Weekend Takeaways from The Curragh and Navan

Monday, June 10, 2019
Trainer Shelia Lavery pats Lil Grey after her win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race. The Curragh. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 07.06.2019

Trainer Shelia Lavery pats Lil Grey after her win in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race. The Curragh. Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post 07.06.2019

Insatiable Mullins’ Gallic glory

What marks out the greatest from in any sport is that their hunger for success is never sated. Willie Mullins has long illustrated his desire to repeat success and set new break new ground and there are plenty Flat trainers who wish they he would focus on the National Hunt scene exclusively, rather than increasingly plundering juicy pots on the level with the likes of Micro Manage, an impressive Curragh scorer on Friday night.

Of course the Closutton boss has a very fine record at Royal Ascot too and is readying a strong-looking outfit in a bid to increase that haul the week after next.

Auteuil has been a happy, hunting ground for a number of years and with so many of his troops having been less active than normal due to the unusually dry winter and spring in Ireland, his contingent for the valuable prizes on offer in France at this time of year is stronger than ever.

Yesterday, Mr Adjudicator added to his Punchestown Festival triumph by providing his trainer with a sixth Grade 2 Prix La Barka in eight years. Local pilot Bertrand Lestrade brought David Bobbett’s talented five-year-old home three lengths in front of stablemate Bapaume, who had Paul Townend providing onboard guidance.

This victory comes hot on the heels of Townend garnering the Grande Course de Haies on the Mullins-trained Benie Des Dieux.

A Grade 1-winning juvenile hurdler, Mr Adjudicator may not be finished for the summer, with Patrick Mullins commenting on his “attractive Flat mark” that “we might exploit at some stage”.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned!


Joey Sher going places

Early success as an apprentice is no guarantee of a prolonged term in racing but Joey Sheridan is certainly moving in the right direction.

The 17-year-old from County Tipperary claimed the third winner of his embryonic career as a jockey when Kerosin took the spoils in the www.navanracecourse.ie Handicap at Navan on Saturday, and in the process saw his claim reduced to seven pounds three months after taking out his licence.

Eastern Racer got Sheridan off the mark in Dundalk on April 24th and Make A Challenge brought him closer to losing his 10 pounds at Fairyhouse at the end of May.

Like those two, Kerosin is trained by Denis Hogan, whose horses are in white-hot form at present, which is to Sheridan’s benefit.

Hogan provided the young prospect with his first racecourse ride as well as his three winners to date. The chances are this is a partnership that will produce a few more days to remember.


Lavery paints a pretty picture

Sheila Lavery will certainly be facing into Royal Ascot with confidence high as an exciting campaign to date was boosted further by a brace of winners from Friday and Saturday

Lil Grey was impressive at the Curragh on Friday night before Magnetic North justified the faith the trainer has always had in him with a gutsy display at Navan the following day.

Lavery is the most remarkable operator, having only taken out a licence to train as a 52-year-old when left with horses that she was unable to sell in a failed pinhooking enterprise. With the support of brother John and backed by constantly-improving fortunes, the yard has continued to grow.

The Meath conditioner is half-way towards her tally of eight winners registered last season, though still has a little way to go to match the career high 13 of 2017.

But with 11 other finishes in the first four and the little matter of English 1000 Guineas runner-up Lady Kaya on target for a tilt at the Commonwealth Cup, Irish racing’s Lady Lavery is painting a very pretty picture indeed.

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