HRI Review

Racing Review 

Awayinthewest Breaks Duck At Ballinrobe

Glorious sunshine greeted Ballinrobe's two-day May fixture and it was Awayinthewest who shone brightest in the Monday night feature, the Monroe's Live Mares Handicap Hurdle for Leighlinbridge-based trainer Pat Fahy and Barry Geraghty. Having failed to score on her 11 previous starts over hurdles, Awayinthewest picked the perfect occasion to break his duck as the 4-1 shot swooped late to see off Presenting Mahler by two-and-three-quarter-lengths.  Kilcolgan trainer Stephen Mahon continued his cracking course record at Ballinrobe by sending out Rocky Court to win the Bank of Ireland Handicap Chase under Robbie Colgan by a nose at odds of 16-1. 

Kaiser Black Wins Mayo National At Ballinrobe In Style

Thurles trainer Pat Doyle celebrated one of the biggest victories of his training career under Rules when Kaiser Black landed the McHale Mayo National at Ballinrobe on Tuesday evening.  The seven-year-old warmed up for his Mayo National date with second at Tipperary earlier in May and it certainly did the trick as he registered a 15-length defeat of Spider Web in the hands of Jack Kennedy. A Sizing Network finished third, another 17 lengths away, while Concordin was fourth. Popular Athenry trainer Val O'Brien sent out his first winner of the season in the McHale Centre Delivery Rake Range Handicap Hurdle courtesy of Oh'herewego who won by 11 lengths in the hands of Donagh Meyler. Another impressive winner on the evening was the Willie Mullins-trained Good Thyne Tara who destroyed her 11 rivals in the McHale Pro Glide Mower Range Hurdle by 16 lengths. The 13-8 favourite was ridden to victory by Danny Mullins. 

Turret Triumphs In Listed Contest At Gowran Park

The Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Victor McCalmont Memorial Stakes was the feature contest at Gowran Park on Tuesday evening and it went the way of the Jim Bolger-trained Turret Rocks. The 13-8 favourite was sent straight to the front by Kevin Manning and she dug deep in the closing stages to fend out the luckless Clear Skies who was denied a clear run at crucial stages inside the final two furlongs.  Oisin Orr, from Rathmullan in County Donegal, is one of the hottest properties in the weighing room right now and he showed his talent on the Dermot Weld-trained Sorelle Delle Rose who landed the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap in impressive fashion by three lengths from Wild As The Wind.  Weld went on to complete a double thanks to Romaniya, who won the Fillies Maiden by six lengths under Tuam rider Leigh Roche. 

Espere Still Unbeaten After Gowran Park Win

Champion jockey Colin Keane, from Trim in County Meath, added another winner to his tally for the season at Gowran Park on Wednesday evening as Espere made it two wins from two starts in the Ladies Day June 23rd Fillies Rated Race. The 11-10 favourite showed a sharp turn of foot to beat New To Town by four and three-quarter lengths. The Snow Fairy Stakes at the Curragh later in the season is now on Ger Lyons' agenda for the promising filly. 

Rathmullen rider Luke McAteer, who turned 18 on Thursday, had his third winner on the track thanks to Admodum who stormed home to land the Thomastown Handicap. McAteer looked to have little chance of success leaving the back straight when five lengths adrift of the second-last horse but he produced a power-packed finish to get up close home. The Jim Bolger-trained five-year-old was sent off at odds of 11-2 and had three-quarters-of-a-length to spare over Koybig at the line. Dunganstown trainer Prunella Dobbs and 2,000 Guineas-winning rider Shane Foley teamed up to land the Helmet Day June 4th Handicap with 7-1 shot Arbourfield. 

