Weekend Takeaways: Keane & O'Brien dual keeps excitement going

Monday, September 23, 2019
Cache Queen (Colin Keane) wins the Servisource Occupational Healthcare Handicap. Dundalk Stadium. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 20.09.2019

Cache Queen (Colin Keane) wins the Servisource Occupational Healthcare Handicap. Dundalk Stadium. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 20.09.2019

Safety comes first

There was disappointment all round when racing was abandoned at Gowran Park on Saturday but no-one could have had any complaints as safety must always come first.

Stewards had delayed the opening 1.35 race due to the lightning. When it looked like the weather had eased, it was decided to go ahead with jockeys and trainers happy to do so but while the heavy rain was not a concern, the returning lightning was.

It was the right call to abandon racing, with the welfare of patrons, connections, jockeys and horses at stake.

The fixture has been rescheduled for Thursday.


Keane and O’Brien duel keeps excitement going

Donnacha O’Brien was one man who would have rued the weather gods inserting themselves into his affairs as Saturday represented an opportunity to move onto the withers of his predecessor as champion jockey, Colin Keane.

Keane leads by three but was in Ayr on Saturday to ride Buffer Zone in the Gold Cup for boss Ger Lyons. While the failure of the favourite to raise any sort of a gallop was a major disappointment, a pep would have returned to the Keane step when news filtered through that his rival had been denied the opportunity to cut the deficit.

Riding Tell Me All to win a nursery for Cheveley Park and Mark Prescott would only have added to that feeling of positivity.

A double in Dundalk on Friday moved Keane the three clear but we can be sure that this is a duel that will maintain interest in the Irish Flat season right down to the final week. It is to be enjoyed, for these two young men – Keane is 25 and O’Brien 21 – are operating at the very top of their game.

The battle resumes at Fairyhouse today.


No Bumps as Cullinan bags No 1

The last few weeks have seen a number of young jockeys riding their first winners and so it was for Cian Cullinan, who gave Humps And Bumps a confident ride to claim the Tuam Herald Handicap Hurdle at Ballinrobe on Friday evening.

The 22-year-old from Wexford moved the Peter Croke-trained mare to the front three out and exerted dominance from there to sail home by three lengths.

Humps And Bumps will have a special place in the Cullinan scrapbook as the former RACE student bagged one of his three point-to-point winners on her before breaking his track duck with her in such convincing fashion.

It was memorable too for Croke, the Glenealy-based trainer who was saddling his second winner of the season from just 16 runs – the other being The Rubinator who like Humps And Bumps is owned by chief supporter Maurice Sheehy.

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