Linehan’s tenacity beats the big boys again
Monday 4th-Sunday 10th February
Fermoy native, Maurice Linehan had a welcome hard fought winner aboard Dream Again Boys at Warwick for his boss Jonjo O’Neill. In what looked a competitive handicap hurdle run in testing conditions the early pace wasn’t too frantic and Dream Again Boys was noted being very keen in Linehan’s hands just off the leaders.
Settling at the halfway stage of this 3 mile 1f event, Linehan took closer order three out and from the second last fought out a sustained battle with Prime Location all the way to the winning post. Linehan’s strength and tenacity in a finish was again seen as a major factor in the outcome of this event with Dream Again Boys getting the verdict in a tight photo finish by a nose, over the aforementioned Prime Location, ridden by Conor O’Farrell and trained by David Pipe.
This was the Presenting gelding’s third win from nine starts and it kept Linehan’s 100% record (2-2) on the horse intact. Linehan talking exclusively to The Avondhu said, “He’s a grand horse and has the heart of a lion, it’s very easy to ride a horse who gives all like him”.
O’Neill will find a similar event for Dream Again Boys as he isn’t high enough in the handicap to be entered at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
This was Castletownroche native O’Neill’s second winner of the week after his Shutthefrontdoor had won a highly competitive Pertempts hurdle qualifier under Tony McCoy. Shutthefrontdoor is now qualified for the final at Cheltenham, a race O’Neill has won on numerous occasions but McCoy was more pessimistic about the horse’s chances.
McCoy said, “Shutthefrontdoor just kept on, but he won’t have the experience for the final and he won’t be quick enough either.” It will certainly be interesting how the horse gets on if showing up at Cheltenham.
Best Of The Rest
Every week I write this blog, I always hope there are winners to write home about and every week – one particular man never lets me down. That man again is Fermoy native David O’Meara who just keeps the winners flowing from his Yorkshire base.
This time it was the turn of Classic Colori who was sent off favourite for a Wolverhampton seller on a dank Monday afternoon. Taking advantage of a drop in class, distance and first time blinkers, Classic Colori a former Listed race winner, won this race in workmanlike fashion. This horse has a lot of ability but has been held back by physical issues which have dogged him since that Listed race win. Not the force of old, O’Meara will be keen that the horse gets back to somewhere near his best for the upcoming turf season where he can exploit his handicap mark of 78 which is a full 22Lbs lower than his highest mark of 100. Undoubtedly Classic Colori is in no better yard to bring about that resurgence.
Killeagh flat jockey, Liam Keniry was again in the winners circle, this time on the John Butler trainer Misleading Promise at Southwell. Having his first run on the surface, this Refuse To Bend gelding was tried in a first time tongue tie in the hope that it would spark him into life. The race itself revolved around odds on favourite Tight Knit, who enjoyed the run of the race in front, but he was picked off easily by Keniry and Misleading Promise off the home turn. Keniry’s mount travelled smoothly on the surface and found plenty once in front. It was noted that Misleading Promise’s sire Refuse To Bend had a 28% win strike rate on the surface with his progeny, so it was no surprise that he acted on the ground.
Butler, who also owns the gelding said, “That was a timely win as he’s in at Tattersalls sales tomorrow. The tongue-tie has helped and he should make a juvenile hurdler”. Misleading Promise was entered in the sales the day after this win but didn’t make his reserve of 11,000gns.
Denman Parades At Newbury
Fermoy equine legend and former Gold Cup winner Denman was seen leading out the horses for a race named in his honour at Newbury last Saturday. The Denman Chase, a Grade 2 event was won ironically by Denman’s former trainer, Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh with Silviniaco Conti.
I am sure all those connected with the horse down the years, especially the Flynn family at Corrin, would of been delighted to see him cantering past packed stands looking in rude health. A statue of Denman stands at Newbury racecourse, why there isn’t one standing in Fermoy is beyond me!