HRI Review

Racing Review  

Teenager On The Fringe The Toast Of Listowel

Teenagers do not come much more popular than On The Fringe, a two-time Cheltenham Festival winner in 2015 and 2016, and the 13-year-old lit up Listowel on Bank Holiday Monday by registering a 13th career success in the Join The Listowel Races Supporters Club Hunters Chase. Ridden by Aine O'Connor for the first time, On The Fringe jumped flawlessly and raced with his old zest on the way to a six-length win over Vinnie Luck.  The John J. Galvin Handicap Chase was the most valuable race of the afternoon and it was Templemore trainer John Ryan who was celebrating after it as Draycott Place dug deep under Mark Enright to fend off the challenge of The Wests Awake by half-a-length.  The finish to the Harvest Festival 9th-15th September Handicap Hurdle was fought out between a pair of 33/1 shots and it was Ancient Sands, trained by veteran Dungarvan handler John Kiely, who came out on top under Brian Hayes at the expense of Beau Et Sublime. 

World Record Broken At Gowran Park

A world record was broken at Gowran Park on Bank Holiday Monday as it was the scene for the largest recorded gathering of people in helmets in one place at one time with all money raised donated to the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.  On the track, the feature Kilkenny Senior Hurlers Race Day Saturday June 23rd Handicap over seven furlongs, worth almost €16,000 to the winner, saw That Is The Spirit make all the running in the hands of Chris Hayes. The seven-year-old was winning for a seventh time but it was his first triumph since joining red-hot trainer Richard O'Brien who has started the current campaign in fine style.  Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning teamed up for a double thanks to Change Of Velocity in the Ladies Day June 23rd Maiden and Meagher's Flag in the Mallwood Ltd. Handicap. 

Long Journey To Kilbeggan Pays Dividends For Carrigtwohill Trainer

Having been forced to postpone their meeting the previous Sunday due to water supply issues caused by a burst water main in Dysart, Kilbeggan staged their seven-race jumps card on Tuesday evening.  The long journey up from the Cork town of Carrigtwohill to County Westmeath paid handsome dividends for Terence O'Brien who sent out the gutsy Consharon Boy to land the feature Like Kilbeggan Races On Facebook Handicap Chase under Jack Kennedy. The 6/1 shot was challenged from all angles after the second-last but kept pulling out more and scored by half-a-length from William Du Berlais.  That success was the final leg of a 62/1 treble for Dingle native Kennedy who earlier guided Osco Mosco to glory in the Bloomfield House Hotel Mares Hurdle and Hardback to victory in the Mid Summer Monday 25th June Race Evening Beginners Chase. Both of those were trained by Gordon Elliott. 

Up Monaghan! Syndicate Celebrate After Spiral Success At Navan

The Up Monaghan Syndicate, named after Oliver Brady's most famous phrase, did him proud with their celebrations after the surprise 14/1 success of Spiral Galaxy in the Mid Summer Raceday July 14th Handicap at Navan on Wednesday. Trained in Castleblayney by Anthony McCann, Spiral Galaxy stormed to a four and a half length win in the hands of Oisin Orr.

John McConnell, whose Rockview Stables are based in Stamullen, sent out his third winner in a week as Bellick won the Arkle Bar Handicap over five furlongs. Trim jockey Colin Keane was patient on the 12/1 shot and timed his challenge to perfection, leading close home on the way to a one-length win over Rising Eagle. McConnell helped himself to a 233/1 double at Fairyhouse last Thursday evening so it was certainly  a good week for the Stamullen trainer. Donnacha O'Brien's bid for a first Irish jockeys' championship was aided by a treble following victories on Gossamer Wings, Pedisnap and Arthurian Fame. 

Willie Mullins Records 3,000th Career Winner At Wexford

There was something rather fitting about Willie Mullins recording his 3,000th winner at Wexford on Wednesday evening with Timi Roli, a horse carrying the colours made famous by Hurricane Fly, the record-breaking dual Champion Hurdle winner with whom the 12-time champion handler managed to 22 Grade 1 victories during his glittering career. Timi Roli could not have been a more impressive winner, cruising home unchallenged to win the 3m handicap hurdle under the trainer’s nephew, Danny Mullins. The first of those 3,000 winners was recorded at Thurles on February 18, 1988, with a horse called Silver Bachelor winning for the Closutton outfit and Mullins has since added a staggering 231 Grade 1 victories.  Rachael Blackmore sits at the summit of the jockeys' championship after galvanising Peace News to win the Boylesports-sponsored novice chase for Knockeen trainer Henry De Bromhead. Peace News, owned by Gigginstown, was winning for the second time over fences and kept on well to deny Lean And Keen, who finished with a late rattle.

