HRI Review

Racing Review

Dundalk Maiden Winner Set For Step Up In Class

The Group 3 Athasi Stakes was mentioned as a possible target for Alghabrah after she justified short odds to win the 7f median auction maiden at Dundalk on Tuesday. Trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden by Chris Hayes, the 2/7 favourite was made to work for her success by newcomer Bucky Larson. There was a milestone winner for former pony rider Mike O’Connor from Curraglass, County Cork as he enjoyed his first racecourse success on the Fozzy Stack-trained 5/1 chance Gottardo in the 5f handicap. Over the same distance, 5/4 favourite Danz Gift won the handicap for Sheila Lavery and Ronan Whelan. Aidan O'Brien and his son Donnacha took the three-years-old fillies’ maiden with 4/1 chance Could It Be Love and from the same stall 14, Honor Oak landed the 7f handicap at odds of 16/1 for Tom Hogan and Billy Lee. Ross O’Sullivan and Danny Sheehy won the apprentice handicap with 11/1 shot Universal Focus while an easier winner to find was 4/5 favourite Joey Sasa which won the 12f maiden for Noel Meade and champion jockey Colin Keane.

Dundalk Double For Curragh Trainer Patrick Prendergast

Patrick Prendergast enjoyed two winners at Dundalk on Wednesday night. The session started well for the Curragh trainer as the Ronan Whelan-ridden 5/1 chance Skitter Scatter showed the benefit of having a run under her belt as she just saw off Aidan O'Brien’s 4/9 favourite Sergei Prokofiev in the 5f maiden. The double was completed when 11/4 chance Red Persian won the 6f handicap in the hands of the in-form Chris Hayes. Joseph O'Brien also doubled up with his brother riding 14/1 chance Ming to win the 10f median auction maiden while Wayne Lordan was in the saddle as 12/1 chance Rockfish took the handicap over the same distance. David Marnane’s Seanie won the claiming race over the same distance at odds of 7/2 in the hands of Declan McDonogh. The was a 25/1 winner of the 2m handicap as Tom Cleary’s Nightly Wailing held off British-raider and 100/30 favourite Hediddodinthe under his son Rory. David Dunne and Leigh Roche won the concluding handicap, also over 10f, as the well-backed 5/1 chance Pretty Little Liar narrowly accounted for Lizard Point and favourite Getgo. 

Fairyhouse Casualty Wins Big At Limerick

A first fence faller in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, the Willie Mullins-trained Kemboy bounced back to land the Grade 3 Hugh McMahon Memorial Novice Chase at Limerick on Thursday. Sent off the 5/4 favourite, the six-year-old won in great style under former champion jockey Paul Townend. Mullins didn’t have a runner in the Listed bumper on the card but his son Patrick rode the winner nevertheless as he partnered the Charles Byrnes-trained Balliniska Band, the 7/4 favourite, to a six-length success. Tell Me Annie threw away a winning chance when falling at Cork previously, but she made no mistake in the opening mares’ maiden hurdle for Cappagh, County Waterford trainer Declan Queally and Andrew Lynch. While she won at 30/100 favourite, the odds-on favourite in the maiden hurdle, 8/15 chance Last Minute Man, could only manage second place behind 9/2 shot Allardyce which is trained by Edward O'Grady and was ridden by Phillip Enright. Local trainer Eric McNamara and Ryan Treacy were on the mark with 3/1 favourite Internal Transfer in the 2m5f handicap hurdle. Paul Nolan and Kevin Sexton took the 3m handicap hurdle with 5/1 chance Rooster Byron while Kilganer Queen won the mares’ handicap chase for Cloyne, County Cork trainer Denise O’Shea and Rachael Blackmore. The second bumper on the card went to Noel Meade and Mark O’Hare who teamed up to win with 2/1 chance Where Eagles Dare. 

