Horses for Courses
The weekend racing sees the start of the four-day Tramore Summer Festival at 5.15 pm this evening with racing also at Leopardstown when the Tuam band The Sawdoctors play after racing, which starts at 5.25 pm.
Racing at the Co. Waterford venue continues at 5.10 pm on Friday, 5.15 pm on Saturday and ends on Sunday with a 2.35 pm start. There is also racing on Saturday on the all-weather surface at Dundalk first off at 2.15 pm and on Sunday at the Curragh also with a 2.15 pm start. Monday sees a return to the west with a mixed card at Lenebane here in Roscommon off at 5.30 pm. On Sunday at headquarters the feature races are the Phoenix Sprint Stakes over 6f and the Desmond Stakes run over a mile.
At Roscommon on Monday there are seven races, three on the flat, three over hurdles and a bumper. The feature race of the day, an extended fillies handicap over 1m 2f, is sponsored by the European Breeders Fund The 2½ mile maiden hurdle is sponsored by Roscommon Wholesale Supplies and the four-year-old conditions hurdle over two miles is sponsored by local building firm Owen Dervin and Sons. Ollie Hannon is sponsoring the two-mile Frank Hannon Memorial Handicap Hurdle and local auctioneer Ivan Connaughton is sponsoring the last race the two-mile bumper.
There is a race card draw with €20 betting vouchers for all winners sponsored by the Irish Bookmakers Association and the Committee. JJ Cattigan of Castlecoote is sponsoring the best turned out horse in each race. You still have a chance to win tickets for this meeting in the competition below, sponsored by track Manager Michael Finneran.
At the Cleveragh track in Sligo on Thursday evening, South Roscommon trainer Muredach Kelly turned out Kahuna to follow up his win in the Guinness Handicap Chase in Galway to add the Guinness Handicap Hurdle race to his tally.
The 12-year-old beat Catskill and Right Or Wrong by two lengths and a head and obviously likes his Guinness as he also won the Sligo race 12 months ago. The gelding is owned by PJ McCorry originally from Co Cavan and now living in Kilkenny and was ridden once again by Andrew Thornton. Thornton was winning for the fourth time, all for Muredach, on the twelve-year-old who was recording his twelfth career success. The gelding who joined Kelly’s yard in 2008 from Dusty Sheehy’s won on his debut in a Leopardstown Christmas Festival bumper way back in 2002.
At Downpatrick on Sunday, Chaussette trained in Athenry by Val O’Brien for his brother Sean won the Pat O’Hare Handicap Hurdle from Mildly Effective and Tawrific Laois. The winner was held up and went second over two furlongs out before leading over the last and ridden by John Cullen to win by 2 ½ l and 1l keeping on under pressure.
The Willie Mullins-trained Isityourself by Milan made all to win the bumper in the hands of his son Patrick beating Evolution and He’llberembered by 4l and 2½l made virtually all, ridden and joined briefly over 2f out, soon clear 1½f out and stayed on well to win comfortably.
Niall ‘Slippers’ Madden, who replaced Paul Carberry, injured in a fall in the second race with Asigh Pearl, had surgery after suffering a suspected fractured arm when Carlesimo fell at the first in the Hackett’s Handicap Chase. ‘Slippers’ was recovering on Monday from an operation to help repair his right arm and he will be laid up for some time. Carberry, who needed stitches to an eye and suffered bruising to his lower back, was stood down for two days after the fall of Asigh Pearl.
At Downpatrick on Sunday, Maid From Milan won on her debut in the bumper. The mare is owned by Roscommon man Brian Keenan and trained by Willie Mullins and was ridden by one of young Brian’s best friends Patrick Mullins. The four-year-old tracked leaders for the first mile six furlongs moving into second two out before being ridden clear in final furlong to win easily from Dirty Den and Fletch And Lenny by 7l and the same. Brian, whose first horse, Sir Ojay, was a birthday present from his wife Ethel, can be thankful to his wife once more, as the mare was bred by Ethel and she looks to have found another nice horse in this mare.
At Tipperary on Sunday there was another County Galway-trained winner when The Lady Granuaile won the Bansha House Handicap over 1m 4f beating Mazara and Saranjo. The four-year-old is trained by Pauline Gavin in Craughwell and owned in partnership with Henry Burke, Ballinrobe, brother of the former President Mary Robinson.
Afternoon to remember
Saturday was an afternoon to remember for Richard Hughes, Neil Callan and Seamie Heffernan as the Irish team cruised to success in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. Four victories from the six races saw the Irish win with the luxury of a race to spare.
Hughes rode a treble on Polly’s Mark, We’ll Come and Press The Button and also won the Silver Saddle as leading jockey. Neil Callan also won on Aim To Prosper, giving Ireland a total of 101 points, 45 clear of Great Britain, who finished second with Europe third and the Rest of the World fourth.
Irish jockey Timmy Murphy will not require surgery on the left shoulder he dislocated at Newton Abbot three weeks ago and he now hopes to resume race riding next month. Sea The Stars is by no means certain to try and stretch his sequence of Group 1 wins to four in the card on Tuesday at York.
While the John Oxx trained Cape Cross colt is among eight left in the 1m 2f contest, Oxx stated that Sea The Stars is in excellent shape and ready to run at York depending what the weather does over the next few days and if they get a lot of rain and there is little chance of the horse having good ground required, he will probably not be declared.
Looking ahead the 2,000 Guineas, Derby and Coral-Eclipse Stakes winner will probably go in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes on the 5th September but once again everything depends on the ground. County Waterford trainer Pat Flynn of Bahrain Storm is now aiming for further flat success before concentrating on hurdles. The six-year-old gelding won the Galway Hurdle on Thursday and completed a double in the Guinness Flat Race 24-hours later at the festival.
Bahrain Storm, winner of nine races, after enjoying a break, is back in training to have a crack at the Newmarket Cesarewitch on October 17th. He will then, all going well, run in conditions hurdles before heading for the English and Irish Champion Hurdles in 2010. Tony Martin’s Leg Spinner was the last Irish trained horse to win the Cesarewitch under Johnny Murtagh in 2007.
The winners of last week’s competition for tickets to Kilbeggan were Mick Murphy, Roscommon, John O’Brien, Castlerea and Conrad Barnett, Athlone, and well done to all. Remember, if you’re not in you can’t win.
This week we continue our competitions for tickets to the local tracks and we have three pairs of tickets to give away for Kilbeggan on Friday 21st August and to win we want to know what south Co Roscommon trained horse is fond of the Guinness, having recently won races at Galway and Sligo sponsored by the James Gate Brewery? Answers on a postcard to Roscommon People, Harrison Centre, Roscommon, or by email to email@example.com by Thursday 20th August and don’t forget to include a contact phone number and the winners can pick up their tickets at the office on Friday morning.
This is also your last chance to win three pairs of tickets for Roscommon Races on Monday 17th 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 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by tomorrow 14th August and don’t forget to include a contact phone number and the winners can pick up their tickets at the office on Monday.