed out on a winner as 7/4 favourite Tocco D’Amore won the Listed Finale Stakes for Dermot Weld. Stamullen, County Meath trainer John McConnell and Donagh O’Connor won the 6f maiden with 16/1 chance Vinnie’s Wish while over a furlong shorter, Aspen Belle gave Navan-based Pat Martin his second winner in three days when taking the handicap under Leigh Roche at odds of 12/1. Jessica Harrington enjoyed a 1-2 in the 8f maiden as the Colm O’Donoghue-ridden 7/4 favourite Still Standing beat his stable companion House Call in convincing fashion. The Naas November Handicap was won by 6/1 chance Swamp Fox which was ridden for Joe Murphy by Gary Carroll. 

Cork Grand National Success For Logical Song

The mother and son team of Mags and Danny Mullins were the biggest winners at Cork on Sunday as Logical Song ran out the easiest of winners in the Paddy Power Cork Grand National. The 7/1 chance was in front after the penultimate fence and drew right away to score by all of 12 lengths. Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy, fresh from their Grade 1 success with Outlander at Down Royal on Saturday, have plenty to look forward to with Cracking Smart which ran out the impressive winner of the listed novice hurdle. The 5/4 favourite easily accounted for the Willie Mullins-trained Robin Des Foret and Fabulous Saga. Mullins and Ruby Walsh won the Grade 3 novice chase with 5/2 favourite Bamako Moriviere which scored a 16-length success over Elliott’s evens favourite Jury Duty. Joseph O'Brien and Barry Geraghty got favourite backers off to the best possible start when 4/5 chance Shady Operator on the maiden hurdle. Michael Winters did his bit for punters as 11/4 favourite Granny Biddy scored an eight-length win under Donie McInerney in the 2m4f handicap hurdle. Bookmakers got one back as the Philip Rothwell-trained 28/1 shot Shrewdoperator and Conor Maxwell won the handicap chase and they were also celebrating as 4/5 favourite Biddy The Boss lost out to 100/30 chance Getoutameway, trained by John Nicholson and ridden by Liam Gilligan, in the bumper. 

Racing News

2017 Flat Champions Crowned At Naas

After a dramatic Irish jockeys’ championship, which produced a duel to remember, 23-year-old Meathman Colin Keane is the new Irish champion jockey. Champion apprentice back in 2014 with 54 winners, Keane finished runner-up to Pat Smullen in the years to follow, but with the Ger Lyons yard in consistently brilliant form this season, Keane never let his early season pace flag and a final day double saw him bring his total to 100 winners for the first time. His tally sees him round off the season 12 clear of Smullen. Pat Smullen finished second on 88 winners with Donnacha O’Brien taking third place in the championship on 62 winners and Kevin Manning next on the list with 59. For the second time, Billy Lee has surpassed the half-century and ends the season with 54 winners to his name.

From Rathmullan, County Donegal, 20-year-old Oisin Orr is the champion apprentice. In just his third full season, Orr wins the title with 20 winners, which sees him finish just one clear of Killian Leonard with Ana O’Brien, who has been side-lined through injury since her fall at Killarney in July, taking third place with 18 winners.

Aidan O'Brien is once again the champion Flat trainer, his twentieth time taking the award, topping off a fantastic season at home and abroad for Ballydoyle. On the world stage, O’Brien eclipsed Bobby Frankel’s 2003 record for the number of Group/Grade 1 wins in a calendar year. At home, he has dominated once again, landing four of the five Classics at the Curragh, the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas with Churchill, the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas with Winter, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with Capri and the Comer Group International Irish St Leger with Order Of St George. O’Brien also won Group 1 races in Ireland this season with the two-year-olds Sioux Nation and Happily in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes respectively and won the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes with Hydrangea.

Mrs Sue Magnier’s involvement with horses such as Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Winter and Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes winner Caravaggio sees her retain the title of Champion Owner for the 15th time since 2000. Mrs Magnier just comes out ahead of Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith in prize-money won.

O’Brien Makes It 27 Top-Level Wins with Breeders’ Cup Success

Aidan O'Brien made it 27 Group or Grade 1 wins for the year when the Ryan Moore-ridden Mendelssohn won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar in California on Friday evening. The Kentucky Derby is a race the champion trainer has in mind for the son of Scat Daddy which was giving him a 12th Breeders’ Cup success. O’Brien failed to add to his Breeders’ Cup tally on the second day of the meeting but he did win a listed event on the Saturday card with Declarationofpeace, another ridden by Ryan Moore. 

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