Lyons And O’Brien Share Naas Feature Races

Ger Lyons and Aidan O'Brien shared the main spoils at Naas on Friday. Psychedelic Funk won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes for the County Meath trainer and champion jockey Colin Keane at odds of 5/1 while dual Classic winner Capri, ridden by Ryan Moore, edged out the Lyons-trained Cannonball by a head to win the Bookmakers Alleged Stakes for O’Brien at odds of 7/4 favourite. Both riders enjoyed doubles on the day with Keane earlier winning on the Noel Meade-trained 10/1 chance Dadoozdart in the two-year-old maiden while Moore shared a second winner with the Ballydoyle handler as 7/4 chance Hunting Horn won the 10f maiden. Meade also made it two for the day when the Shane Foley-ridden 11/2 chance Curley Bill won the 10f handicap. It was also a memorable day for Cahir, County Tipperary apprentice Shane Crosse who rode his first winner on the Adrian Keatley-trained former Group 1 winner G Force in the 6f handicap. Crosse is based with Joseph O'Brien and is a brother of fellow apprentice Nathan. Willie McCreery and Billy Lee took the 6f fillies’ maiden with 5/2 joint-favourite So Long Marianne. 

Ballinrobe Bumper Success For Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle captured the bumper at Ballinrobe on Friday evening with newcomer Bois De Clamart winning in great style at odds of 12/1. He ran out a 10-length winner to give Shane O’Keeffe a second racecourse success. Seskinane, trained by Brian McMahon in Strandhill, County Sligo landed the 2m6f handicap hurdle at odds of 10/1 under Phillip Enright. Another winner trained in the West was Stephen Mahon’s Carrig Cathal, in the familiar colours of local owner Tom Doran, which won the opening division of the 2m2f handicap hurdle in the hands of Denis O'Regan. One with a longer drive home was Lilshane which captured the second leg of the same race for Listowel trainer Thomas O’Connor and conditional rider Kevin Brouder. Reach Up won the 2m2f maiden hurdle for John Ryan and 7lbs claimer Tommy Brett at odds of 8/1 while 3/1 chance Turanga Lilly won the mares’ maiden hurdle for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy. 

Moore Of The Same At Leopardstown on Saturday

Aidan O'Brien and Ger Lyons added to their success at Naas on Friday when dominating at Leopardstown the following afternoon. Ryan Moore partnered the O’Brien-trained 6/4 favourite Gustav Klimt to an impressive success in the 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes while Donnacha O’Brien was in the saddle as 7/4 chance Nelson accounted for Delano Roosevelt and the Moore-ridden The Pentagon to give Ballydoyle a 1-2-3 in the Group 3 PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes. Lyons and Keane combined to win the 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes with 10/1 chance Who’s Steph. The pair had earlier taken the 1m maiden with 5/2 chance Future Proof. Curragh trainer Bill Farrell and high-flying Chris Hayes took the 7f handicap with 9/2 chance Xenobia while the 10f handicap went the way of 14/1 chance Cimeara for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning. The 20-runner finale was won in battling fashion by 5/1 joint-favourite No Way Jack which just prevailed for Pat Martin and Killian Leonard. 

Second Winner In Three Days For Shane Crosse

Shane Crosse rode the first winner of his career at Naas on Friday and he got a second when landing the apprentice handicap on the Joseph O'Brien-trained Song Of The Sky at Cork on Sunday. The Cahir, County Tipperary rider brought the 5/1 chance from well off the pace to score in great style. Another rookie on the mark was Andrew Slattery who brought his tally to five winners when partnering 7/1 chance An Saighduir to success in the 7f handicap. The winner is trained by his father Andy who was also responsible for the runner-up Maysonette which was ridden by Ben Coen, a cousin of the victorious rider. Billy Lee scored an opening race double and will hardly ride an easier winner than Expected which took the 1m maiden for Cashel trainer Paddy Twomey by all of 21 lengths at odds of 4/1. Lee also enjoyed a cosy success on 4/5 favourite Bloomfield, trained by Willie McCreery, in the Listed Noblesse Stakes. Killian Leonard, from Kanturk, maintained his good run of form when winning the 1m handicap on Pat Flynn’s 7/1 chance Marmalade N Toast while Allegio, trained by Denis Hogan and ridden by Seamie Heffernan, scored a 33-length success in the other handicap over the same distance. Harzand, the subsequent Epsom Derby winner, landed the 10f maiden on the card two years ago and Bandua, another trained by Dermot Weld, ran out an impressive winner of this year’s renewal. Declan McDonogh partnered the 4/1 chance to a nine and a half length victory.

