It was a memorable weekend for Tipperary owner Pat Coffey who recorded a weekend treble with Arctic Road claiming the Tattersalls Ireland five-year-old geldings’ maiden in the hands of Simon Cavanagh to follow-up his Loughanmore double with Lough Derg Rose and Norwegian Woods. The son of Flemensfirth was purchased at Tattersalls in 2016 for €58,000. The five-year-old, a €58,000 purchase out of Tattersalls, showed admirable battling qualities when denying the Noel Kelly handled newcomer James Boru by a short head.
Tom Cloke who was representing the absent Denis Murphy stated afterwards; ‘We were waiting for a little bit of better ground with him. I know it is tacky and it is not nice but it is a little bit better. Simon (Cavanagh) gave him a great ride, we told him not to hit the front and he went wide around the outside and did the job.’
Donnchadh Doyle continued his rich vein of form when taking the opening Goffs UK Aintree Sale four-year-old maiden with newcomer Gaelik Coast in the hands of Rob James. The son of Coastal Path eased his way to the front three fences from home and kept on gamely for a four length victory over the Colin Bowe-trained Highway Companion. The four-year-old who was carrying the familiar colours of the Monbeg Syndicate was providing his handler with his 20th winner of the season.
‘He is a straight forward horse that did it well. He was a very cosy winner there and had been showing well at home. He is sales bound now’, said Sean Doyle, brother of the winning handler.
Rob James completed an afternoon double when guiding the Martin Brassil-trained Maple Flyer to victory in the My Dream Boat five-year-old and upwards mares maiden. The seven-year-old daughter of Flemensfirth relished the underfoot conditions and showed a nice turn of foot when quickening clear of her rivals to score by a most impressive 25 lengths. The John Ryan-owned mare was last seen only seven days ago when finishing fourth at Ballyragget.
An elated Rob James reported afterwards; ‘She has a very good pedigree and was very professional in her job today. She loved the ground conditions, jumped very well and I would say that she is a right mare now to go onto the track with.’
Donjon won his second race within a week when claiming the Tullaghansleek Sud Adjacent Winners Race in the hands of local rider Aaron Murphy. It was a particularly memorable win for Murphy as he has now lost his five pound claim. The five-year-old, who is owned by top owner Chris Donnelly, made it a pillar to post victory and kept on well in the closing stages to deny the short priced favourite Star Wizard by six lengths.
A delighted winning rider said afterwards; ‘He jumped brilliantly and was always doing it nicely out there. We’ll talk to his owners and see what races might be coming up for him in the coming weeks and I would say he will go to the sales by the end of the season.’
It was a red letter day for Curragh trainer Padraig Roche who trained his first winner between the flags when winning the Greville Arms Barbour Cup with Ryanair Gold Cup winner Uxizandre. The 10-year-old son of Fragrant Mix set a ferocious pace out in front which saw many of rivals struggling from halfway. It was the Pat Doyle-trained Samanntom who mounted the only challenge in the straight and the short priced favourite had to work hard in the closing stages to keep the second favourite at bay by a head.
‘He is an absolute pleasure to train. It was nice of Frank (Berry) and JP (McManus) to let me have him. He had been working well ahead of it but we were just hopeful that he was fit enough and thanks be to god he just got away with it so I would say his class got him through it more than anything else. I’m not sure what the plan is now, I’ll have to talk with Frank and JP and see where we got but he is qualified now for a hunters chase,’ said a relieved Roche.
Steelambition was another to set the pace out in front and proved too much for favourite Myoldman in the concluding six-year-old and upwards geldings’ maiden for novice riders when coming home with three-quarters of a length to spare over Myoldman. James Kenny who took the riding honours was recording his second winner of the season aboard the Claire Howes-owned and handled six-year-old.
A delighted Howes reported afterwards; ‘He can be a bit lazy sometimes but he is good. We had a lot of trouble with him last year, he got a nasty kick in the back of his and had about two months in the vets so we had lost a good bit of time with him. I am just delighted with that win. We might for a bumper now.’