This weekend’s action:
Racing starts this weekend with the last day of the 4 day Killarney Festival today with a mixed card starting at 2.25 pm. There is also racing this evening at Leopardstown with a flat card starting at 5.45 pm and after racing music in the Big Top by Royseven supported by Keywest. Tomorrow sees racing in our neighbouring county of Westmeath at Kilbeggan where they run their feature race of the year the Midlands National Handicap Chase sponsored by Michael O’Leary of Ryanair through his Gigginstown stud farm, first away at 6.00 pm.
Saturday sees the first of a two day Irish Oaks Festival meeting at headquarters and features the Group 3 Minstrel Stakes over 7f stalls for the first open at 2.05 pm. On Sunday the feature race at the Curragh is the Group 1 Irish Oaks backed up by 2 Group 3 races, The Kilboy Estates Stakes, over 1m1f, and the Anglesey Stakes, over 6f first race at 1.40 pm. There is also a national hunt meeting at Tipperary starting at 2.30 pm.
Racing returns to the west to Ballinrobe where there is a two day meeting, both evening starts, on Monday with a mixed card and again on Tuesday an all national card. Check starting times on the day.
On Friday racing at Kilbeggan have a huge entry of 228 horses opening with a maiden hurdle over 2 miles followed by a mares maiden hurdle named after a former race committee secretary Tom McCormack. The third race is a handicap hurdle over 2m 3f. Next up is a 3m staying hurdle with the largest entry of the day 52 horses. Action then switches to the major obstacles with a beginners chase over 2m 6f sponsored by the EBF. The penultimate race is the featured Midlands National for which there are 27 entries with 4 of the first 5 home in the Connacht National at Lenebane last month in the field. Campbonnais is 5lbs better off and will be more suited by the shorter distance and is taken to account for Roscommon winner Ainama. Racing concludes with The Mullingar Flat Race, a bumper, over 2m 3f for qualified riders
Ladies it’s back on with your finery after Roscommon two weeks ago as it is Ladies Day at Kilbeggan where there are fabulous prizes worth over €2,000 up for grabs including a €1,000 voucher for Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin and a voucher from The Wineport Lodge Restaurant among other goodies.
On to headquarters on Saturday where are 11 horses in the featured race, the Minstrel Stakes, with 5 from Ballydoyle, 2 from John Oxx’s yard, 2 cross channel raiders and one each from Dermot Weld’s and David Wachman’s. Dermot Weld’s Emulous to win from Starspangledbanner from Ballydoyle.
The Oaks on Sunday carries an entry of 10 with over half of the field from Ballydoyle with 6 possible runners. Dermot Weld, Jim Bolger and Edward Lynam fill the home team with one English raider Shirocco Star for Hughie Morrison. The one they all have to beat in the Group One fillies Classic is Epsom Oaks heroine Was. She is one of the 6, out of 15 entered, fillies still left in the race for her trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is chasing his sixth Classic in Ireland and Britain this season. But Dermot Weld’s Princess Highway, winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot, is looking for her 4th win on the trot and will give the O’Brien team all to do to win another Irish Classics in 2012 as will Epsom second Shirocco Star.
The President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina will be Guests of Honour at the Darley Irish Oaks on Sunday 22nd and the President will make the presentation of trophies to the winning connections of the race.
Last Friday Bourbon Ellie won a three mile maiden hurdle at Cork for Ballygar based trainer David Kelly with the yards seven pound claiming amateur Darragh Lambe, from Mullingar in the plate, getting his first winner on the track. Darragh, who lives in Ballygar. also won his first point to point on the mare in Killashee in November 2010. So much for Friday the 13th as far as Darragh is concerned.
Lambe is attached to Kelly’s yard and it was the 20-year-old Mullingar lad’s first racecourse ride since February 2010. It was also his first track winner though he has registered a success in the point-to-point sphere.
It was brought to my attention that David also trained his first winner on the flat at the recent Ballinrobe meeting when won a 1m 1f handicap with Via Del Corso ridden by Colm O,Donoghue. David had claimed the 4-Y-O filly out of a Sligo claiming race from Paul Flynn’s yard for €5,000 a week earlier and won back all his money in the race which carried a prize of €5,175, a quick profit. Great business David and well done. David bought her as a potential hurdler but now has a dual purpose horse and a probable brood mare to boot.
David has only 6 horses in full training at the moment and 5 of them have won already for him and the other still has not run for him.
Talking of Paul Flynn he hopes to run last year’s winner in the Galway s. Hurdle again. The 7-Y-O has been off the track since finishing down the field in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and will not run before the Galway race.
Flynn says the horse was very ill in the County Hurdle but hopes they have cured him and that he's back to his best and he hopes to retain the services of Tom Doyle, who will have the option of the well fancied Whatuthink.
Top weight in the Galway Plate is the triple Grade One winner Follow The Plan with 11st 10lb. Oliver McKiernan also has stablemate Whodoyouthink in the big handicap chase over 2m 6f on August 1st.
Willie Mullins’ Blazing Tempo, winner in 2010 and Tom Taaffe’s Finger Onthe Pulse winner in 2009, are also in the race. Willie Mullins also has Blackstairmountain, ante post favourite at 6/1, and Raptor entered. Among the British-trained contingent are from Wales Evan Williams' Tiger O'Toole and from England the Venetia Williams' trained Idarah and the Nicky Richards-trained Peachey Moment.
The winners of the 3 pairs of tickets for Kilbeggan on Friday are Seamus O’Donnell, Ballintober, Joe Rooney, Oran and Martin Tracey, Roscommon.
Issue dated: 20 JULY 2012
© Roscommon People