High Nellie Makes All The Running For Cosy Tramore Win

High Nellie, bred, owned and trained by Michael Bowe, looks a mare to follow as she gained her second success over fences at Tramore on Sunday. Ridden by Cathal Landers, the well-backed 5/1 chance made every yard of the running to land the conditions’ chase and might well be heading to Punchestown at the end of the month. Aintree Grand National winner Davy Russell returned to a hero’s welcome and landed the opening two races. He won the mares’ maiden hurdle on John Kiely’s 13/8 favourite Decision Time, owned locally by Liam Gleeson, and went on to take the 2m5f maiden hurdle on 9/2 chance Monatomic in the Gigginstown House Stud colours of Tiger Roll. Another local winner was Glendine River which won the 2m5f handicap hurdle for Dermot O’Brien and Donie McInerney. Just Get Cracking had loads in hand at the line as he won the 2m5f handicap chase at odds of 7/1 for James Dullea and Phillip Enright. Joxer, trained by Bill Harney, gave Ryan Treacy a second winner of the week when taking the 2m handicap chase and Patrick Mullins also made it two in seven days when winning the bumper on evens favourite Agusta Gold which is trained by Mags Mullins.

Racing News

Irish Dominate In The Aintree Grand National

Irish-trained horses dominated in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday with Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll leading home a 1-2-3-4 for the visitors. In another thrilling renewal of the historic race, the triple Cheltenham Festival winner and successful in the JT McNamara Munster National at Limerick in October 2016, in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, just lasted home to beat the Willie Mullins-trained Pleasant Company by a head with his stable companion Bless The Wings in third place and Tony Martin’s Anibale Fly in fourth. For good measure, the Noel Meade-trained Road To Riches took sixth place. It was a second win in the race for Elliott but a first for 38-year-old Davy Russell. There was further cheer for Ireland on the day as the Henry De Bromhead-trained Identity Thief won the Grade 1 Ryanair Stayers Hurdle, again for Gigginstown House Stud, with Sean Flanagan in the saddle. 

Horse Racing Ireland Roadshows Continue This Week

The future of Irish racing will again be on the agenda at two Horse Racing Ireland roadshows this week. Everyone is welcome to attend, make suggestions and have their say. HRI Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh and senior management from the organisation will be on hand at the Horse & Jockey Hotel in County Tipperary on Wednesday evening with Lawlor’s Hotel in Naas hosting the final leg of the series on Thursday night. Each event will begin at 7pm. At gatherings in both Athenry and Dundalk last week, there was plenty of discussion on matters ranging from the devastating implications of Brexit for racing and breeding in Ireland, staffing issues within racing, race programming, the vital economic role played by racing and breeding in rural Ireland, and the importance of a solid funding structure to grow the industry and provide opportunities for those at every level.

Barrier Trials To Start At Dundalk

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, backed by Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, is coordinating the imminent introduction of barrier trials of unraced horses at Dundalk Racecourse. It is proposed the first trials will take place on April 18 at the County Louth venue with two subsequent two dates set for May 2 and May 6. In other parts of the world, barrier trials are part and parcel of racing and viewed as central to the education and preparation of horses, both raced and unraced. Those benefits will also apply in Ireland, but ITM’s principal motivation in trying to establish trials here is because the greatest numerical demand from overseas, especially from the lucrative Asian market, is for unraced horses.

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