Friday, 27 March 2015

Weld’s winning ways

Horses for Courses

Tom Red

This weekend racing continues this afternoon at 2 pm in Ballybrit and goes on until Sunday with mixed cards every day. Friday starts at 5.10 pm with Saturday and Sunday both starting at 2.25 pm.

Galway’s Ballybrit Festival started on Monday evening and the feature QR Handicap was won by Ghimaar trained by the Master of Ballybrit Dermot Weld and ridden by Robbie McNamara at odds of 10/1. The Handicap was won by the Jessica Harrington trained No One Tells Me. Ghimaar was completing a double for Weld who had won earlier with the odds on favourite Stunning View. In the bumper Paul Gilligan did not run Daneva but provided an able substitute in Honours Graduate who romped home in the hands of stable amateur Brian Cawley.

On Tuesday in the Tote Galway Mile EBF Handicap. Tom Cleary’s Athlone-trained Miranda’s Girl faded and finished a disappointing ninth behind Tony Mullins’s Rock And Roll Kid the well supported favourite, with Maundy Money and Bob’s Pride second and third respectively. Day 32 belonged to the Master of Ballybrit who recorded a treble with Teach Nua in the opening maiden hurdle, Almolahek and Qassaar on the flat to follow Monday’s double. 

Wednesday in the Galway Plate there was an upset when 16/1 shot Ballyholland won for Ulster trainer Colin McBrathney from Knock On The Head and Washington Lad. The winner won snugly under Andrew McNamara. The local hope Oodachee, last year’s runner-up, finished well down the field. Dermot Weld left it late but had his winner in the last when Precious Gem won from Are You The One and Karmalina. Wednesday evening sees Dermot Weld with six winners and the meeting not even half over.

Lenebane on Tuesday

Don’t forget the racing returns to Lenebane on Tuesday. There is also racing at Cork on Sunday with another mixed card off at 2.45. Bank Holiday Monday sees a second day’s racing at Cork and also at Naas. Both cards are mixed, with Naas off at 2.20 pm and Cork off at 2.35 pm.

Tuesday sees racing return to the west with a mixed card at Lenebane in Roscommon at 5.50 pm in the evening. Racing continues in the west on Wednesday, all flat, and Thursday, all national hunt, both off at 5.40 pm at the Cleveragh in Sligo and later on in the week, Kilbeggan host their Family Fun Evening featuring live music, bouncing castles, obstacle courses, face painting, clowns, children’s disco competitions, children’s karaoke and loads of games for the kids. There is also another Best Dressed lady Competition sponsored by Larcc with prizes worth over €3,500

Rising from the ashes 

Last Sunday at Headquarters in the Curragh, the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes was won by the Aiden O’Brien-trained Alfred Nobel, coming from last to first in the hands of Johnny Murtagh to collar 33/1 shot stablemate Air Chief Marshal ridden by Aiden’s son Joseph by half a length. The Tommy Stack-trained Walk On Bye was two and a half lengths back in third. 

Honours of the day went to jockey Pat Shanahan who rode the winner of the first three races, opening his account on the Eddie Harty-trained Tovaria and then riding a double in the second and third for Tracy Collins on Arctic and Girouette.  

On Saturday the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot was won by Michael Stoute’s Conduit with his stablemates Tartan Bearer and Ask giving Sir Michael a clean sweep of the prizemoney. Conduit, the favourite, won from Tartan Bearer as advised here last week. 

Willie or Walsh?

Today, Thursday, the Galway Hurdle features and the one to be on for value each way looks to be Thomond O’Mara’s Eagle’s Pass last year’s runner up. But Willie Mullins’s Deutschland on bottom weight and with Ruby Walsh on board will be all the rage will take beating as will last year’s winner Indian Pace who was well down the field in the Amateur on Monday. 

  Tony Martin has booked AP McCoy to ride Northern Alliance in tomorrow’s big race after him from the Galway Plate on account of the ground hoping tomorrow’s ground will be more suitable. 

Northern Alliance was third in the Galway Hurdle last year under Ruby Walsh. The booking of AP who has not ridden for Martin in Ireland in any of the past five seasons looks significant. But all considered Deutschland, top weight, bypassed the Plate yesterday should deliver here. 

Ladies going to Galway today remember its Ladies Day with a prize fund of over €13,500 and a Lancome Goody Bag for all the finalists. There is also a daily race card competition with the prizes being sponsored by seven of the top hotels in and around Galway. And finally the Tote will have a draw in the parade ring every day after the fifth race and to enter put you name and phone number on the back of all losing tote tickets to win some wonderful prizes. 

In the bumper Paul Gilligan produces Daneva who missed out on Monday when his stable mate won and should win under Mickey O’Connor. Buoy George and Patrick Mullins will be hoping to follow up on yesterday’s win of but will probably have to settle for second.

  The going at Galway was described as soft yesterday but is drying out and should be perfect jumping ground and good flat ground for the rest of the week.  

Remembering Vincent

Group 1 National Stakes to be run at the Curragh in St Leger day will be named in honour of Vincent O’Brien who died earlier this year. O’Brien won 27 Irish Classic at Headquarters in the Kildare venue. He won the National stakes no less than fifteen times with among others Sir Ivor (1967, Roberto (1971), Storm Bird (1980) and El Gran Senor (1983). The race is rated as one of the top in the world run for two-year-olds and will take place on a programme that includes a classic Irish St. Leger and Irish National Stud Blandford Stake.

As reported last week a dose of worming medication has led to the disqualification of Dunguib from the Grade 1 Paddy Power Champion Bumper at Punchestown in April. The disqualification results in the John Kiely-trained Sweeps Hill being awarded the race, which carried a first prize of €58,590. Trainer Philip Fenton was also hit with a €3,000 fine plus costs for the offence.

Win tickets

This week we continue our competition for three pairs of tickets for Roscommon Races on Tuesday 4th August and to win we want to know what is the name of the racecourse in Roscommon? Answers on a postcard to Roscommon People, Harrison Centre, Roscommon by tomorrow or by email to by Monday 3rd August and don’t forget to include a contact phone number and the winners can pick up their tickets at the office tomorrow the 4th August.

We also continue the competition for three pairs of tickets for Kilbeggan on Saturday 8th of August and to win we want to know which horse won this year’s Gigginstown Midland National at Kilbeggan repeating his 2008 win? Answers on a postcard to Roscommon People, Harrison Centre, Roscommon or by email to by Thursday 6th August and don’t forget to include a contact phone number and the winners can pick up their tickets at the office on Friday the 7th August.