Drama Completes Fairyhouse Treble For Keane and Lyons

The first Flat meeting of the season at Fairyhouse on Thursday night belonged to Kiltale trainer Ger Lyons and Trim rider Colin Keane as they combined for a treble, but it was plain to see that none of them meant more to the trainer than that of Elegant Drama in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.  The champion jockey bounced the previously disappointing filly out in front and the daughter of Dandy Man seemed to appreciate it, and in addition she dug deep inside the final furlong to see off the challenge of market rival Excelling Spirit by half-a-length. Lyons now has stakes races in mind for Elegant Drama.  Hyperlapse and Heavenly Rainbow were Lyons and Keane's other winners. Meanwhile, Stamullen trainer John McConnell helped himself to a 233-1 double as 25-1 outsider Hey Pretty sprung a surprise in the Bookmakers Handicap under Shane Foley and Sheila's Hope won the Next Meeting At Fairyhouse June 15th Apprentice Handicap in the hands of Tom Madden. 

Mixed Emotions For Mags Mullins At Tramore

It was an evening high on emotion at Tramore on Friday for Mags Mullins as, after Motown Girl suffered a fatal injury in the mares' maiden hurdle earlier on the card, the Goresbridge handler was provided with something to smile about when Dumhach Thra landed the concluding David Flynn Ltd Ladies Bumper. In doing so, Dumhach Thra confirmed himself a very talented beast, coming right away clear to win well under Jody Townend, sister to former champion jockey Paul. There is no more popular trainer in Ireland that Mick Winters and there was a huge cheer when Model Cloud passed the winning line in front in the DFL Fitouts & Joinery Ltd. Handicap Chase. Model Cloud, representing the Kanturk-based trainer, won well in the hands of Brian Hayes. The winner is owned by the trainer's brother, Tony. Pleasure Dome landed the opening David Flynn Ltd. Beginners Chase for the champion trainer Willie Mullins and John Turner, a successful greyhound owner. Ridden brilliantly by Danny Mullins, who galvanised the mare after it looked as though she lost all winning chance after making a mistake at the last fence, Pleasure Dome got back up on the short run-in to beat Cotton Jenny.

Royal Ascot On London Icon's Radar After Navan Success

London Icon has Big Ben in his sights. That was the message from trainer Adrian Keatley after the Elzaam colt controlled the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race from start to finish under Gerald Mosse, booking himself a place in either the St James's Palace or Jersey Stakes. Keatley had intended to have a crack at the Irish 2,000 Guineas last Saturday, but a below-par prep in a Listed race at Naas in early May put paid to those thoughts. Funnily enough, though, the horse who was just a length ahead of him there was none other than Guineas hero Romanised.  The feature Royal County Handicap, worth €50,000, saw The King have his crown snatched away in the final stride by Downdraft. It was another remarkable ride from last weekend's 2,000 Guineas-winning jockey Shane Foley, who timed his challenge to perfection on the Joseph O'Brien-trained 3-1 favourite. Johnny Murtagh was on ITV duty at Epsom but hopefully he sneaked away to watch the opening Lynn Lodge Stud Irish EBF Maiden before going on air as his Yolo Again triumphed under Niall McCullagh. 

Nicholson Notches Second Winner In A Week At Tramore

Thurles trainer John Nicholson continued his hot streak at Tramore on Saturday evening as Ask Susan made it two wins in the space of a week for the yard. Turasoir was a winner for the stable at Ballinrobe last Monday under Mark Enright, and following on from that success, the jockey guided Ask Susan home in front in the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Annual Members Mares Beginners Chase. The lion's share of the prize-money will be going straight into Nicholson's pocket, too, as not only does he train the mare, but he also owns the six-year-old. Icelip has never won a race anywhere other than Tramore and the 10-year-old notched his fourth success at the Waterford venue and his first over fences for Piltown handler David O'Brien. The gelding is O'Brien's stable star, and Sean Flanagan knows him well. The jockey was instrumental in the success, coming with a late rattle to claim his Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Directors Handicap Chase rivals after the last. 

