Weekend Takeaways from Fairyhouse, Navan, Sligo and Cork

Monday, July 15, 2019
Fairyhouse Sun 14 July 2019 Surrounding with Ronan Whelan and The Newell Family after winning The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes Photo.carolinenorris.ie

Fairyhouse Sun 14 July 2019 Surrounding with Ronan Whelan and The Newell Family after winning The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Brownstown Stakes Photo.carolinenorris.ie

Good spread of winners

There were plenty OF opportunities over the weekend and it was heartwarming to see such a spread of winners.

While leading conditioners Jessica Harrington, Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott, Jim Bolger and Joseph O’Brien added to their tallies, the trend from the past year of more trainers getting among the winners appears to be continuing, although it is early in the National Hunt sphere yet.

Still, on Saturday, the eight-race programme at Navan yielded seven celebrating handlers – the red-hot Harrington being the double scorer – while of the seven contests in Limerick, only Elliott was a multiple victor, with five other trainers landing the spoils.

It was even better yesterday, when each of the seven races at Sligo and eight at Fairyhouse had different successful trainers, though Gavin Cromwell did achieve a cross-card treble – his double coming across the water in Perth, where Elliott was also, almost inevitably, on target.

Eric McNamara, ‘Shark’ Hanlon, Michael Mulvany, Keith Clarke, Karl Thornton, Timothy Doyle, Dot Love, Andy McNamara, Brian Cawley and Liam Burke were among those to get on the mark, illustrating the strength in depth in the Irish training ranks right now.


Family fun at Fairyhouse

If there was a good mix in terms of different trainers getting on the mark, the Fahey and Slattery family in particular had cause to enjoy Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Andy Slattery saddled Mid Winster to land the Discover Boyne Valley Handicap, having given his nephew Ben Coen the leg up.

An hour and a half later, Slattery’s son, and Coen’s first cousin, Andrew was seen to very good effect in the colours of the Quantus Syndicate, getting Hidden Spark to the front on the line in the first division of the Boyne Valley Racing Weekend Handicap for local trainer Dot Love, who will always be remembered for winning the Irish Grand National on this track with Liberty Counsel in 2013.

The Fahey brothers have all done well in the training ranks over the years and two of them bagged the spoils in the last two races to ensure shared bragging rights and an enjoyable spin back down to Monasterevin.

Jarlath, whose star Sea The Lion was injured in York on Saturday, earned some consolation thanks to Lyrical Attraction’s smooth triumph in the Making Dreams Come True Handicap under Ronan Whelan, whose mother Kathleen is joint owner of Sea The Lion along with Fahey’s wife Suzanne.

It was Peter’s turn in the lucky last, Eadbhard winning even more easily in the Summer Evening Racing 17th July Handicap. Oisín Orr has enjoyed a stunning first half to the season, helped mightily by a fruitful association with Dermot Weld, but the Donegal pilot won’t have many more comfortable wins that this. It was his 28th of the campaign, giving the former champion a 10-winner lead over Slattery Jnr in the apprentice table.


Enright back in style

When Mark Enright damaged his shoulder as a result of a fall in the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday, he was expecting to be back in the saddle a lot quicker than Friday.

Unfortunately for the Limerick native, the injury was far from straightforward with the two broken bones taking time to heal and he was sidelined for 13 weeks. While it meant he could follow the fortunes of his county’s hurlers and especially his good friend, the keen racing enthusiast Shane Dowling, it must have been frustrating but the man they call ‘Fish’ is making up for lost time.

The shoulder was tested first time out at Cork on Friday, when he drove An Fearchan to a head victory over Sky Marshal in the Finbarr Quaid Elecitrical Maiden Hurdle, giving Gillian Scott her first success as a licensed trainer.

He had two rides at Sligo yesterday and though Hourie could only finish eighth, Enright combined with Trendsetter to win the Clayton Hotel Handicap Hurdle for trainer Brian Cawley.

Riding at a 67 per cent success rate is obviously unsustainable but with Galway just around the corner, where he piloted Clarcam to an unforgettable Galway Plate victory 12 months ago, the confidence is sure to high hitting Ballybrit once more.

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