In her weekly Limerick Leader column, Katie McNamara reports on the Limerick success at the recent Killarney Races.
The beautifully picturesque racecourse that is Killarney brought great joy to our Limerick jockeys and trainers last week.
Shanagolden jockey Chris Hayes kicked things off on the first day of the four day festival, guiding the Kevin Prendergast trained Greeneyed Monster to victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Race over a mile.
The son of Diamond Green was quite a shock winner as he returned at an SP of 20/1. Hayes also went on to ride another winner later in the week for his boss at the Curragh on Sunday where he steered 5/2 shot Coquette Noire to victory in the Goffs Fillies Maiden over seven furlongs.
Askeaton trainer Paddy Neville had a lot to smile about too as he enjoyed a double success at the festival. 7/1 shot Chrisdonlady kicked things off on the Wednesday taking the first division of the Ladbrokes Handicap Chase over two and a half miles under Eddie O’Connell.
The daughter of Christophene was winning for the fourth time in her career much to the delight of her handler “She was due a win by the way she was running on soft ground.
She’ll go to Galway now if she gets into one of the races”. Killcara Boy followed up on this victory the next day for Neville as the 16/1 shot took the Dawn 1% Lite Milk Handicap Hurdle over two miles and one furlong under Moira McElligott.
It was the eight year olds fifth win in his career, but the first for his current handler. “We couldn’t get him right for a long time, but we knew he was right today and he had a lot of beach work done. He’ll go to Galway next”.
Ballingarry jockey Billy Lee has been in flying form of late and he continued his good run of luck taking the #540 Average Tote Placepot Dividend Maiden over one mile and three furlongs at the Kerry venue on the last day of the eventful festival.
The Henry De Bromhead trained Absolutlyfantastic was given a perfectly timed ride by Lee who took it up inside the final furlong and stayed on well to take the contest by a neck from Beyond Berlin.
De Bromhead commented afterwards “He ran a blinder on Monday but just met a better-off horse. Billy was super on him and it was a confident ride”.
Newcastle West jockey Mark Enright was gracing the winners enclosure in Kilbeggan on Friday evening as he steered the Dessie Hughes trained New River to victory in the Tom McCormack Memorial Cup Maiden Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
The 11/4 shot made all and landed the event by an impressive 11 lengths. However, Enright was brought back down to earth an hour and a half later as he took a crashing fall from the Andy Oliver trained Jabus and fractured his T2, T3 and T4 vertebrae. Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery!
Rathkeale jockey Emmet McNamara finished the week on a high as he guided the Ger Lyons trained Tocatta Blue to victory in the Irish Field Grey Horse Handicap over one mile at the Curragh on Sunday.
The 11/4 joint favourite was given a confident ride by McNamara who raced handy throughout and took up the lead in the final furlong to take the event by a length from Susiescot.
Limerick Racecourse stage their final Twilight meeting of the year this week and well known Irish country music singer Nathan Carter will be on hand to provide live entertainment after the last race. It is set to be a popular evening along with a good national hunt card to top it off. Limerick GAA club are also fundraising for their team and training on the night and have successfully sold out all their tickets.
The first race race will go to post at 5:25pm so why not come along and show your support.