HRI Review

Racing Review

Truffles A Sweet Win For Lavery

Fairyhouse staged their rescheduled card from Saturday on Tuesday and Sheila Lavery’s Truffles landed the feature Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap in good style under 17-year-old apprentice Gavin Ryan. The front runner hardly saw another rival as she made all the running to beat 9/2 joint favourite Enjoy Life by a length and a quarter.  Jockey Billy Lee continued his fine season by teaming up with Willie McCreery to win the 6f maiden on Thiswaycadeaux who put the trainer within one of his best ever seasonal best.  Another duo enjoying a fine time of things at the moment is the father and son duo of Niall (Boots) and Tom (Socks) Madden who won the first division of the 1m4f maiden with AA Bee See for owner JP McManus. They were the second family success of the afternoon as Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien had earlier landed the opener with the impressive Castrogiovanni.  Colin Keane left with another vital winner on the board as Les Arceaux won the concluding race by an impressive four and a half lengths for Johnny Murtagh.

Maarek Reels In The Years

Evanna McCutcheon’s admirable 10-year-old Maarek landed the opening race at Navan on Monday bridging a gap of over four years without a win on Irish soil. The high class sprinter had top weight in the 5f contest but aided with Killian Hennessy’s 5lbs claim, Maarek got the better of Kupa River by half a length and is most likely to be back in training next year according to his very proud trainer.

The Broghie Man made a winning start for trainer Adrian Keatley when he gave Pat Smullen a welcome winner in the 5f maiden. As the flat jockeys championship begins to draw to a close though Colin Keane made sure that Smullen made no inroads at his local track when he won the 1m handicap on Il Piccolo Grande for his boss, Ger Lyons.  The Broghie Man’s seven-length win in the maiden wasn’t even to be the most impressive winner of the day though as Escamillo won on his second start for brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien in the mile maiden.  Jockey Jonathan Moore made a rare switch back to ride on the flat when teaming up with Noel Meade on 2/1 joint favourite Art Of Security but he duly obliged in the 1m5f maiden and it was an all Meath finish at Navan with Gordon Elliott taking the finale as Synopsis warmed up for a campaign over hurdles by taking the 1m2f fillies handicap in the hands of Gary Carroll.  

Fragile Monksland Lands Thurles Feature 

Although not looking likely during stages of the He’llberememered Hurdle at Thurles on Thursday, the Noel Meade-trained Monksland did manage to justify favouritism and return to winning ways under Sean Flanagan. The high class 10-year-old has been a hard horse to keep right for Noel Meade but on his day he has been very, very good and on ground as quick as he’d appreciate, he finally managed to lower the colours of the well backed Polar Present who led most of the way up the straight before going down by half a length.  Another classy sort on show at Thurles was Glens Harmony who won the mares maiden hurdle for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh. The 4/9 favourite probably benefited a bit from a horrendous mistake from runner-up Tara Dylan at the last hurdle but Glens Harmony just appeared to have the upper hand and the sister to Cheltenham winner Glens Melody is likely to improve further.  Wexford trainer Liz Doyle bookended the card with La Bella Vida winning the opening mares beginners chase and newcomer Gran Geste looked the part when winning the concluding bumper.  Vincent Halley’s Carrigready caused a bit of an upset in the 2m6f handicap hurdle when winning impressively at odds of 16/1, while Turasoir came out best in a three-way photo finish with just a nose and a nose separating the first three home, Mac Cennetig back in second and Marino Marvel taking third.

Goldrush Takes The Prize In Dundalk Feature

For the second time in a fortnight it was the Jim Bolger-trained Goldrush who landed feature honours at Dundalk, this time the €1.7m purchase dropped back to a mile to win the Cooley Stakes. The daughter of Frankel showed her versatility to fend off the strong finishing Aneen at odds of 9/4.

A Colin Keane brace and Pat Smullen blank on Friday evening as much as saw the championship leader over the line in his quest to be crowned champion jockey for the first time. Noel Meade saddled his second flat winner of the week when Art Of Unity won the nursery under Keane and in the finale the rider steered 5/2 favourite Carried to success for Wicklow based trainer Prunella Dobbs. For the second time in the week Niall and Tom Madden teamed up for a JP McManus-owned winner, this one coming at more of a surprise than their first as Gilded Reflection won at odds of 33/1 on her first start for her new yard.

