Horse Racing – Two For Townend At Limerick On Thursday


FORMER champion jockey Paul Townend had mixed fortunes in the first two races on the card at Limerick on Thursday. He had an easy time of it when winning on the Des McDonogh-trained Little Haarth in the 2m4f maiden hurdle but was denied a second winner when Thanks For Tea, who was first past the post, was disqualified for causing interference in the mares novice hurdle. The race was awarded to Duckweed who was ridden for Jessica Harrington by Robbie Power. Gordon Elliott’s The Game Changer was left clear by the fall of Upazo at the second last fence to win the novice chase under Davy Russell. The other winner over fences on the night was Well Tuned who won the mares’ beginners chase for John Nicholson and Mark Enright. Liclash battled well under Shane Shorthall to win the 2m2f handicap hurdle for trainer Stephen Ryan while James Motherway and Derek O’Connor were on the mark with Na Trachtalai Abu in the 2m6f handicap hurdle. The Willie Mullins-trained newcomer Escape Footwear ran out a good winner of the bumper under Patrick Mullins.

Foley On Top At First Left-Handed Flat Meeting At Wexford

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The experiment of racing left-handed at Wexford Racecourse extended to Flat racing for the first time on Saturday and the meeting passed off without a hitch. Shane Foley rode two winners. He took the opening 9f fillies’ maiden on the John Murphy-trained For Goodness Sake and also won the final event on the card when High Kicker justified her short price to win the 1m7f handicap for Peter Fahey. Kevin Manning and Jim Bolger won the auction race with Vocaliser while Henry’s Girl was the winner of the 11f maiden under Joseph O’Brien. Paul Deegan and Chris Hayes teamed up for a winner at Down Royal on the previous evening and they were on the mark again with Duke Of Medina in the 11f handicap. Frank Dunne and Emmet McNamara scored with Askmour who easily saw off the gambled-on Deor to win over the same trip while the apprentice handicap went to the Paul Flynn-trained Liberty’s Gift who was winning in the hands of Dubliner Daniel Redmond.

Wexford Wins For Claiming Riders

Claiming riders were to the fore at Wexford on Friday night where they won six of the seven races on offer. Jack Kennedy kept up his impressive strike rate when taking the 3m handicap hurdle on Slygufftou for Michael McCullagh. Other 7lbs claimers on the mark were Jonathan Moore who teamed up with Liz Doyle to win the 2m4f handicap hurdle with Hurry Kitty and Breen Kane was in the saddle as As De Pique won the 3m1f handicap chase for Gavin Cromwell. Shane Shortall took the opportunity handicap chase on the Garrett Power-trained Curragh Golan while amateur riders Paul Cawley and Pa King took the beginners’ chase on the Denis Hogan-trained Drive The Bus and the bumper on the Harry Kelly-trained Isnt Dat Right respectively. The bumper success was giving County Tipperary-based handler Kelly his second winner as he had earlier combined with Sean Flanagan to win the maiden hurdle with Theatre Sunset. Flanagan was the only non-claiming jockey to ride a winner at the meeting.

Chris Hayes Stars With Two At Down Royal

Chris Hayes landed the final two races to take the honours at Down Royal on Friday. The high-flying Limerick-man scored a narrow success on the Michael Mulvaney-trained Annagh Haven who just beat Oceania Queen to win the fillies’ handicap while Park Rebel completed the brace when taking the 10f handicap for Curragh trainer Paul Deegan. Sean Corby took the 5f handicap on the Georgios Pakidis-trained Boughtforasong and another young apprentice on the mark was Robbie Downey who enjoyed a short-head success on the Garvan Donnelly-trained Plough Boy in the 7f handicap. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane kept up the good work with success in the 7f auction maiden which they won with newcomer Roibeard.  The Tom Mullins-trained Peace Mission had little difficulty in seeing off the gambled-on Gladly to win the 7f fillies’ maiden in the hands of Gary Carroll.
Group 3 Wins For Dermot Weld And Aidan O’Brien

Dermot Weld warmed up for his assault on the Galway Festival with a high-profile success with Tanaza in the Group 3 Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday. With Pat Smullen in the saddle, the 7/4 chance proved too strong for Aidan O’Brien’s Alice Springs and looks an exciting prospect. O’Brien enjoyed better fortune when the Listowel maiden winner Deauville upset long odds-on favourite Sanus Per Aquam to win the Group 3 Japanese Racing Association Tyros Stakes under Joseph O’Brien. The Futurity Stakes at the Curragh is a probable target for the promising winner. John Oxx and Declan McDonogh teamed up to win the 8f maiden with Corstorphine while the apprentice handicap over the same trip went to the Conor Hoban-ridden Knights Templar who is trained by Pat Flynn. Another leading apprentice to visit the winners’ enclosure was Connor King who landed the 10f handicap on David Marnane’s Pullman Brown. Michael Halford and Shane Foley were on the mark with Castle Guest in the 10f rated race and Charles O’Brien and Fran Berry teamed up to win the 14f handicap with Hurricane Sky.

