Limerick Leader horseracing columnist Katie McNamara looks back on another good week for local trainers and jockeys.
It was certainly a day to remember for five pound claimer Mark Enright last Sunday as he continues to showcase his talents on the racing scene.
The 20-year-old rode the first double of his career at the Grade 1 Fairyhouse meeting at the weekend. Enright is attached to the very successful national hunt stable of Dessie Hughes having previously tried his hand on the flat scene for trainer Tommy Stack and is getting himself plenty of outside rides.
His first winner of the day came in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Handicap Chase on the David Fenton Trained ‘Avondhu Lady’. The 7 year old daughter of ‘Beneficial’ was given a great ride by Enright who took the race by ½ length from the equally tough and consistent mare ‘Our Girl Salley’.
There has not been much between both mares as ‘Avondhu Lady’ was beaten 1 ¼ lengths by ‘Our Girl Salley’ on their previous outing and before that the David Fenton mare beat her rival by a neck at Clonmel.
Newcastle West native Enright completed his double later in the day on the John Joseph Hanlon trained ‘Murchu’ in the Grade C Caffrey’s Bar & Restaurant Handicap Chase over 3m 5f. The Paul Mcmahon owned gelding battled gamely to the line to beat the Paul Carberry ridden ‘Give Us A Hand’ by a nose.
This race is normally used as a trial for long distance races such as the Irish and English Grand nationals and ‘Murchu’ may be a horse to keep an eye out for in the future in these races. If the Newcastle West native keeps this winning streak up he will definitely be in the running for Champion conditional at the end of the season in April.
Ballingary trainer Charles Byrnes crossed the sea again this week in the hope of a good run from the Gigginstown owned ‘Trifolium’ in the fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday.
Unfortunately the horse seemed to be having an off day finishing a tailed off fourth to last years Cheltenham Triumph Hurdle winner ‘Countrywide Flame’. ‘Trifolium’ is definitely better than that run suggests and is a horse that we will be seeing plenty of in the coming months.
As the flat season is drawing to a close, Dundalk was holding another one of its reliable Friday evening race meetings where Rathkeale Jockey Emmet Mcnamara took the ‘Nursery Handicap’ on the Ger Lyons trained ‘Harmonic Note’.
The 22 year old rode the winner for Sheikh Fahad of Qatar Racing Ltd, and he is very fortunate to be in the position of riding all the Qatar Racing Ltd owned horses in the Co. Meath handler’s yard, who supplied Lyon’s with his first Group 1 winner last year.
It was Mcnamara’s 18th winner of a magical season in which he also lost his 3 pound claim. The night saw Mcnamara lose out narrowly by 2 lengths on his last ride finishing third on ‘Shukhov’ for his boss Ger Lyons and it just goes to show how narrow the winning margins can be in flat racing. He is mainly based with Ger Lyons and also rides out for Gordon Elliot, Noel Meade and Jessica Harrington on certain weekdays.
Bruree trainer Enda Bolger and Croom amateur J.T Mcnamara graced the winner’s enclosure once again this week at the point to point at Lisronagh which was held on Sunday.
The dynamic duo is really making this a regular occurrence this year with both kicking off the season on a high note. The JP Mcmanus owned gelding was wining for the fourth time in his career and is proving himself to be a real class act on the point to point scene.
The 7 year old son of Oscar who started his career as a 6 year old, took the Thomastown Castle training stables open 4 year old and upwards by 3 ½ lengths from the Ambrose McCurtin ridden ‘Whitty’s Choice’. However, ‘Near Perfection’ was deemed to maybe have been a lucky winner as the Derek O’ Connor ridden ‘Some Present’ had the upper hand when crashing out at the last.
Next Sunday hosts three different point to points around the country at Ballydarragh, Avaune and Tattersalls Farm in Louth and wherever JTMcnamara and Enda Bolger go, I suggest you follow them.
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