Big Weekend: Racing at Downpatrick, Limerick & Gowran Park

Big Weekend: Racing at Downpatrick, Limerick & Gowran Park

Friday, June 14, 2019
Big Weekend june 14th 2019

Blackmore back in the saddle


Last season’s dual Grade 1-winning jockey and championship runner-up, Rachael Blackmore returns to the saddle this weekend after an absence of more than four weeks due to a broken collarbone, wrist and nose suffered in a fall from Game Present in a Clonmel maiden hurdle on May 16.


Blackmore, who rode 90 winners in Ireland last term as well as recording two Cheltenham Festival triumphs, has been forced to look on as primary supporter, Henry de Bromhead has sent his horses out to do the business with regularity but she will be hoping the health of the Knockeen brigade remains robust as she gets back into swing of things at Downpatrick.


Blackmore has six mounts during the two-day programme, split evenly between de Bromhead and Andrew McNamara.



Lavery class will prevail


It has been a week that Sheila Lavery will never forget for all the wrong reasons, after the sad death of stable star Lady Kaya, the English 2,000 Guineas runner-up who was one of the prime contenders for glory at next week’s Royal Ascot.


Racing has rallied around the Meath trainer, owner Joanne Lavery (Sheila’s niece) and jockey Robbie Colgan and it was fantastic to see Galeola, running in the colours of Sheila’s brother and main patron John and ridden by Colgan, be victorious at Leopardstown last night.


That was a fourth winner in eight runners for a team that has been bouncing of late. This is a reminder that though losing Lady Kaya is a bitter blow, class shines through.


Sheila has two runners at Limerick this evening and three at Gowran Park, where Landing Zone is interesting now on handicap debut in the BetVictor Proudly Supporting Irish Racing Handicap (4.55). This may be the one to keep the good run going for a trainer and team who definitely deserve an upturn in fortunes.


Brabazon keeps flag flying


Dick Brabazon carries the torch for one of the most famous families in Irish racing, his grandfather Cecil a former champion trainer and his father Aubrey one of the top jockeys of his era.


Dick operates one of the largest and most successful pre-training operations in the country at Rangers Lodge in the Curragh, which Cecil bought and moved into in 1927.


Richard Hannon and Jessica Harrington are just two of his clients, while Snow Fairy, Lord Shanakill and Curtain Call are some of the top flight horses who have benefited from Brabazon’s tutelage over the years.


Brabazon has always held a training permit however and managed to record at least one winner every season bar one in the last 10.


He remains in pursuit of maintaining that run in 2019 and has two stabs at it over the weekend, with the consistent Waterboy in the Stagefright Play Live At Limerick Racecourse on July 13th Handicap (5.10) at Limerick tomorrow, and five-time victor Korbous in the BetVictor Guaranteed Run For Your Money Handicap (3.15) at Gowran Park on Sunday.

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