LIMERICK’S Andrew McNamara brought the curtain down on a hugely successful riding career when landing the 2m handicap hurdle on the Shark Hanlon-trained Most Honourable at Tramore on Friday night. The 32-year-old, who rode 15 Grade 1 winners and was associated with the likes of Beef Or Salmon, Newmill and Sizing Europe, had announced his intention to retire the previous day and enjoyed the best possible send off with a hugely popular winner. Ruby Walsh landed two winners on the night, teaming up with Curragh-based James Nash to win the novice hurdle on My Manekineko and then Willie Mullins to win the mares’ maiden hurdle on Escape Footwear. Gordon Elliott was back among the winners as the Keith Donohue-ridden Broughtons Bandit landed the beginners’ chase while Naas trainer Denis Cullen and Shane Shortall combined to win the handicap chase with Old Supporter. Piltown, County Kilkenny trainer David O’Brien and Jonathan Burke combined to land the 2m handicap hurdle with Collen Beag while the father and son team of Eamonn and Eoin O’Connell, from Cullen, County Tipperary, took the bumper with Bluegrass Princess.
Balmont Mast Adds To Impressive Haul
The Eddie Lynam-trained Balmont Mast brought his win and place prize money total to over €600,000 when landing the 6f handicap at Dundalk on Sunday. A fourth winner for Oisin Orr, Balmont Blast was winning for the seventh time. Westport rider Conor Hoban was in double form and he took the opening 5f maiden on Curragh trainer Paul Deegan’s Well Caught and the featured 10f handicap Intisari, who is trained by Ger Lyons. Andy Slattery gained his second winner of the week when Sors took the 5f rated race under Declan McDonogh. Willie McCreery and Billy Lee teamed up to win the 7f maiden and the card concluded with wins for two less experienced riders. Gary Phillips teamed up with Errill, County Laois trainer Shane Duffy to capture the apprentice handicap while Denis Linehan rounded off a memorable week when taking the 7f maiden with Zylan, trained by Johnny Murtagh.
Walsh Double As Tramore Festival Concludes
Ruby Walsh rode his second double of the four-day festival when teaming up with his dad Ted and Willie Mullins at Tramore on Sunday. He took the handicap chase on his father’s Old Castletown having earlier won the conditions’ chase on Upazo, trained by Mullins. David O’Brien sent out Collen Beag to win for a second time in three days when taking the handicap hurdle under Jonathan Burke. County Wexford trainer Liz Doyle and Mikey Fogarty took the 2m maiden hurdle with Cillian’s Well and the maiden hurdle over 2m5f went to Shouband, trained locally in Tallow by John Morrison and ridden by Paddy Mangan. Another local handler, Dungarvan’s John Kiely, teamed up with Andrew Lynch to win the 2m5f handicap hurdle with Master Appeal. Successful with Upazo earlier on the card, Willie Mullins and his son Patrick combined to win the bumper with Pearl Diamond, a 400th winner in the saddle for the champion amateur rider.
Berry And Foley Land Tramore Doubles
Fran Berry and Shane Foley shared the riding honours at Tramore on Saturday where they both rode two winners. Foley struck with the Ken Condon-trained Recollection in the 12f fillies’ maiden and followed up when taking the 2m handicap on the Seamus Fahey-trained Hazariban. Berry won the 12f rated race on the Patrick Prendergast-trained Pincode and his second winner came in the shape of Henry’s Girl who took the 12f handicap for Dungarvan trainer John Kiely. Another local on the mark was Pat Flynn who saddled Mademoiselle Penny to win another handicap over 12f under Danny Grant. Willie McCreery and Leigh Roche took the 12f maiden with Nanamour while Robbie Hennessy and Colin Keane scored with Magnetic Force in the 2m handicap.
O’Briens Star On Leopardstown Card
A crowd of over 10,000 descended on Leopardstown on Thursday where Cougar Mountain justified his short price to win the Group 3 Desmond Stakes for Aidan O’Brien and his son Joseph. The even money favourite was in front before the furlong pole and held the late surge of the gambled on Raydara to win. The O’Briens had earlier scored with the long odds-on Unicorn in the 1m maiden and another short-priced winner was Jolyne who won the 7f maiden for Johnny Murtagh and Pat Smullen. The champion rider had earlier teamed up with his boss Dermot Weld to land the 6f fillies’ maiden with Juliette Fair who was a most impressive winner. Creggs Pipes made all the running under Declan McDonogh to win the fillies’ handicap for Thurles-based Andy Slattery while the Patrick Downey-trained Three Bells was the narrow winner of the handicap over the same distance under Wayne Lordan. Aurelia Cotta had given Mallow trainer Eddie Linehan his first winner when scoring at Gowran Park on the previous evening and she scored for a second time in 24 hours when taking the 10f apprentice handicap, again under Linehan’s brother Denis.
