A day after he announced that he was retiring at the end of the season, Tony McCoy was once again in the spotlight as he captured the Grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup on the John Kiely-trained Carlingford Lough at Leopardstown on Sunday. He needed to be at his strongest on the 4/1 chance to see off the gambled-on Foxrock, trained by Ted Walsh, by half-a-length and the winner could now go for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Noel Meade and Paul Carberry landed the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase on Apache Stronghold who reversed Drinmore Chase form with Valseur Lido to win and book his place in the JLT Chase at Cheltenham. Willie Mullins won the Grade 1 Gala Retail Spring Juvenile Hurdle with Petite Parisienne who saw off his better fancied stable companion Kalkir under Bryan Cooper. Mullins also took the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle with Nichols Canyon, the five-year-old making all the running under Ruby Walsh. The champion trainer completed a treble when taking the 3m hunters’ chase with Prince De Beauchene who was ridden by his son Patrick. Liam Cusack saddled Who’s That to win the 2m2f handicap hurdle under Mark Enright while Tony McCoy was again on the mark with Sort It Out, trained by Eddie Harty, in the 2m handicap hurdle. Archive ran out a good winner of the bumper for Eoin Griffin and David Mullins who has had his claim reduced to 5lbs as a result of the success.
Jacksonslady Wins Naas Feature For Local Trainer Philip Dempsey
The Philip Dempsey-trained Jacksonslady landed her seventh success when taking the BBA Ireland Limited Opera Hat Mares Chase at Naas on Saturday. The mount of Mark Walsh, the 10-year-old was left clear by the fall of Whatwillwecallher at the final fence to win as she liked for owner JP McManus. Sandra Hughes and Jonathan Burke combined to easily win the 2m maiden hurdle with Phil’s Magic and another comfortable winner was Aengus who won the 2m3f maiden hurdle for Noel Meade and Paul Carberry. The Stuart Crawford-trained Strongpoint made no mistake in the 2m handicap chase under Andrew Lynch and yet another winning favourite was Blood Cotil who took the 2m beginners chase by a wide margin for Willie Mullins and his nephew Danny. Mullins got a second winner when Pylonthepressure ran out a hugely impressive winner of the bumper under Patrick Mullins. The winner will be part of the champion trainer’s Cheltenham Festival team. Lilshane, owned and trained by Thomas O’Connor in Listowel, took the 2m handicap hurdle in convincing fashion under Ger Fox.
Punters Pal Tal Completes Dundalk Hat-Trick
The Johnny Levins-trained Your Pal Tal completed a hat-trick of wins at Dundalk on Friday night under 16-year-old Donagh O’Connor. The 2/1 favourite came with a late run to deny Majestic Timeline by a head and will now be running in premier handicaps over the summer months. Donnacha O’Brien landed the 7f apprentice handicap on the Michael Grassick-trained Elusive In Paris and his sister Ana also got in on the winning act on Song Of Love, trained by their father Aidan, in the 1m maiden. Singapore Secret gave Abbeyleix trainer Michael Connell his first winner since November 2012 when she ran out the shock 66/1 winner of the 1m fillies’ maiden under Connor King. Colin Keane and Ger Lyons combined to win the 1m handicap on Tennessee Wildcat who was game enough to hold off odds-on favourite Bishan Bedi by a neck. The riding honours on the night went to Chris Hayes who won the 6f maiden on Andy Oliver’s Have A Great Day and followed up on Shalaman, trained by Matthew Smith, in the 10f handicap.
Tony McCoy Prepares To Call It A Day
Tony McCoy, the 19-time British champion jockey, took the racing world by surprise on Saturday when announcing that he is to retire at the end of the season. Determined to hang up his boots while at the top of his game, McCoy broke the news shortly after riding his 200th winner of the season at Newbury. For good measure the 40-year-old landed the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday for owner JP McManus and County Waterford trainer John Kiely.
Gold And Silver For Goffs Champions Sale Graduates in Qatar
Graduates of the inaugural Goffs Champions Sale were in action at the top level during the Qatar Trophies and Gold Sword meeting at Doha racecourse. The three-year-old Itorio, by Oratorio, led the field from the start to win the Silver Trophy by two lengths from Izzthatright. Itorio was previously in training with Sheila Lavery in Ireland and was purchased for €300,000 by Will Douglass of Charles Gordon-Watson Bloodstock at the Goffs Champions Sale at Leopardstown in September. He is now in training with Qatar’s leading trainer Jassim Al Ghazali and runs in the colours of new owner Sheail bin Khalifa al-Kuwari. Later in the evening the Goffs Champions Sale was represented by Ponfeigh in the Qatar Gold Trophy. He finished a half-a-length second in this Group 1 contest and continues to be a consistent performer at the highest level. The son of Teofilo was previously in training with John Oxx and was purchased at the Goffs Champions Sale by Qatar based trainer Debbie Mountain on behalf of owner Eng. Hassan Al Abdulmalik. The Goffs Champions Sale is a boutique sale for elite level horses in training and will take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on the first day of Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday, 12th September 2015.
Gowran Park Announces New Partnership with Morrison BMW & MINI
Gowran Park racecourse has announced a new partnership with Morrison BMW & MINI to sponsor two races and hold several showcases at the Kilkenny track during the 2015 racing season, commencing with RED MILLS Race Day on Saturday, 14th February. The partnership between Gowran Park and Morrison BMW & MINI will kick off with a full showcase on RED MILLS Race Day and continue throughout 2015. Morrison BMW & MINI will sponsor races in June and November in addition to full car showcases on four occasions during the year.
“Gowran Park is thrilled to have Morrison BMW & MINI as an official partner in 2015. Morrison BMW & MINI is a market leader and we are delighted to be associated with such a strong brand,” commented Joe Connolly, Chairman of Gowran Park.
Clonmel – Tuesday 10th February (First Race 1.35)
Down Royal – Wednesday 11th February (First Race 1.30)
Thurles – Thursday 12th February (First Race 2.05)
Dundalk – Friday 13th February (First Race 6.05)
Gowran Park – Saturday 14th February (First Race 1.40)
Navan – Sunday 15th February (First Race 1.45)