Brogan bags first winner
Kill is best known in racing as home to the Walsh family. Neighbour, Kevin Brogan has a long way to go to match the exploits of Ted, Ruby and Katie but the 18-year-old got the journey under way with his first winner on just his 12th ride in Ireland and Britain, steering Askari to success in the John Lynch Carpets Handicap Hurdle at Navan on Saturday.
Brogan, who graduated from RACE as Trainee Jockey of the Year in 2017, did the honours for his boss Gordon Elliott and owner Lee Power, a former Republic of Ireland U21 soccer international who played in the Premier League for Norwich City and is the chairman of both Waterford United and Swindon Town.
Despite being from the same village as racing royalty, Brogan’s interest in racing did not develop until his teenage years. However, riding work at Cullentra House alongside the likes of Gordon Elliott, Rachael Blackmore, Jack Kennedy and Mark Enright among other notables has certainly accelerated his education and now that he has shown his ability to deliver when granted the opportunity, he could be one to note.
Very PC from Madden
Watching a jockey on board a Noel Meade-trained hot favourite, oblivious to the frantic reactions of hyperventilating punters as he patiently guides his partner to victory in the shadow of the finishing post in the Foxrock Handicap Chase at Navan on Saturday, prompted a split-second of wondering if Paul Carberry had turned his back on a blossoming show jumping career and returned to racing.
Of course it wasn’t the case, but rather another long-time Tu Va man that has returned to the fold. Niall Madden spent much of last season across the water with Harry Fry and booted home plenty of winners but is back on familiar territory now. He was in familiar JP McManus colours too, worn to success often by his father of the same name.
Madden was coolness personified on the heavily-backed De Name Escapes Me, even as he seemed short of room coming to the last and up the straight. They did not hit the front until the final 100 yards and the odds were landed snugly. Somewhere, one suspects PC was grinning broadly.
Dempseys do it again
Kildare trainer Philip Dempsey and his son Luke combined to land a significant prize on a 16/1 outsider for the second Sunday in a row when Derrinross bagged the Kerry Group Stayers’ Novice Hurdle at Cork yesterday.
Just a week after Dinnie’s Vinnie had plundered the spoils in the Baroneracing Porterstown Handicap Chase at Fairyhouse, it was Derrinross doing the business, this time in a Grade 3 affair. Remarkably, it was a first win under Rules for the seven-year-old son of Scorpion, although the former point-to-point victor had good form behind the likes of Next Destination and Cracking Smart in bumpers and maiden hurdles. This was his first run since being touched off by a nose in at Downpatrick on St Stephen’s Day last year because of injury and it represented an excellent feat of training by Dempsey Snr, while his son was seen to good effect in the saddle and went on to complete a double.
The day would have been tinged with sadness for the Dempseys as Philip’s father Des, who was a part-owner of Derrinross, passed away recently. His memory however, looks like being carried on by son, grandson and horse.
McMahon finds winning formula
Derek O’Connor’s main gig at Punchestown yesterday was to get Edwulf’s season under way in the John Durkan Memorial Chase but if the legendary pilot was going to miss a day at the point-to-points, he was sure to make it pay.
And so he did on the Brian McMahon-trained Se Mo Laoch, who was triumphant for the third time in his career in the K Club Handicap Chase. It was the seventh consecutive race that the seven-year-old finished in the first three and indeed, only once in the last 12 outings has he been outside the top four, making him a dream horse for Coalbrook Racing Syndicate and McMahon.
McMahon is a native of Clare, whose brother Diarmuid played hurling for the Banner at senior level for a number of years, and cousin Seánie won two All-Irelands in the saffron and blue. Indeed Brian played up to U21 level himself.
Horses are his passion but they aren’t his day job. This isn’t unusual in the racing world but there aren’t too many biochemists sending out winners at Grade 1 fixtures. It truly is an environment in which anyone can have their day in the sun.