Willie’s weekend wonder
treble at Tipperary on Sunday, after Kildare trounced Antrim to progress in the
All-Ireland Football Senior Football Championship on Saturday, made it a
weekend to remember for former Lilywhite midfielder Willie McCreery.
was reared for the racing industry as son of trainer Peter, but was a brilliant
footballer with Kildare and Clane too. A towering and tireless midfielder, he
won countless county championships but most memorably starred as Kildare won
the Leinster Championship in 1998 (yes, teams other than Dublin have been
victorious in the distant past!) and reached the All-Ireland Final under the
stewardship of Kerry legend, Mick O’Dwyer.
became a selector after his retirement but by then was building towards what is
now a very successful career as a Group 1-winning trainer.
Tipp treble brings McCreery’s tally for the season to 17, which is bettered by
only five handlers – Aidan O’Brien, Joseph O’Brien, Ger Lyons, Dermot Weld and
Crosse and Sweetest Taboo got the show on the road, providing the in-form
apprentice with his 12th success of the campaign, while Billy Lee
completed a double on Memyselfandmoi and Killourney to rise to fourth on the
jockey’s table with 24 winners.
delight for uncle and nephew
Coen coped admirably with combining riding with studying for and then sitting
his Leaving Certificate exams, a challenge also taken on by his first cousin
Andrew Slattery and Gavin Ryan. Now that the pressure is off in that regard,
being able to focus on the job must be a relief.
combined with his uncle Andy Slattery for a double at Tipperary, thanks to
Kurpany and Cityman. That brings the apprentice’s tally to 10 this term, just
three behind Slattery Jnr in what is sure to be a keen if friendly rivalry.
the process, Coen was helping his uncle double his tally for the campaign.
Foley on the treble
Foley is a multiple classic-winning jockey so it was always likely that he
would grasp the opportunity provided to him as Jessica Harrington’s retained
pilot with both hands.
Wexford native booted a treble at Down Royal on Saturday, with two of those for
his primary employer and one for Noel Meade.
latter arrived in the Magners Ulster Derby on Dadoozdart and while Meade joked
that training Flat horses was easier than jumpers, it has been notable that the
Meath handler, who enjoyed plenty of big-race success on the level before
concentrating almost exclusively on National Hunt, has been busier on the level
in the past 18 months than at almost any time in the preceding 30 years.
other two winners were for Harrington, Invincible Diva shedding her maiden
status before Camphor claimed the Weatherbys Irish EBF Ulster Oaks with ease.
is now joint second in the jockeys table with defending champion Donnacha
O’Brien on 31 winners, though the pair have a lot of ground to make up on
O’Brien’s predecessor Colin Keane, who sits on 44.