Tuesday, 31 March 2015

This weekend’s racing action

Racing start this evening (Thursday) in Co. Tipperary at Clonmel with a mixed card of four flat and three hurdle races first away at 5.40 pm. There are two meetings down for decision tomorrow (Friday) with a jump card at Cork starting at 5.30 pm with three hurdles, three chases and a bumper, together with mixed racing at Down Royal starting at 5.40 pm with two hurdle races, four flat races and a €10,000 point to point bumper sponsored by Albert Bartlett. 

  On Saturday the action is at Proudstown Park in Navan at 2.45 pm and there are two meetings on Sunday, at Downpatrick over the obstacles with four hurdles, two chases and a lady riders bumper tapes away at 2.15 pm and at Leopardstown on the level with stalls opening at 2.25 pm for the first and. Monday sees the return of racing to the west of Ireland with the first of a two-day meeting at Ballinrobe in Mayo.  

  The features on Sunday at Lepoardstown are the Group 3 Ballychorus Stakes over 7f and the Listed Savel Beg Stakes over 1m 6f. The Dermot Weld trained Ascot Gold Cup winner Rite Of Passage and 2009 Irish Derby winner Fame And Glory are in this staying race along Ebor winner Dirar trained by Gordon Elliott. The race has been won by the some of the best stayers in Ireland over the years including 4-times Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats, Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle, Vinnie Roe and Profound Beauty, the latter three trained on the Curragh by Weld. Weld to win with Pat Smullen’s selection.

Review of the Week

On Saturday Aidan O’Brien provided his 17-year-old son Joseph with his first Classic winner when Roderic O’Connor jumped out of the stalls and was never passed in the 2000 Guineas. The pair stayed in front and won from the fast-finishing Dubawi Gold and Richard Hughes, with another O’Brien in-mate Oracle in 3rd. Young O’Brien showed what a good horseman he is, dictating the pace and leaving the late challenging English raider Dubawi Gold to much to do. Not Richard Hughes’ finest hour.

  On Sunday in the 1000 Guineas for fillies O’Brien again provided the winner when Seamie Heffernan won on Misty For Me from stable-mate Together with Jessica Harrington’s Laughing Lashes 3rd.  

  In the earlier Group 1 The Tattersalls Gold Cup O’Brien provided two of the five runners and So You Think added to the five Group 1 wins in Australia winning easily under English jockey Ryan Moore with Godolphin’s Campanologist taking the runner-up spot from Dermot Weld’s Famous Name. 

  In the 2nd race a handicap over 6f Roicead, a winner at Roscommon last June, now trained by Brendan Duke, recently returned from England, returned to the winners enclosure winning by a sh, a hd and a neck in a thrilling finish from Murura and Jedward. My Girl Anna, trained in Taughmaconnell by Muredach Kelly and ridden by Rory Cleary from Athlone, finished in a dead heat for 5th, beaten just over a length. This daughter of Orpen has been very consistent and should go in soon. 

  There was more than racing on display at headquarters last weekend and everyone who visited the Arabian Village were treated to Arabian Coffee, displays of Arabian weaving, Arabian Calligraphy and a close-up inspection the Etihad Formula 1 racing car along with receiving a bag of goodies including a photograph taken with a falcon. Well done to the sponsors who gave the general public something in return for their support.

  At Sligo on Monday Old Magic and Missgilloney, trained in Ballygar by David Kelly, both finished 3rd the former to Highdown Hill and Heavenly Bound in the 2m 2f handicap hurdle and the latter to Make My Night and Madame Mado in the 2m 4f mares handicap hurdle and should not have to wait too long before returning to the winners enclosure.

  Cecil Ross who trains at Slanemore near Mullingar had a double in the opening two races with Lisrenny Lady and Son Of My Heart, both ridden by Robbie Colgan and both starting favourite.

General news   

Bill Hennessy’s 2007 Champion Hurdler Subliminity ran for the last time, looking for his tenth win. 

The pride and joy of Robbie Hennessy’s yard won the Champion Hurdle from Brave Inca and Afsoun. The 11–Y-O gelding was trained John Carr near Maynooth and ridden by Phillip Carberry. 

In 2008 the owner’s son set up his own training facility and he took over the training of the horse for whom he won the Grade 1 

December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown that year. The deadline for the column does not allow it to carry the result but it is hoped that the 11–Y-O gelding takes a winning bow out of the sport he has served well.

  News that next Wednesday’s scheduled meeting on the flat at Fairyhouse has been transferred to Tipperary due to ground conditions that have not fully recovered from the effects of winter racing on the track. 

  Sir Michael Stoute's Derby and Arc hero Workforce will make his reappearance on Thursday in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown, having bypassed the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last weekend. 

The colt will face eight rivals in the race and as a Group 1 winner he will be giving 7lb to all. Aidan O'Brien supplies an Irish interest in the race with Jan Vermeer who finished 4th in the Derby behind Workforce. 

  Roscommon course manager and committee have come up with a great deal for punters onm the Connaught National Sunday when if pre-booking by Wednesday the 8th June, groups of 4 or more, for the standard admission of €15 punters will also receive a €5 bet, a roll or sandwich and a free pint or soft drink, contact roscommonracecourse@eircom.net or phone Micheal on 087-2203288 to book. See advertisement elsewhere in the paper.  

Point to Point Action

No change at the top of the riders tables this week with Jamie Codd riding one winner on at Stradbally and standing himself down immediately after jarring an old back injury during the race. At Dromahane Derek O’Connor, who had a full book of rides, failed to take advantage as he could only manage one winner aboard Sergeant Dick for Robert Tyner. This leaves O’Connor 5 ahead on 103 with two weekends and five days racing left. Barry O’Neill won the opening three races on Western King, The Druid’s Nephew and Business Time for Colin Bowe and completed his four-timer aboard Miss Mercedes for Charlie Hennessy also completed a double for Eugene O’Sullivan on Don’t Tell Sailor and Brookshan bringing his total in the Novice Riders Title to 14. 

  In the ladies championship on Saturday Liz Lalor stays on the 12 race mark with Jane Mangan moving into 2nd on 3 with Conna Castle winning his 3rd race of the season at Dromahane.

  James ‘Corky’ Carroll had a busy day last Sunday riding in the first at Limerick before heading off to Dromahane in Cork where he won the Winners of One on Desertmore Valley before returnint to Limerick where he finished 4th on Shotavodka in the bumper. What these boys do to get a winner!  

  On the penultimate weekend of the season there is only one meeting at Inchydoney outside Clonakilty in Cork on Sunday and they go to post for the first at 2 pm.