Moscow Anne to win at Roscommon

On Friday evening there are two meetings, including a return to the all-weather at Dundalk and also on the turf at Cork. On Saturday evening Kilbeggan holds its second meeting of the year at the scenic midlands course. On Friday the mixed card at Cork consists of four flat races, two chases and a bumper. On Saturday there are four hurdle races, two chases and a bumper at Kilbeggan with the first race off at 5.50 pm. The highlights of the card are the FBD Insurance Hurdle, a conditions race worth €25,000 and the Fay Bookmakers Handicap Chase worth €20,000 which is sponsored by Paul and Carmel Fay of Granard. Sunday sees an all-flat meeting at Gowran Park in Kilkenny and at Navan a national hunt card of four hurdles, two chases and a bumper. In the FBD Hurdle in Kilbeggan Noel Meade’s Model Athlete bids for a three timer having won his maiden at Cork and a conditions race at Punchestown both on good ground over two-and-a-half miles. Victor Wilson’s Insan Flyer was beaten by one and three quarters lengths by JJ Lambe’s Andijan in a conditions race at Down Royal earlier this month. Both get in and will give Model Athlete all to do. With a return to form for the stable Meade’s horse should win. In the Fay Bookmaker’s Handicap Chase a horse called Patton returns to the track after a two-year layoff. Trained by Meade he won his last two races at Roscommon and Killarney in 2006 and if he runs he will take beating in this field. Dangers are Tucker Geraghty’s recent Fairyhouse winner What Odds and Michael Hourigan’s Some Craic if he gets in. Goinforporter is an outsider with an each way chance is JJ Lennon’s hunter chaser on the bottom of the handicap at nice odds.  Then on Monday racing returns to Lenebane here in Roscommon with a mixed card of three flat races, two chases, a hurdle race and a bumper. The highlights of which are the Frank Hannon Memorial Handicap Chase run over two miles five furlongs worth €20,000 and sponsored by Ollie Hannon and the Sherry Fitzgerald P Burke Handicap Chase over two miles worth €18,500. Other sponsors on the day include Connolly’s Red Mills for the flat handicap over one mile two furlongs, Boylesports for the 1½m three-year-old maiden, J P McManus who sponsors a round of the Martinstown Stud Opportunity Handicap Hurdle Series confined to claiming professional jockeys and Kepak in Athleague who sponsor the two and a half mile bumper. One that catches the eye in the bumper entries is the Niall Moran, Sliabhbawn Stables’ trained Moscow Anne and on her recent run in Down Royal where she finished 8th of 17 after being boxed in and badly hampered might be value for a few bob each way. Last weekend Dermot Weld won the Derby Trial with Casual Conquest from Coolmore’s Washington Irving by an easy 6l with last week’s selection Moiqen trained by Kevin Prendergast a disappointing 3rd. Weld completed a big race double winning the 1000 Guineas Trial with Carribean Sunset beating the favourite Katiyra trained by John Oxx by ½l. Although Casual Conquest is the ante post favourite he is not entered in the Epsom Derby and is unlikely to be supplemented. He is most likely to take his chance in the Prix du Jockey Club, the French Derby, at Chantilly. As we approach the Irish Classics on the 24th and 25th of this month, it is great to see headquarters embrace new technology which will allow punters home and away to purchase tickets and not worry about postage and packing charges. The ticket text website is offering a two for the price of one for both race days which will be sent direct to the applicant’s mobile phone by text message. A print-at-home copy by email is also sent which will be scanned at the Curragh to admit. Great value for people going to the races. Go to web site www.ticket-text.com and click on sport and then on the 24th or 25th of May and order one ticket for every two needed. Each ticket will admit two people on the day. There are hidden handling charge of 1.70 per ticket which is disappointing considering the promotion makes great play of the fact that the sales are post and package free and there is also a 30 cent card charge per transaction. This week Coolmore Stud announced the retirement of probably the outstanding sire of recent times. Sadler’s Wells will retire from stud duties this season. The 27-year-old son of Northern Dancer will remain in retirement in Coolmore having stood there since the 1985 Flat season and was the champion sire in Britain and Ireland for a record-breaking 14 seasons. Coolmore manager Christy Grassick said: ‘I think Sadler’s Wells is generally acknowledged as the best sire Europe has ever seen and we feel very privileged to have been associated with him. His influence will be felt for many years to come and in Galileo, Montjeu and High Chaparral, we are delighted to have his three best sons at Coolmore.’ Paul Nicholls’s Gold Cup hero Denman was deservedly named the national hunt Horse Of The Year at the Anglo-Irish Jump Racing Awards in London. Having won the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, Lexus Chase, Aon Chase and the totesport-sponsored blue riband, beating last year’s winner Kauto Star impressively he earned a rating of 182. He has been beaten only once in his career of 15 races by Nicanor in the 2006 Royal & Sun Alliance Hurdle at Prestbury Park. Another Nicholls inmate Master Minded won the two mile Chaser Award and was top rated on 186, having won the Queen Mother Champion chase from Voy Por Ustedes on only his fourth appearance on a racecourse. He was to give way to the same horse over an extra half mile at Aintree. Noel Meade’s Jered won the Novice Hurdler Award and Henry de Bromhead’s Sizing Eurpore the two mile Hurdler Award for the Irish. A sign of the hard times for the banking system as Anglo Irish Bank, sponsors for the last three years, will no longer sponsor the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March next year nor the Pattern races that lead up to the Grade 1 novice hurdle. Irish trained Captain Cee Bee won this years running of the race beating beat Binocular, both horses owned by JP McManus. Captain Cee Bee’s trainer Edward Harty is a former worker in Anglo Irish Bank.   This weekend there are three point-to-point race meetings with a two-day meeting at the Necarne Equestrian Centre outside Irvinestown in Co Fermanagh starting on Friday night at 5.30 with 172 entries and on Saturday there are 154 entries with racing beginning at 2.30. Racing on Sunday is in Bartlemy, Co. Cork and starts with first race at 2 pm and 169 entries. Galway native and leading rider for the season Derek O’Connor had one winner at Athlacca on Saturday night and drew a blank at Sligo on Sunday and moves onto 84 for the season leaving him needing 16 over the next three weekends and seven days racing to become the first jockey to ride 100 winners in a season. Jamie Codd with one at Athalacca and a double at Sligo on Sunday is 14 behind on 70 and Mikey O’Connor in 3rd on 51. There were trebles over the weekend for Mikey O’Connor at Athlacca and for Brian O’Connell in Sligo.