Naas Listed Success Of Note For O’Callaghan

Curragh trainer Michael O’Callaghan sent out Letters Of Note to win the 6f Listed race at Naas on Wednesday night. Pat Smullen was once again at his best in getting the 6/1 shot home by a head from the Eddie Lynam-trained outsider Byzantium. Ger Lyons introduced a highly promising filly in the shape of Bear Creek who could not have been more impressive in the 5f maiden under Andrea Atzeni. Lyons  completed a double when taking the concluding 1m race with Cape Wolfe who just got up to deny David Marnane’s Seanie under Colin Keane. The 6f maiden went to the Tony Martin-trained Laganore who had little difficulty in winning under Fran Berry while the handicap over the same trip went to Burren View Lady who was ridden by Leigh Roche for trainer Denis Hogan. Ian Queally continued his good run when taking the apprentice handicap on Regal Power for trainer Marcus Callaghan while Kings Ryker won the 1m handicap for Michael Halford and Shane Foley.
Elliott And Carberry Settle For Two

Gordon Elliott looked to have a strong hand at Ballinrobe on Tuesday night and he came away with two winners. Paul Carberry was in the saddle as Mr Steadfast reversed Bellewstown form with Trainstation to win the opening maiden hurdle and the former champion jockey again did the steering as Georges Conn returned from a 710 day absence to win the second race on the card. Elliott suffered a reversal when Vercingetorix proved no match for the Willie Mullins-trained Aminabad who easily won the conditions hurdle under Ruby Walsh. And Elliott’s Mustadrik let his supporters down when finishing only fifth at odds of 11/10 favourite behind the Ryan Treacy-ridden Kylecrue who followed up on his win at Tipperary the previous Sunday for trainer John Ryan. Norman Lee’s Supreme Vic added to his Gowran Park win of last month when taking the 2m1f handicap hurdle under Adam O’Neill. The 2m4f handicap hurdle went to the Michael O’Hare-trained Some Pride who triumphed under amateur rider Noel McParlan while 17-year-old Finny Maguire extended his winning run to three when taking the bumper on the Seamus Braddish-trained Brogine.

First Winner for Apprentice Jason Conneely

Galway apprentice Jason Conneely rode his first winner when partnering the John Murphy-trained Unchartered Waters to victory in the apprentice handicap at Ballinrobe on Monday. The 21-year-old rode the 11/1 chance with plenty of confidence and came home a one and a half length winner from another outsider Byron Beauty, trained by Harry Rogers who enjoyed better luck when landing the claiming race with the Gary Halpin-ridden Zero Euro. The rest of the evening belonged to more senior riders with champion jockey Pat Smullen landing the Handicap on the Sean Byrne-trained Lean And Keen. Wayne Lordan and David Wachman teamed up to win the maiden with Swordfight while Gary Carroll and Charlie Moore were on the mark with Jeremys Joy in the nine furlong handicap. The Compeller made much of the running to win the 13f handicap for Ken Condon and Shane Foley and the final winner of the night sent punters home scratching their heads as 20/1 outsider Akiliyna ran away with the 13f maiden for County Laois-based Shane Duffy and Colm O’Donoghue.

Racing News

Navan Racecourse Launch €250,000 Redevelopment
Navan Racecourse is set to launch a €250,000 upgrade following the approval of a Horse Racing Ireland capital development grant of over €100,000. The work will be carried out between now and 2018 with a series of improvements to racegoers’ facilities. The most significant element of the redevelopment project involves improving the entrance to the car park by removing the roadside growth, creating a new bank set back off the road and extending the existing railing. This will improve visibility, allowing cars to exit safely and will also add to the aesthetic dimension of the approach to the Co. Meath racecourse. Other works include extending the ambulance road at the front of the stand, a considerable renovation of the Tote Hall and customer focused improvements to the main canopy, adding heaters, extra panelling and a screen to reduce the wind tunnel effect. The Kilberry self-service restaurant will also undergo a significant refurbishment as will the Troytown bar. One of the immediate customer driven improvements to be progressed in the short term is the installation of seating all along the perimeter of the parade ring.

Top Breeding Award For Jim Bolger

Jim Bolger became the first dual winner of the Connolly’s RED MILLS / The Irish Field Breeder of the Year award on Tuesday. He was presented with his prize by Joe Connolly of Connolly’s RED MILLS and Leo Powell, editor of The Irish Field Editor. This was the 10th annual award and previous winners include Barronstown Stud, the Tsui family for Sea The Stars, Lodge Park Stud, Tally-Ho Stud, Ballymacoll Stud, Ballylinch Stud and John Tuthill of Owenstown Stud.

Upcoming Fixtures

Galway – Tuesday 28th July (First Race 5.15)
Galway – Wednesday 29th July (First Race 3.00)
Galway – Thursday 30th July (First Race 1.50)
Galway – Friday 31st July (First Race 5.10)
Galway – Saturday 1st August (First Race 2.40)
Galway – Sunday 2nd August (First Race 2.15)