Monday, 30 March 2015

Flat card at Leopardstown

Horses for Courses

Tom Red

This weekend racing starts today at Leopardstown with a flat card and the first off at 6 pm and there is music after racing by Aslan compliments of Bulmers. 

Tomorrow, Friday, starting at 5.45 pm, there is a mixed card at Cork along with an all flat card at Gowran Park at 5.35 pm. Saturday sees day one of the two-day Darley Oaks meeting at the Curragh starting at 2.30 pm and on Sunday at 2.05 pm the Oaks is the highlight at headquarters. There is also racing on the all-weather at Dundalk on Sunday starting at 2.45 pm. On Monday at 5.40 pm the four-day Killarney Summer Racing Festival kicks off with a hurdle race on a mixed card.

Looking forward to Sunday and the rematch of Sariska and Midday, first and second in the Epsom Oaks, at the Curragh in the Darley-sponsored Irish equivalent. Michael Bell and Henry Cecil’s charges are among 12 fillies to have stood their ground for the Curragh Classic. Both have been supplemented for the race at a cost of €50,000 each after just a head separated the pair at Epsom, and they should fight out the finish here. Midday to win this time.

Also in are Richard Hannon’s The Miniver Rose, fifth and Jim Bolger’s Oh Goodness Me, seventh in the Epsom race. Aidan O’Brien has both Chirkova and Roman Empress to choose from. John Oxx hopes that either Beauty O’Gwaun or Roses For The Lady can increase his Classic tally this term. Dermot Weld has four fillies entered: Grace O’Malley, Belle Chose, Destined For Fame and Rory Anna completing the field. The going at time writing is yielding to soft but should dry up by Sunday and is expected to be on the good side.

Local action

There was a great two days of racing in Lenebane on Monday and Tuesday and there is a full report on the two days elsewhere in the paper. On Tuesday there were four current champion jockeys riding, Johnny Murtagh flat, Ruby Walsh national hunt and both men and lady champion point-t- point riders Derek O’Connor and Jennifer Pugh all in action.

Next on the local circuit is Kilbeggan on the Friday week, July 17th, when Michael O’Leary sponsors the Midland National under the wing of his equine interests The Gigginstown Stud. Also for you many beautif4ul ladies who missed out on a prize at Roscommon on Monday, there is Ladies Day with prizes valued over €2,000. Judges on the day will be Triona McCarthy of TV3 and Sunday Independent fame and top Irish designer Rachel Mackey.

Two weeks ago after Kilbeggan we told you to start watching the stable of Paul Gilligan as his horses were coming into form approaching Ballybrit Festival. Well at Sligo last Sunday Bertie’s Dream under Andrew Lynch and Bold Buchaneer under Mr Mikey O’Connor gave Paul a double and Nephin Lad just failed by a neck to give him a treble and Andrew a double. Bold Buchaneer is one for the notebook in Ballybrit for a winners’ bumper, probably on the Sunday.

Sea of Stars, the English 2000 Guineas and Derby winner, added the all-aged Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday to his CV, joining Nashwan who was the last horse to complete this treble way back in 1989. Ballydoyle’s Rip Van Winkle was second and Michael Stoute’s Conduit the best of the older horses in third.

The John Oxx-trained colt delivered as promised in the Eclipse and firmly established himself as the best rated horse in the world with an RPR of 131+ which ranks him as the best Eclipse winner since Nashwan (134) in 1989. 

Galway’s Ballybrit Festival is now just over two weeks away and add Miss Chaparral from the Weld stable to your notebook after she finished second to Red Rock Canyon in Roscommon. Also if the Roscommon winner Media Queen turns out again in the Mare’s Handicap Hurdle in Mallow tomorrow she will take some beating.


There was a big entry for the last competition and the winners of a pair of tickets for both days in Roscommon were Paul Finnegan from Ballygar, Geraldine Fahy from Williamstown and Moira Servis from Roscommon. Well done to all our winners and keep up the entries because if your not in you can’t win.

This week we continue our competition for three pairs of tickets for Kilbeggan on Friday, July 17th, when the feature will be the Midlands National worth €32,500 and is also Ladies Day. To win this prize please let us know where the Midland National will be run on the 17th July? Answers on a postcard to Roscommon People, Harrison Court, Roscommon or by email to by close of business 16th July and don’t forget to include a contact phone number and the winners can pick up their tickets at the office on the 17th July.