IN FRONT of packed stands (10,000 attended), Eric McNamara enjoyed success at Limerick’s Greenmount Park in Patrickswell on famed Student Day.
The popular Rathkeale trainer was responsible for 4/1 winner Alpesh Amin, which is owned by Olivia Long. In the hands of Mark McDonagh, he led early in the straight and held off the challenge of the Shark Hanlon-trained Teescomponentsyess to win by a neck.
McNamara told irishracing.com: “He did it well, liked the soft ground and had won here last Christmas. He wants a trip, is a genuine horse and jumps particularly well. He is a Flemensfirth, is going the right way and will jump a fence in time.
“I’m delighted for Olivia who has been a great patron and is a wonderful woman and huge thanks to her.”
Elsewhere, Billy Lee of Ballingarry added to his opening weekend winner at the Curragh as he partnered the Paddy Twomey -trained French Claim to win the 14-furlong conditions’ race at Navan. At odds of 4/9 favourite, the four-year-old led before the straight and came home a seven and a half-length winner from the Jessica Harrington-trained Taipan.
Another winning favourite was the Charles Byrnes of Ballingarry trained Aodhan May which landed the three-mile one-furlong handicap chase at Wexford. Ridden by the trainer’s son Philip, the 3/1 chance looked to have it all to do as he trained 7/2 shot Fox Le Bel by all of five lengths at the final fence but she picked up well to lead in the closing stages to beat Liz Doyle’s charge by two lengths.
Byrnes was also among the winners at Dundalk over the weekend as Miss Abby Jools took the eight-furlong handicap under apprentice Adam Caffrey. Formerly trained by Michael Halford, the four-year-old was having her second start for new connections and came late to beat the James McAuley-trained Royal Tribute by a neck for owner Steven Heaphy.
Lee was a winner again as Relevant Range took the earlier maiden over the same distance. Trained by Lee’s sister Gillian Scott, the 100/30 chance led at the two-furlong pole to beat the Ger Lyons-trained 8/15 favourite Rick Dalton by half a length in the colours of the Irrelevant Syndicate.