Weekend Takeaways from Down Royal, Gowran Park and Wexford

Monday, July 29, 2019
Bahlwan and Joey Sheridan wins the Magners Dark Fruit Handicap. Down Royal Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 26.07.2019

Bahlwan and Joey Sheridan wins the Magners Dark Fruit Handicap. Down Royal Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 26.07.2019

Hogan’s heroes

Denis Hogan is one of the real breakout trainers OF the past few seasons, steadily improving THE quality and quantity of HIS string by virtue of sending out more and more winners, many of them relatively cheap acquisitions.

He is among those that have put a lie to the oft-peddled notion that it is impossible for new handlers to make an impact, doing so in both codes while combining it with being a jump jockey, albeit that most of his rides are for himself.

Even by his standards, last Friday night was outstanding as his four runners yielded three winners and a third, almost the maximum return he could have had, with the third, Gopsies Duaghter finishing behind stablemate Bahlwan, who had promising young apprentice Joey Sheridan doing the steering in the Magners Dark Fruit Handicap at Down Royal.

Down in Wexford, Hogan combined with Paul Cawley – brother of jockey Alain and trainer Brian – for a double over obstacles. Mister Butler kept on well when making his challenge late on to just dead heat with Ronan McNally’s all-the-way leader Black Spot On in the thrilling Flood Ironworks Ltd Handicap Hurdle.

It was a tight one again in the Ferrybank Open Beginners’ Chase but this time, Cawley got Liglighter to stick his head in front of Woodbrook Boy and Rachael Blackmore, right on the line to prevail by a neck.


Harri Socks it to em

We signposted on Friday that Tom Madden had an opportunity to cash in at Gowran Park on Saturday, with Shane Foley bound for Ascot to ride Punita Arora. Unfortunately for Foley, it was a wasted trip as the filly never made it to the stalls.

Madden – known as ‘Socks’ as the next Madden rider following in the footsteps of the Nialls, his father ‘Boots’ and brother ‘Slippers’ – has enjoyed being Jessica Harrington’s Number 2 this season and he capitalised on the opportunities once again with a double at the Kilkenny venue.

Proceedings got under way a little earlier than normal at this time of year, in deference to the Cats’ impending pulsating All-Ireland hurling semi-final defeat of champions Limerick, and the Madden/Harrington axis was quickly on the mark with another two-year-old filly.

Silence Please was very impressive on debut, coming with a late, withering run to bag the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Maiden by a length and a half. A little over an hour and a half later, the ultra-consistent Minni Haha earned a deserved day in the sun with three lengths to spare in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Handicap.

That brings Madden’s tally to 12 for the season, while Harrington has a career-best 45 now for an Irish flat campaign, just three behind Joseph O’Brien, who trails his father Aidan by 14. Harrington’s tally is from considerably less runners too – 277, compared to 382 for O’Brien the younger and 358 for the master of Ballydoyle.


Gowran gives

Jessica Harrington was the sole multiple-winning trainer at Gowran Park on Saturday, though Tom Madden shared riding honours with championship leader Colin Keane and claimer Ben Coen. Keane was victorious for his boss Ger Lyons on Long Arm in the concluding contest, having earlier been excellent in setting good fractions on Lady Olenna for Ray Cody, who has been doing well since taking out a licence himself, after a successful period assisting Ellmarie Holden.

Peter Fahey got a boost ahead of what he hopes will be a memorable Galway Festival, where Peregrine Run leads a strong team, when Shamad got up by a head under Coen, while a man with an outstanding Galway record,  Pat Flynn continued his recent excellent form thanks to Travelwise, who also had Coen on board.

Anthony McCann and Shane Ryder were the other triumphant handlers, the former celebrating thanks to Little Camacho and Gavin Ryan, with Ryder greeting A Few Bob Short and Leigh Roche into the winner’s enclosure.

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