Murphy Off The Mark For The Season At Listowel

Fethard trainer Joe Murphy got off the mark for the season when Fit For Function returned to form to land the feature Follow Listowel Races On Facebook Handicap over six furlongs at Listowel on Sunday. Confidently ridden by Gary Carroll, he forged clear inside the last furlong to beat the front-running Aspen Belle by a length and a quarter. Willie McCreery was in double-winning form at Listowel as the Curragh handler first sent out Mindt to land the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden and then True To Herself to take the Croom House Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden. Both were ridden to victory by Billy Lee, a native of Castletown in County Limerick. One of Lisa O'Neill's finest moments in the saddle arrived at Listowel in 2016 when she guided Potters Point to victory in the Guinness Kerry National and she enjoyed another course success in the Bryan MacMahon Race on the Willie Mullins-trained Law Girl.

Racing News

Aidan And Donnacha Team Up For Oaks Victory

Aidan O'Brien won a seventh Oaks as Forever Together powered clear under the trainer's son Donnacha and ran away with the Investec-sponsored Group 1.  Settled in fourth, the Cheshire Oaks runner-up showed marked improvement to see off Godolphin challenger Wild Illusion, with Bye Bye Baby holding on for third. Wild Illusion could not overcome the widely perceived handicap of stall one, but she was the only horse to break O'Brien's grip on the race as he saddled the four and fifth as well. It was yet another Classic success for the master of Ballydoyle, and another sired by Galileo. His five entries seized control of the race from the start and filled five of the first six positions as the field galloped uphill towards Tattenham Corner. Rounding the bend Bye Bye Baby appeared to have slipped off the front under Wayne Lordan, but she was eventually reeled in by the winner, who was scoring for the first time in her career, and Wild Illusion, who came up the stands' side rail.

Irish Derby Likely Next Target For Epsom Hero Masar

Masar gave Godolphin glory in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday and he is likely to try and become the 11th horse to complete the English-Irish Derby double and the first since Harzand in 2016.  The 16-1 outsider, who was third to Saxon Warrior in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, stayed on strongly to beat Dee Ex Bee by a length and a half to hand William Buick a first Oaks and Charlie Appleby a first Classic.  O'Brien stressed that no plans had been made for Saxon Warrior, who finished fourth despite being sent off the 4-5 favourite, but hinted that the Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 30 will most likely be his next port of call.

Kilbeggan rescheduled for Tuesday evening

Following the cancellation of the Kilbeggan fixture scheduled for Sunday due to issues arising with the water supply, Horse Racing Ireland has announced that this meeting is now rescheduled for Tuesday, June 5. The original declarations for this meeting stand and the revised times will be announced in due course. The first race goes to post at 5.55, last race 8.55. The original meeting was cancelled due to water supply issues caused by a burst water main in Dysart. 

Condon has Royal Ascot and Goodwood in mind for Romanised

Ken Condon is mapping out a campaign at the top level for his stable star Romanised, with the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot likely to be followed by a trip to Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes on the first day of August.  The Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, who sprung a huge surprise at 25-1 to give Condon his first Classic and a first winner of the season, featured amongst 46 entries for the Sussex Stakes on August 1, but first he will try to prove himself to be the top three-year-old colt over a mile in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.

Derby Heroes and Gosden’s Crack Duo Among Stellar Entry for Longines Irish Champions Weekend

Last weekend’s Epsom and French Derby winners Masar and Study Of Man join Cracksman and Enable in a stellar entry of 56 for this September’s QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

The race is the highlight on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 15 with the entry for Comer Group International Irish St Leger, at the Curragh on Sunday, September 16, headed by the leading stayer, Order Of St George. Cracksman, the top three-year-old in the world last year, and the brilliant Enable, winner of five Group 1 races last season, feature among five entries for trainer John Gosden. 

One of four Group 1 races at the Curragh on Sunday, September 16, the Comer Group International Irish St Leger tops the bill on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.  Order Of St George is chasing a third success in the race after wins in 2015 and again last year. The Jim Bolger-trained Twilight Payment was runner-up to the Ballydoyle star in the Listed Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown and is likely to re-oppose as is Jessica Harrington’s Torcedor, second to him in this race last September. Also featuring among Aidan O'Brien’s entries are the three-year-olds Southern France, Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt but the biggest threat to their illustrious stable companion could be the Gosden-trained Stradivarius.

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