DRAMA COMPLETES FAIRYHOUSE TREBLE FOR KEANE AND LYONS
The first Flat meeting of the season at Fairyhouse on Thursday night belonged to Kiltale trainer, Ger Lyons and Trim rider, Colin Keane, as they combined for a treble, but it was plain to see that none of them meant more to the trainer than that of Elegant Drama in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
The champion jockey bounced the previously disappointing filly out in front and the daughter of Dandy Man seemed to appreciate it, and in addition she dug deep inside the final furlong to see off the challenge of market rival Excelling Spirit by half-a-length.
Lyons now has stakes races in mind for Elegant Drama. Hyperlapse and Heavenly Rainbow were Lyons and Keane’s other winners.
Meanwhile, Stamullen trainer John McConnell helped himself to a 233-1 double as 25-1 outsider Hey Pretty sprung a surprise in the Toals.com Bookmakers Handicap under Shane Foley and Sheila’s Hope won the Next Meeting At Fairyhouse June 15th Apprentice Handicap in the hands of Tom Madden.
MIXED EMOTIONS FOR MAGS MULLINS AT TRAMORE
It was an evening high on emotion at Tramore on Friday for Mags Mullins as, after Motown Girl suffered a fatal injury in the mares’ maiden hurdle earlier on the card, the Goresbridge handler was provided with something to smile about when Dumhach Thra landed the concluding David Flynn Ltd Ladies Bumper.
In doing so, Dumhach Thra confirmed himself a very talented beast, coming right away clear to win well under Jody Townend, sister to former champion jockey Paul.
There is no more popular trainer in Ireland that Mick Winters and there was a huge cheer when Model Cloud passed the winning line in front in the DFL Fitouts & Joinery Ltd. Handicap Chase. Model Cloud, representing the Kanturk-based trainer, won well in the hands of Brian Hayes. The winner is owned by the trainer’s brother, Tony.
Pleasure Dome landed the opening David Flynn Ltd. Beginners Chase for the champion trainer Willie Mullins and John Turner, a successful greyhound owner. Ridden brilliantly by Danny Mullins, who galvanised the mare after it looked as though she lost all winning chance after making a mistake at the last fence, Pleasure Dome got back up on the short run-in to beat Cotton Jenny.
ROYAL ASCOT ON LONDON ICON’S RADAR AFTER NAVAN SUCCESS
London Icon has Big Ben in his sights. That was the message from trainer Adrian Keatley after the Elzaam colt controlled the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race from start to finish under Gerald Mosse, booking himself a place in either the St James’s Palace or Jersey Stakes. Keatley had intended to have a crack at the Irish 2,000 Guineas last Saturday, but a below-par prep in a Listed race at Naas in early May put paid to those thoughts.
Funnily enough, though, the horse who was just a length ahead of him there was none other than Guineas hero, Romanised. The feature Royal County Handicap, worth €50,000, saw The King have his crown snatched away in the final stride by Downdraft.
It was another remarkable ride from last weekend’s 2,000 Guineas-winning jockey Shane Foley, who timed his challenge to perfection on the Joseph O’Brien-trained 3-1 favourite. Johnny Murtagh was on ITV duty at Epsom, but hopefully he sneaked away to watch the opening Lynn Lodge Stud Irish EBF Maiden before going on air, as his Yolo Again triumphed under Niall McCullagh.
NICHOLSON NOTCHES SECOND WINNER IN A WEEK AT TRAMORE
Thurles trainer John Nicholson continued his hot streak at Tramore on Saturday evening as Ask Susan made it two wins in the space of a week for the yard.
Turasoir was a winner for the stable at Ballinrobe last Monday week under Mark Enright, and following on from that success, the jockey guided Ask Susan home in front in the Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Annual Members Mares Beginners Chase.
The lion’s share of the prize-money will be going straight into Nicholson’s pocket, too, as not only does he train the mare, but he also owns the six-year-old.
Icelip has never won a race anywhere other than Tramore and the 10-year-old notched his fourth success at the Waterford venue and his first over fences for Piltown handler, David O’Brien.
The gelding is O’Brien’s stable star, and Sean Flanagan knows him well. The jockey was instrumental in the success, coming with a late rattle to claim his Waterford & Tramore Racecourse Directors Handicap Chase rivals after the last.
MURPHY OFF THE MARK FOR THE SEASON AT LISTOWEL
Fethard trainer Joe Murphy got off the mark for the season when Fit For Function returned to form to land the feature Follow Listowel Races On Facebook Handicap over six furlongs at Listowel on Sunday. Confidently ridden by Gary Carroll, he forged clear inside the last furlong to beat the front-running Aspen Belle by a length and a quarter.
Willie McCreery was in double-winning form at Listowel as the Curragh handler first sent out Mindt to land the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden and then True To Herself to take the Croom House Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden.
Both were ridden to victory by Billy Lee, a native of Castletown in County Limerick. One of Lisa O’Neill’s finest moments in the saddle arrived at Listowel in 2016 when she guided Potters Point to victory in the Guinness Kerry National and she enjoyed another course success in the Bryan MacMahon Race on the Willie Mullins-trained Law Girl.
—— RACING NEWS ——
AIDAN AND DONNACHA TEAM UP FOR OAKS VICTORY
Aidan O’Brien won a seventh Oaks as Forever Together powered clear under the trainer’s son Donnacha and ran away with the Investec-sponsored Group 1.
Settled in fourth, the Cheshire Oaks runner-up showed marked improvement to see off Godolphin challenger Wild Illusion, with Bye Bye Baby holding on for third.
Wild Illusion could not overcome the widely perceived handicap of stall one, but she was the only horse to break O’Brien’s grip on the race as he saddled fourth and fifth as well.
It was yet another Classic success for the master of Ballydoyle, and another sired by Galileo. His five entries seized control of the race from the start and filled five of the first six positions as the field galloped uphill towards Tattenham Corner.
Rounding the bend Bye Bye Baby appeared to have slipped off the front under Wayne Lordan, but she was eventually reeled in by the winner, who was scoring for the first time in her career, and Wild Illusion, who came up the stands’ side rail.
IRISH DERBY LIKELY NEXT TARGET FOR EPSOM HERO MASAR
Masar gave Godolphin glory in the Investec Derby at Epsom on Saturday and he is likely to try and become the 11th horse to complete the English-Irish Derby double and the first since Harzand in 2016.
The 16-1 outsider, who was third to Saxon Warrior in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, stayed on strongly to beat Dee Ex Bee by a length and a half to hand William Buick a first Oaks and Charlie Appleby a first Classic.
O’Brien stressed that no plans had been made for Saxon Warrior, who finished fourth despite being sent off the 4-5 favourite, but hinted that the Irish Derby at the Curragh on June 30 will most likely be his next port of call.
CONDON HAS ROYAL ASCOT AND GOODWOOD IN MIND FOR ROMANISED
Ken Condon is mapping out a campaign at the top level for his stable star Romanised, with the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot likely to be followed by a trip to Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes on the first day of August.
The Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, who sprung a huge surprise at 25-1 to give Condon his first Classic and a first winner of the season, featured amongst 46 entries for the Sussex Stakes on August 1, but first he will try to prove himself to be the top three-year-old colt over a mile in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 19.
Leopardstown – Thursday, June 7th (first race 5.45); Curragh – Friday, June 8th (first race 5.25); Clonmel – Friday, June 8th (first race 5.15); Curragh – Saturday, June 9th (first race 2.35).