Zorion Snatches Glencairn Stakes At Leopardstown

The Bulmers Live evenings at Leopardstown have kicked off and, while only six entered the stalls for the Listed Glencairn Stakes on Thursday evening, there was no shortage of drama as the Godolphin-owned Zorion got up in the last stride to score for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning. The son of Smart Strike, disappointing in a six-furlong handicap at the Curragh previously, relished the step up to the mile as he got up on the line to beat the unlucky Allegio by a head to win for Godolphin. A trip to Royal Ascot next week could be on the cards for the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt Giuseppe Garibaldi after he galloped to a convincing success in the Listed King George V Cup.  The son of Galileo ran on strongly to the line for in-form rider Donnacha O'Brien as he comfortably saw off the challenge of 12/1 outsider Cimeara by two-and-a-half lengths. A crack at the King Edward VII Stakes or the Queens Vase look the likeliest scenarios.

Actress Plays Leading Role At A Sun-Kissed Curragh

Actress played the leading role at a sun-kissed Curragh on Friday evening as the Aidan O'Brien-trained filly took the feature Group 3 TRM Ballyogan Stakes over six furlongs. British raider One Master, trained by William Haggas, was sent off the 13/8 favourite but she could never get to grips with the Seamie Heffernan-ridden Actress who displayed blistering speed on the way to a one-and-a-quarter-length win over Gorane.  Kiltale trainer Ger Lyons has a cracking record in premier handicaps and he added another to his collection thanks to Blue Uluru in the TRI Equestrian Superstore Handicap. The 5/2 favourite was very keen in the early stages under Colin Keane but she battled bravely in the closing stages to deny Dali by a head. 

Venezia Swoops Late To Score For O'Grady At Clonmel

Ballynonty-based trainer Edward O'Grady had a welcome winner and indeed a dramatic one in the John Kennedy Motors Clonmel Beginners Chase at Clonmel on Friday evening with the Galileo gelding Venezia who somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Dramatic indeed it was as the horse met with interference under Philip Enright on the approach to the straight but his rider got two terrific jumps out of him in the straight. It may well have been the winning of the race as he got up close home to beat Imperial Way by half-a-length.  Leamlara trainer Gary Ahern is looking forward to the rest of the summer with his mare Slainte And Thanks, and the season began very well for her as she posted an emphatic victory in the BBQ Evening At Clonmel Races Mares Handicap Hurdle. 

Fancy Result For Harrington At The Curragh

Jessica Harrington has set her sights on a first Royal Ascot winner next week and her team could not be in better form heading into the royal meeting as she won the feature race at the Curragh on Saturday courtesy of the very consistent I'm So Fancy who gained an overdue breakthrough at Listed level when landing the McDonnell's Bar June Fest Silver Stakes. She sat quite close to a good early gallop and Colm O'Donoghue had no qualms about her stamina as he sent her to the front two furlongs out and she stayed on strongly from that point to beat favourite Mustajeer by three-and-three-quarter lengths. Bansha trainer David Marnane is hopeful that Martin McHale's sprinter Alfredo Arcano can make it in races like the Rockingham Handicap and he did his prospects for such races no harm as he landed the Keadeen Hotel Supporting Newbridge Parish Handicap. The son of Arcano, who had done most of his winning at Dundalk prior to this, took advantage of racing on the stands side rail under Oisin Orr, and he really picked up well inside the final furlong to get on top close home for a three-quarters-of-a-length victory over Rattling Jewel. 

