Weekend Takeaways from Down Royal, Kilbeggan, Listowel and Gowran Park

Tuesday, June 04, 2019
50/1 shot Paddy Buns and Kevin Brouder winning the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle. Kilbeggan. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 02.06.2019

50/1 shot Paddy Buns and Kevin Brouder winning the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle. Kilbeggan. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 02.06.2019

McCreery’s reasons to smile

Willie McCreery really kicked his season into gear with a treble at Gowran Park yesterday, thanks to Arabeska, Come September and Up Helly Aa, all ridden by the on-fire Billy Lee.

Victory for the son of Galileo had particular resonance for trainer and jockey as the first foal and first runner for Fiesolana, the filly who provided them with their first Group 1 triumph in the Matron Stakes in 2014.

That very impressive success set the seal on a memorable weekend for the Curragh handler, who was also on the mark with Black Martini at Down Royal on Friday.

Off the track, there was plenty to be happy about too. Twenty years ago, McCreery was one of the leading Gaelic football midfielders in the country, when Anthony Tohill, John McDermott, Kevin Walsh, Darragh Ó Sé and fellow Kildare man Niall Buckley were among the top exponents.

He was a driving force as Kildare ended a 32-year lean spell to win a Leinster Championship in 1998 and they reached the All-Ireland Final that season. Galway just got the better of them however and that remains the closest the Lilies have gotten to ultimate success since 1928.

Training was always going to be the priority for the son of the late leading conditioner, Peter McCreery Snr but the Clane man remains an ardent football follower, having also been a selector with Kildare after his retirement from playing.

The All Whites made no mistakes at the second time of asking against Longford in their Leinster Championship quarter-final replay on Sunday and now face the might of five-in-a-row chasing Dublin in next Sunday’s semi-final.

They wouldn’t mind having Big Willie back patrolling the middle for that one.


Nothing to be Crosse about at Down Royal

It might not have been unique but it must have been a very rare occurrence indeed when two brothers, both apprentices, rode doubles at Down Royal on Friday night.

Shane is the reigning champion apprentice, having only recorded his first winner in April of last year on G Force, a race in which older brother Nathan was back in sixth. A fruitful association with Joseph O’Brien propelled him to championship honours and after recording 22 winners during that campaign, he is now on nine thanks to a weekend that yielded four triumphs.

The 17-year-old from Cahir was shown the way initially by Nathan, who brought his tally to three with a second-and-third-race double, on the aforementioned Black Martini for McCreery and Polly Douglas for Kieran Cotter.

It was time for Shane to respond and he did thanks to his young boss, propelling Owning Hill residents Shakespear’sgallery and A Wave Of The Sea to the winner’s enclosure.

The pair combined successfully once more at Navan the following day when Shane got Air Force Jet’s nose in front right on the line for Qatar Racing in the Lynn Lodge Stud Irish EBF Maiden. Shane was fourth, third, third and sixth in his remaining engagements. Nathan also got a good tune out of Rag’s Tatter to finish second in the Come Racing Saturday 8th June Handicap.

Shane was back in business again at Listowel on Sunday, steering On A Session to a neck success for the interesting new Theresa Marnane-Aidan Fogarty partnership.


Doyle delivers after brush with disaster

Ricky Doyle is known for his strength and regularly leads the way in Wayne Middleton’s gym sessions for jockeys as part of the Jockey Pathway programme. That conditioning wouldn’t have done him any harm when he was kicked in the parade ring by Fr Gilligansvoyge at Kilbeggan on Sunday, though perhaps not as beneficial as might have been, given the tender area in receipt of the blow from the six-year-old son of staying legend Yeats.

“Fatherhood will be on hold for a while” tweeted Doyle afterwards, regarding his own future siring potential, and in confirmation of how fortunate he was to escape more serious injury.

Yet he dusted himself down despite the inevitable discomfort to finish third in the Summer Party Pack Discount Handicap Hurdle before coming out just over an hour later and piloting Don’t Let Go to victory in the Kilmurray’s Homevalue Hardware Handicap Chase.

Don’t Let Go is trained by Doyle’s boss Conor O’Dwyer and owned by JP McManus. It was a special victory for the McManus family as Don’t Leg Go is a homebred, out of Noreen McManus’ Alflora broodmare Mem O’Rees.

The sire? The same as Fr Gilligansvoyage’s – Yeats. No hard feelings Ricky!


The Brouder beat

Another reminder of how injury is an ever-present in National Hunt racing and how the breaks can be metaphoric as well as literal, was Kevin Brouder registering his sixth winner of a lightning start to the new campaign for a conditional rider.

The Listowel talent was third choice to do the steering but he didn’t mind. Trainer Paul Gilligan’s son Liam was sidelined by a dislocated shoulder suffered the previous week. Evan Daly was next in line but he fell by the wayside on Saturday night when breaking his collarbone.

Brouder is in form and was available. Bad luck for his colleagues proved good luck for him and the early pacesetter in the conditional jockeys’ table illustrated his ability and current high levels of confidence to guide rank outsider Paddy Buns to a gutsy success in the Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle.

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