Akito Has Locals Cheering At Tramore
Akito gave the locals plenty to cheer about when winning for trainer Shay Barry as the August Festival kicked off at Tramore on Thursday. The well supported 7/2 chance kicked on under Brian O’Connell from the second last hurdle and had seven lengths to spare at the line for the Kilmeaden-based handler. Cork trainers Pat Cronin and Eugene O’Sullivan were also among the winners. Pierce Gallagher rode Give Her Bach to win the mares’ beginners chase for Doneraile-based Cronin while Lomdardstown’s O’Sullivan teamed up with Jonathan Burke to land the handicap chase with A Decent Excuse. Arthur Moore and David Casey combined to win the 2m beginners chase with Dandridge while St Peter’s Square was the winner of the maiden hurdle for Mooncoin, County Kilkenny trainer Eoin Doyle and Mark Walsh. Pat Fahy, who trains in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, took the handicap hurdle with Ancient Highway who was ridden by David Mullins while the lady riders’ bumper went to The Brock Inn, trained in Thurles by John Nicholson and ridden by Laura Hourigan.
Listed Success For O’Brien And Heffernan
Aidan O’Brien walked away from Gowran Park with two winners on Wednesday night, the highlight being a Listed success for Easter in the Hurry Harriet Stakes. In front before the furlong pole, Seamus Heffernan brought the 5/1 shot home a two length winner from Stellar Glow. Her win completed a double for the trainer as Dancing On Air was earlier awarded the 7f nursery in the steward’s room at the expense of Bobailin who was disqualified after recording a narrow success. Their intervention gave Ana O’Brien her 20th career success. Aurelia Cotta gave Mallow trainer Eddie Linehan his first winner when taking the fillies’ handicap. For good measure, the winner was ridden by the trainer’s 20-year-old brother Denis who was enjoying his second success. John Oxx recorded his second two-year-old winner of the season as Enjoy Yourself made a winning debut at odds of 40/1 under Declan McDonogh while Jessica Harrington and Fran Berry combined to win the 12f handicap with Macnicholson. Rhode, County Offaly trainer Patrick Harney was on the mark with Johann Bach who ran out a good winner of the apprentice handicap under Dylan Hogan for whom this was a fifth winner. Michael Halford and Shane Foley were responsible for the only winning favourite of the night when odds-on shot Ebayya narrowly won the 9f fillies’ maiden.
Winter Breeze Blows Through Ballinrobe
The Michael Winters-trained Winter Breeze ran out a comfortable winner of the 2m4f maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe on Tuesday. Ridden by Niall Madden, the well supported 6/4 favourite was clear from after the penultimate flight and won easily for the Kanturk, County Cork trainer. Willie Mullins and Paul Townend continued their good form when landing the mares’ maiden hurdle with 5/2 joint-favourite Ciandarragh. Mossy Island was another winning market leader as he took the 2m1f handicap hurdle for Curragh trainer Sabrina Harty and Andrew Lynch and punters got it right again as the Aidan O’Brien-trained All The Answers won the bumper under his daughter Sarah. There was a 20/1 winner of the 2m1f maiden hurdle as Omagh, County Tyrone trainer Mervyn Torrens and Mark Enright scored with Konig Hall. Conditional rider Jonathan Moore brought the Ado McGuinness-trained Black Label home a 20-length winner of the 2m1f handicap hurdle while Blackandamber Vic won the 2m4f handicap hurdle for Gort, County Galway trainer Norman Lee and Jonathan Burke.
Highland Reel Wins Secretariat Stakes At Arlington Park
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Highland Reel made all the running under Seamus Heffernan to win the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park on Saturday night. It was a fourth success in the race for O’Brien who also landed the race last year with his globetrotter Adelaide. The Prix Niel at Longchamp and the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on September 12th are possible targets for the winner.
Curragh Thoroughbred Trail Open For Online Booking
Details of eight individual trails have been announced for the 2015 Curragh Thoroughbred Trail, which takes place during the morning before racing on Sunday 13th September, as part of Longines Irish Champions Weekend. This year, participants will have the option of choosing their own trail at the time of booking online at http://www.curraghhospitality.com/icw/trail.html. The Curragh Thoroughbred Trail, supported by Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and TRI Equestrian, will see some of Ireland’s leading trainers, including Dermot Weld, Johnny Murtagh, John Oxx, Willie McCreery, Sandra Hughes, James Nash and Michael Halford, taking part. The world famous Irish National Stud, Kildangan Stud, the Racing Academy and Centre for Education (RACE), the Irish Farrier School and some of the top equine hospitals are some of the other locations which can be visited.
Leopardstown Announce Sponsorship Agreement for Willis Champions Juvenile Stakes
Leopardstown Racecourse has announced a new sponsorship agreement with Willis Ireland for the Group 3 Willis Champions Juvenile Stakes, to be run on Saturday, September 12th 2015. The €100,000 race forms part of the first day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which takes place on the 12th and 13th of September, at Leopardstown and the Curragh. Registered as the Golden Fleece Stakes, this race has an excellent history of producing first-class horses. Previously a Listed race, it became a Group 3 race in 2012 as part of Irish Champions Stakes Day. The race was won by Australia in 2013, who was rated third best racehorse in the world in 2014. Free Eagle was runner-up that year and he has since progressed to Group 1 Royal Ascot success.
Roscommon – Monday 17th August (First Race 5.15)
Sligo – Tuesday 18th August (First Race 4.55)
Killarney – Wednesday 19th August (First Race 5.20)
Killarney – Thursday 20th August (First Race 5.20)
Killarney – Friday 21st August (First Race 4.50)
Kilbeggan – Friday 21st August (First Race 5.10)
Killarney – Saturday 22nd August (First Race 1.40)
Curragh – Saturday 22nd August (First Race 2.25)
Curragh – Sunday 23rd August (First Race 2.30)