Ballywilliam Boy, ridden by Mark McDonagh, and trained in Patrickswell by Michael Hourigan, jumping the last to win The Bar One Racing Maiden Hurdle at Naas on Sunday Picture: carolinenorris.ie
NEWCASTLE West jockey Gary Noonan helped Paul O’Flynn secure the first leg of a double at Clonmel on Tuesday, with his seven-pound claim seen to good effect on board Quarry Lil (10/3 favourite) in the Minorstown (Mares’) Handicap Hurdle.
Noonan saw a good lead reduced entering the straight but had kept enough in hand to assert once more in the final furlong and win by three and three-quarter lengths from Irregularheartbeat.
Trainer David Fitzgerald was on the scoresheet in the Kilmolash Handicap Hurdle, as Kevin Brouder galvanised a resolute effort from Hilltop Supreme (7/2) to deny Added Bonus by a neck.
There was a father-and-son success at Navan on Saturday as Rathkeale trainer Eric McNamara saddled Donkey Years (5/1) to bag the Proudstown Handicap Chase at Navan on Saturday by one and a quarter lengths from Kilkeaskins First.
The Robin Des Champs seven-year-old was very good value for that margin though, with Conor McNamara displaying plenty of confidence and only needing hands and heels to secure the verdict after the last.
Patrickswell trainer Michael Hourigan is hoping he might have a nice horse on his hands as Ballywilliam Boy made light of his 33/1 price to deny odds-on favourite Lifetime Ambition in the Bar One Racing Million Maiden Hurdle under Mark McDonagh at Naas on Sunday.
The six-year-old was delivered by McDonagh to take up the lead at the penultimate flight and was very tough on the run-in.
Down Royal – Wednesday, March 17 (First Race 1pm)
Dundalk – Friday, March 19 (First Race 5pm)
Thurles – Saturday, March 20 (First Race 2.20pm)
Wexford – Saturday, March 20 (First Race 1.20pm)
Downpatrick – Sunday, March 21 (First Race 2.10pm)
Curragh – Sunday, March 21 (First Race 1.30pm)