A two day evening event at Tipperary which comprised seven flat races on Wednesday and eight National Hunt races on Thursday produced excellent sport in both codes and patrons were well pleased with the track’s decision to offer free admission on the opening day.
The talking point of the flat session was the defeat of the hottest favourite over the two days, the John Oxx trained Zabarajad which went off at odds of 2/9 in the jogfor jockeys.ie Maiden following a useful run in the Irish 2000 Guineas. Johnny Murtagh had the market leader in a prominent position until easing to the front half a mile from home. The rider was soon uneasy in the saddle however and Colm O’Donoghue emerged from the pack to throw down a serious challenge on the 33/1 chance Alnashmy to wear down the favourite inside the final furlong and win by three quarters of a length with third place going to the Jim Bolger trained Advenio. Highly regarded by his trainer, Bansha’s David Marnane the winner will be expected to follow up on this unexpected success.
Aiden O’Brien sent three runners to the meeting but had to wait until the final event, the tipperaryraces.ie Maiden to get off the mark. His Long Live the King was supported to 5/2 favourite and with Joseph O’Brien in the saddle the Galileo colt owned by Michael Tabor, Derick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier soon went to the front and made practically all the running to score an impressive three and a half length win over Let it Snow owned by the same connections and trained by David Wachman.
Racing had opened with The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden for which Aiden O’Brien sent out the 5/4 market leader After which disappointed by weakening quickly in the final furlong to finish a well beaten seventh under Shamie Heffernan. The well backed Bogini looked the likely winner in the last furlong but Jim Bolger’s 4/1 chance Somasach came with a strong run to take up the running only to be tackled by the flying 14/1 chance Experience which just failed to get the verdict in an exciting climax. Bogini held on for third place and the David Wachman trained Experience which had reared up leaving the stalls and came from a good way back looks one to look out for. The winner Somasach which was partnered by Kevin Manning and is owned by the trainer’s wife is also expected to step on this success.
The Willie McCreery trained Geraldines Lass was the 11/8 favourite from 2/1 to record a quick double in the Visit Tipperary Racecourse Handicap following her success at Navan on the previous Saturday and she duly obliged by staying on well in the final stages to record a neck win over Foot Perfect. The winner was given a cool ride by the ten pound claimer Ricky Doyle.
Claiming riders won four races during the evening and Leigh Roche was the man celebrating after the success of An Mhi in the tipperaryraces.ie Handicap. Backed from 8/1 to 7/1 and trained by Johanna Morgan in Ballivor, Co. Meath, An Mhi had won over course and distance last August. On that occasion he had defeated Mrs. Batt and this one again ran a big race under Pat Smullen but was two and a half lengths in arrears of the winner at the line. One to note in this event was the Tracey Collins trained Ashton Rose which finished with a flourish to take third place on her first outing for six months.
The Glen of Aherlow Handicap produced another exciting finish with the well supported Intyre Trail keeping on well to hold the challenge of Chaparro by a head with Badger or Bust three quarters of a length back in third place. Trained in Monasterevin by Peter Fahey this 9/2 chance is owned by the Sunday Afternoon Syndicate and seven pound claimer Ronan Whelan had the ride.
Bondage which had won in Ballinrobe on Monday evening was the 13/8 market leader to record another quick double in the Tote Trifecta Rollover Handicap and trained by Gordon Elliot the gelding duly obliged to become the second Meath winner of the meeting. Bondage scored by two lengths from Leah Claire and the trainer reported that Ascot may well be the next objective. The winning rider was Emmet McNamara who claimed three pounds.
The total aggregate bet at the meeting was j67,996 and there was no corresponding meeting. The Jackpot Pool of j8,195 was carried over and the dividend in the Placepot Poll was only j11.80.
JP McManus who is a great supporter of the track rewarded his followers with a sparkling treble at the National Hunt meeting on a glorious Thursday evening and he was denied a four-timer by the neck defeat of Ainama in the penultimate event of the meeting.
The opening race The Enjoy an Evening at Tipperary Maiden Hurdle saw the Limerick man get off the mark with the 9/2 chance Life Of Reilly which is trained outside Dungarvan by John Kiely. David Marnane’s Separate Ways, the mount of Ruby Walsh which finished third and Edward O’Grady’s Estrela Brage which took fifth spot, went off the 5/2 joint favourites. Life Of Reilly, however with Mark Walsh in the saddle stayed on well to score by two lengths from the 14/1 chance Anoosou.
Grangecon, Co. Wicklow trainer Francis Flood saddled the second McManus winner the 7/1 chance Take A Shot which also completed a double for rider Walsh who came with a sustained run to collar Fair Dilemma in the concluding stages of the Monard Handicap Hurdle (Div 1) and score by a neck.
Bansha’s Christy Roche completed the treble in the Sports Clubs Handicap Chase with the 5/1 chance Harolds Cross which ridden by Alan Crowe came home an impressive six length winner over the 11/4 favourite Hot Friend. An easy winner at Killarney and a Galileo gelding Harolds Cross loved the ground and will have a busy summer.
Ainama was well supported to 2/1 to complete the four timer for McManus in the www.tipperaryraces.ie Beginners Chase and looked an unlucky loser when going under by a neck to the 15/8 favourite St. Devote. The horses bumped at the final obstacle which the runner-up jumped slowly and the placings were unaltered after a stewards inquiry. The winner is trained by Eoin Griffin in Co. Kilkenny and was partnered by Barry Geraghty.
Another Kilkenny winner on the evening was the 12/1 chance Some Gem which won the second division of the Monard Handicap Hurdle. Trained by Thomas Mullins for his wife Helen and splendidly ridden by his nephew Danny, Some Gem got up to short head Barry Geraghty on the 2/1 favourite Teak. The winner was breaking her maiden at the ninth attempt.
The Limerick Junction Chase lost some of its appeal with the withdrawal of the likely favourite Bobs Pride which was found to be lame but it was won in fine style by the grand old campaigner The Fonze gaining a fifteenth career success and a fifth over fences. Giving an exhibition of jumping on his favourite ground, The Fonze came home seven lengths clear of Schelm with Echo Bob a neck back in third place. Trained by Eoin Doyle in Mooncoin to give Kilkenny a third winner of the evening The Fonze went off the 11/4 favourite and was ridden by Shay Barry.
Earlier it was disappointing that only four went to post for The Tipperary Racecourse Supporters Club Hurdle which was won with some authority by the Jessica Harrington trained 9/4 chance No One Tells Me which had give and a half lengths in hand of runner-up the 25/1 outsider King Of Redfield which was half a length ahead of the 5/4 joint favourite Catch Me which in turn was nine lengths clear of the very disappointing joint market leader Heavenly Blues. Robbie Power rode the winner which is owned by The Lakeside Racing Syndicate.
There was an upset in the final event when Ut Love a 10/1 chance trained in Kildare by Matthieu Palussiere held off the challenge of Deep Determination by a head with Sam Da Vinci three lengths back in third place. The 3/1 favourite Kilbarry Castle finished fifth. The winning rider was M.P. Fogarty.
The tote aggregate bet was j51,461.91 as against the j61,024 wagered at the corresponding meeting a year ago. The Jackpot Pool amounted to j19,546 and nine winners each received j1,628.80. The Placepot Dividend was j89.90.
Racing in Clonmel this Wednesday
The local racing action next week is at Clonmel on Wednesday evening where many fringe attractions will include a barbeque. It will be an all National Hunt card with the opening race scheduled for 5.50 p.m.and the feature event is The South Tipp Today/The Nationalist Handicap Hurdle.