Racing News

French Glory for O'Sullivan and Mullins

Trainer Ross O'Sullivan, the husband of Katie Walsh, pulled off the biggest win of his career and a major coup when Baie Des Isles and the in-form Paul Townend registered a brave success over the biggest jumping test in France - the Grade 2 Prix des Drags at Aureuil on Saturday.  Baie Des Isles ran well for a long way under Katie Walsh in the Grand National before being hampered but next May's Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris is now firmly etched in the diary for the seven-year-old mare. 

Meanwhile, less than three weeks after his gutsy second in the Grande Course de Haies, Bapaume notched a stylish success in the Grade 2 Prix la Barka to give Willie Mullins a fifth career win in the race.  One of five runners for Ireland's champion trainer, Bapaume was ridden in the rear third of the field early on as stablemate Asthuria set the pace, before Paul Townend began to work his way forwards inside the final mile.  Taken to the stands' rail as the field spread across the track turning in, Bapaume surged six lengths clear of Le Grand Luce. His haul in France over the last 20 days now stands at €155,000. 

Saxon Warrior On The Way To Irish Derby

Saxon Warrior is heading to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and a potential rematch with Epsom hero Masar and runner-up Dee Ex Bee.  While the Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Deep Impact started odds-on favourite at Epsom but could finish only fourth, most bookmakers just favour him over Masar for the Curragh Classic on June 30 with Paddy Power making him their 10/11 favourite. Masar is 9/4 with the same firm. O'Brien has sent out 12 winners of the Irish Derby, most recently Capri – who, notably, finished only sixth at Epsom a year ago.

Saxon Warrior, the 2,000 Guineas winner who ended his juvenile campaign with a victory in the Racing Post Trophy, lost his unbeaten record at Epsom but, while a drop in distance was one of the options floated in the aftermath, he is to be given another chance over a mile and a half.

Former Lexus Chase Winner Denman Dies

Denman, one of the iconic figures of 21st century jump racing, has died aged 18.

Since winning his point-to-point at Liscarroll back in March 2005 he was known by his legions of fans as 'The Tank', having carved his place in jump racing folklore with a string of outstanding racecourse performances and his head-to-head rivalry with stable companion Kauto Star from the Paul Nicholls yard. His only big race win in Ireland came in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown under Ruby Walsh in 2007 while the following year the defining moment of his career came at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival, when he produced a relentless performance of galloping and jumping to defeat defending champion Kauto Star and future Grand National winner Neptune Collonges in the hands of Sam Thomas. He was retired at the end of the 2011 season due to a tendon injury with the outstanding record of 14 wins on the track and six places from 24 starts earning €1.37 million in prize-money.

Horse Racing Ireland Student Internships Appointed

Horse Racing Ireland has appointed five internships for the summer season of 2018, with successful applicants from Kildare, Kerry, Dublin and Galway. It is the fifth year of the HRI Student Internship Programme.   The five successful candidates are Gerard Mulvihill from Listowel, County Kerry (attached to Communications department); Rebecca Coonan from Naas, County Kildare (Tote Ireland); Orlaith Nangle from Dundrum, County Dublin (Marketing department); John Feeley from Kinvara, County Galway (Leopardstown Racecourse); Sophie Vard-Ryan from Sandyford, County Dublin (Leopardstown Racecourse).

Justify Completes Coveted American Triple Crown

Justify achieved racing immortality on Saturday night in America when becoming the 13th horse to complete the coveted Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. It had been only 36 months since the title had previously been won, but the fact it had been 37 years prior to American Pharoah's success underlines the enormity of the feat. Baffert also charted American Pharoah's route to the top. However, that champion had a preparation nothing so unusual as Justify's. In winning the Kentucky Derby Justify lifted the so-called 'curse of Apollo' to become the first horse since 1882 to win without having run as a two-year-old. He then battled through the slop to win the Preakness Stakes and set up his bid for American racing's Holy Grail. Whether the son of Scat Daddy had the stamina for the mile and a half of the Belmont was the big question, but Mike Smith, who was winning the Triple Crown for the first time, was able to cut out the fractions he wanted from the front and Justify was not hard pushed to extend his unbeaten run to six.

Three Winners Of The Tote Pick 6 Receive Almost Quarter-of-a-Million

The Pick 6 pool at the Curragh on Saturday did not quite reach the magical million euro mark, but the three winners who shared €969,524 won't complain too much. They each pocketed the handsome sum of €226,222.40.

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