Byrnes Lands Gamble In October Handicap

Charles Byrnes often has bookmakers running scared at the big National Hunt meetings at Leopardstown but on their final Flat fixture of the year the Limerick trainer had the layers running for cover after Wonder Laish won the October Handicap. Backed from 16/1 into 11/2, the dual purpose five-year-old pounced in the straight under Colm O’Donoghue and went on to record a four and a half length win in what looked a competitive handicap beforehand.  On the same afternoon that Aidan O’Brien recorded his 26th Group One winner of the year over at Doncaster, he also saddled a double at Leopardstown winning the Group 3 Eyrefield Stakes with Flag Of Honour under Derby winning jockey Padraig Beggy and earlier landing the opening maiden with the well backed Sarrocchi who was ridden to victory by Michael Hussey. Joseph O’Brien was also among the winners when Damselfly won the nursery to provide 16-year-old apprentice jockey Alan Persse with his first winner on the track.  Dermot Weld and Leigh Roche won the Knockaire Stakes following a stewards enquiry which saw first past the post, Larchmont Lad demoted to second place and that was the second leg of a double for Weld and Roche who earlier introduced promising newcomer Flavius to win the 7f maiden for colts and geldings.  

Geraghty Lands Feature For O’Brien

The winning ride on Tesseract may not feature on too many seasonal reviews at the end of the campaign but Barry Geraghty was at his best on this six-year-old for Joseph O’Brien and his boss JP McManus. The 11/2 shot landed the feature race at Wexford on Sunday but needed all of Geraghty’s encouragement to do so by a short-head. Liz Doyle capped off a good week when Without Limties obliged at odds of 5/6 in the 2m4f beginners chase. The fine grey made all under Sean Flanagan to win by five-lengths on his chasing bow. Gordon Elliott saddled winners at both Irish meetings on Sunday with Hardline obliging by 10-lengths in the 2m maiden hurdle but odds on favourite Barra was overturned for the yard in the mares hurdle as Court Artist and Ruby Walsh got the better of the odds on favourite there.  Roger Loughran guided 16/1 shot Templemore Dream to victory in the 2m4f maiden hurdle for Alan Fleming and owner Barry Connell and Shane Crawley’s Sassy Diva got a deserved victory in the concluding mares bumper after posting some promising efforts in the past.  

No Stopping Kylecrue Or Ryan At Galway

The Veteran Kylecrue set himself up for a trip to Cheltenham next month when seeing off his younger rival Prospectus to win the feature race at Galway on Sunday. Trainer John Ryan almost enjoyed the biggest win of his career at Punchestown the previous week when  Kilcarry Bridge tried to make all the running in the Grade 3 at Punchestown but Kylecrue gave his connections some compensation when making all under a good ride from Conor Brassil. A decent novice chase on the card went the way of Henry de Bromhead and Ireland’s current leading conditional rider JJ Slevin with Calino D’airy doing the honours for the second time at the track.  It was a good afternoon for Philip Enright who won the opening race for his biggest supporter, Robert Tyner, when Midnight Stroll won what looked to be a good maiden hurdle, and Enright followed up later on the card aboard Hard Bought for trainer John Walsh.  The concluding bumper saw a very smart racecourse debut from the winner Gallahers Cross who followed up his Punchestown point-to-point win to land the bumper by six and a half lengths for Peter Fahey and Katie Walsh and he could be a horse with a bright future.

Racing News

Aidan O’Brien Rewrites History Again

Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien won his 26th Group 1 of 2017 on Saturday when Saxon Warrior claimed the Racing Post Trophy under Ryan Moore. Having levelled Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group or Grade 1 winners in a calendar year the previous week, O’Brien had four runners in the Doncaster race to break the record outright and it was Saxon Warrior who prevailed in a thriller. And that is unlikely to be where the benchmark stops for O’Brien as he has opportunities this week at the Breeders’ Cup in America and next week in Australia to further extend the record which has been widely hailed as an extraordinary achievement. 

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