TRAINER Pat O’Donnell of Herbertstown House, Kilmallock provided three-time Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy with his first local winner through 10/3 favourite Dragon of Malta in a thrilling seven furlong Handicap at the 165th edition of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival.
Murphy told irishracing.com: “I have lots of family here today and they’ll be over the moon. The horse is also trained by an old family friend of ours so it is a brilliant day. The O’Donnell family and I’ve known them for years, so it is great to ride a winner for them.”
By phone, O’Donnell – who trained 1995 Cheltenham Festival winner Chance Coffey said: “The horse had good form and Mark (Enright, retired jockey from Castlemahon) contacted me to say Oisin was available, so it was a no-brainer to use him. I said to my wife that he was beaten turning in, but these good riders just find a way to win and he was fantastic.”
He added: “Oisin and my son Patrick go back a long way from when they went pony racing together, are friends and were also apprenticed together.”
Meanwhile, the King John’s Castle two-day Racing Festival takes place at Limerick’s Greemount Park on October 21 and 22.
The obvious highlight is the JT McNamara Munster National of €100,000.