Challengers put to the ‘Sword’

The Roger McGrath-trained Party Central wins the bumper at Tipperary on Sunday under Jamie Codd. (Photo: Alain Barr/Racing Post)

Araglin neighbours Des Kenneally and amateur rider Darragh Allen combined to win the mares’ maiden hurdle with Empors Sword at Clonmel last Thursday.

It was a first training success for Allen on a racecourse since Letterofapproval, ridden by Colin Motherway, won a bumper in Cork in July 2010 and the 12/1 chance accounted for the Noel Meade-trained 5/2 favourite Champagne Diva to give Allen his first winner over hurdles and his second racecourse success.

Conna conditional rider Richie Condon rode his first winner in Ireland when partnering the Pat Fahy-trained Casamari Abbey to win the 2m3f handicap hurdle. Condon has eight winners to his name in Britain and was seen to great effect when getting the 11/2 shot home from Musical Ava for owners, the Devon Partnership.

Jimmy Mangan took the 2m handicap hurdle at Gowran Park on Friday with the seven-year-old Capture The Action, which is owned by Eileen Hodnett. Sean O’Keeffe was in the saddle as the 6/1 chance scored by two lengths from the Shane Duffy-trained Molly Kaye.

Cappoquin trainer Roger McGrath sent out Party Central to win the bumper at Tipperary on Sunday. Jamie Codd was in the saddle as the 11/2 chance scored in convincing fashion from Magical Orla for the Motherway family. 

Knocklong trainer John Gleeson won the 2m1f handicap chase at the same venue with the six-year-old Jack Holiday. The strong 5/2 favourite made all the running under Conor Orr to win by a length and three-parts from All the Chimneys.

Meanwhile, Doneraile’s Darragh O’Keeffe was a winner at Punchestown on Tuesday week last where he won the 2m3f beginners’ chase on Shumaker. The 85/40 chance, trained by Paul Traynor, gamely saw off the persistent challenge of Gordon Elliott’s Dakota Moirette by half a length.

Abroad, Princess Zoe landed a last-gasp success in the Group 1 Qatar Prix du Cadran at ParisLongchamp on Saturday to give both trainer Tony Mullins and jockey Joey Sheridan a first top-level success. In a thrilling climax, Princess Zoe reeled in long-time leader Alkuin just yards from the finish to snatch the two-and-a-half-mile race for owners, brother and sister, Paddy Kehoe and Philomena Crampton.

Dermot Weld and Christophe Soumillon were among the big winners at ParisLongchamp on Sunday where they combined to land the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera with Tarnawa. Successful in the Prix Vermeille last month, the four-year-old might well now be aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in November after her battling success over the Jessica Harrington-trained Alpine Star.

Upcoming Fixtures

Thurles – Thursday, October 8 (First Race 2.15pm); Downpatrick – Friday, October 9 (First Race 1.45pm); Dundalk – Friday, October 9 (First Race 5pm); Fairyhouse – Saturday, October 10 (First Race 2.10pm); Limerick – Saturday, October 10 (First Race 1.25pm); Limerick – Sunday, October 11 (First Race 1pm); Curragh – Sunday, October 11 (First Race 1.40pm).