In her weekly Limerick Leader horse racing column, Katie McNamara reports on the recent success of Limerick jockeys.
The Tramore festival got off to a fine start for Rathkeale jockey Emmet McNamara last Thursday as he guided the John McConnell trained Lindenhurst to victory in the O’ Neills Bar Handicap over a mile and a quarter.
The 11/4 second favourite was given a positive ride by McNamara who chased the leaders in third before taking up the lead three furlongs out, and going on to take the contest by an easy five lengths.
McNamara also followed up on this victory the next day at the same venue aboard the Andrew Heffernan trained Cin Cin, in the Ashtown House Stud EBF Fillies Maiden over a mile and a quarter.
The 5/1 shot was again given a positive ride by the 23 year old, who chased the leader in second and hit the front two furlongs out where he stayed on well to take the Maiden by three and a quarter lengths.
Croom jockey Andrew McNamara Jnr was another to grace the winners enclosure in Tramore at their annual four-day festival as he guided the John Queally trained Ancient Days to victory in the Summerhill Shopping Centre Beginners Chase over two miles and six furlongs.
The 11/1 shot was given a positive ride throughout by McNamara who took up the lead six flights from home and recovered from a bad mistake at the last to take the event by two lengths from 11/8 favourite Raajih. It was only the six year old’s second time out over fences but McNamara seems to get a great tune out of the son of Daylami.
Queally commented afterwards “I just got back from France this morning and it’s nice to have a winner at the local track. Andrew certainly didn’t give him a married man’s ride! His jumping won it for him.”
James Nash had a welcome winner on the final day of the four day festival on Sunday as Rayhani took the Heinz Pollmeier Memorial Handicap Chase in great style under a fine ride by David Casey.
The Arthur Moore trained Claragh Native looked to have the race at his mercy as he jumped the second last in front. However, a better jump at the last by Rayhani left the ten year old land full of running to take the race by two lengths from Claragh Native.
Nash trains the veteran for his father Francais and was at Dundalk on the day. Casey said “They went fast. James told me to drop him in and it worked out well.”
To finish off a fine few days for Limerick jockeys and trainers, trainer Michael Browne took the Crowne Plaza Race & Stay Rated Race at Dundalk on Sunday with his very own Queen Grace. The 10/1 shot made all under talented apprentice Connor King to land the spoils by half a length from My Good Brother.
Browne commented afterwards “She’s been threatening that for a while. When I saw this race I thought it was readymade for her and I knew she was in great form coming here today. She’s going to be covered next year and that’s a real thrill to win today.”