Weekly Racing News | Success for Lee and McDonagh


WEEKLY summary of Irish horse racing, as Limerick’s Billy Lee finds third winner of 2022 and has a winner second week in a row.

Limerick/Clare Racing News

Billy Lee added to the previous week’s Friday night double at Dundalk with another winner on the all-weather on Wednesday afternoon. He teamed up with Curragh trainer Darren Bunyan to land the eight-furlong maiden with the Siobhan Ní Cheallaigh-owned Elzaam Blue.

A well-fancied 5/1 chance on his debut, the four-year-old, which cost 800 guineas at a breeze-up sale in England in 2020, got on top late on to win by a head from the Denis Hogan-trained 13/8 favourite Jaafel.

Lee said of the winner, “Chris Hayes said that he works nicely and goes well and that I probably should come up and ride him. Fair play to him! He was very green early on; he didn’t know what it was all about really.

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“He only got it turning in and I just started picking them off. I said I was going to be a lovely second and he’s really taken off in the last furlong and picked up well.” he said.

Elzaam Blue (Billy Lee,far side) beating Jaafel to win the 1m maiden.
Dundalk Stadium.
Photo: Patrick McCann/Racing Post

Shannon trainer Michael McDonagh landed a deserved success with Krabat which ran out a taking winner of the beginners’ chase at Clonmel on Thursday.

Ridden by Cathal Landers, the 11/4 joint-favourite eased clear between the final two fences to beat the Gavin Cromwell-trained Duchess Ravenwaves by all of 11 lengths with Willie Mullins’ Cavallino, the other market leader, only a moderate fifth. Landers said of the seven-year-old, a narrow runner-up at both Punchestown and Naas last month

“It was straightforward enough and off his mark in a handicap the last day, he had a good chance in this. His experience stood to him and he handled the ground better than most. He is a big galloping horse.”

Other Racing News

The Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’Oudairies became the latest Irish raider to claim big-race honours in Britain as he landed the Grade 1 Betfair Ascot Chase under Clane jockey Mark Walsh on Saturday.

There has not been an Irish-trained winner of the race since Sound Man took the honours for Edward O’Grady in 1996, but Fakir D’Oudairies ended the 26-year wait in no uncertain terms.

A strong 9/4 favourite, the JP McManus-owned seven-year-old took control after the final fences and scored by a length and three-quarters from 25/1 chance Two For Gold at the line.

Walsh dedicated his victory to his uncle Michael, who died during the week, and said, “Michael was a great man and racing fan. He would have loved to see this. He was always supportive and this is for him.”

Upcoming Fixtures

Dundalk – Monday, February 21 (First Race 3.15pm)

Navan – Tuesday, February 22 (First Race 1.10pm)

Punchestown – Wednesday, February 23 (First Race 1pm)

Thurles – Thursday, February 24 (First Race 1.55pm)

Dundalk – Friday, February 25 (First Race 4pm)

Fairyhouse – Saturday, February 26 (First Race 2pm)

Naas – Sunday, February 27 (First Race 2.30pm)

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