Roscommon-owned horses do well

By Tom Red Irish racing this weekend is on the all-weather at Dundalk on Friday night, in Navan on Saturday and at Downpatrick on Sunday where both cards are all National Hunt, 1m 4f handicap.     The big Dubai Flat Festival is on this week and the main Irish interest will be in the filly Finsceal Beo. Trainer Jim Bolger reckons Finsceal Beo is back to her best for Saturday’s eagerly-awaited Dubai DutyFree.   The four-year-old did a Guineas double last season, winning the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas. The daughter of Mr. Greeley was denied a clean sweep of all three major European fillies’ Classics when beaten a head by Darjina in the French race and is looking forward a successful new flat season.   On Wednesday night owner Leo Cox and trainer Niall Moran produced Melody Star to win a very competitive 1m 4f handicap by a short head from Michael Halford’s Cosmo King with Eoin Doyle’s More Votes a similar distance back in 3rd. The Sliabh Bawn stables were unlucky not to be completing a double as their very good servant Johnstown Lad was caught on the line by Just For Mary, trained by Philip Rothwell in the 5f handicap.   On Thursday in Clonmel Roscommon owner Eamon Flanagan from Ballybride saw his Alberoni at the ripe old age of 12 finish 3rd in the 2 ½ mile handicap chase adding €800 to his earnings for the year following his win recently at Navan. The race was won by Right Now by 4l with second Robertstown Rover 1 ¾l clear of Alberoni. FAIRYHOUSE: On Saturday the opening day of the Fairyhouse Tommy Stack’s Perce Rock supplemented a recent victory at Leopardstown with an impressive success in the Betfair Novice Chase at Fairyhouse.   When Coolgreaney fell with Tony McCoy back in the saddle after injury the 6-4 favourite took up the running alongside Drunken Disorderly and pulled away to win the Grade Three contest by nine lengths.    Also on Saturday The Tom Gilligan Supports Fighting Blindness Flat Race was sponsored by Tom Gilligan from Loughglynn and won by the Eddie Hales trained Astute Approach, fulfilling the form shown when 2nd in his first run in the competitive 4-Y-O bumper run at Leopardstown’s Pierse Hurdle meeting.    On Sunday the main race The Power Gold Cup was won by the Jimmy Mangan trained Conna Castle by ½ l from Big Zeb with Oscar Honey in 3rd. There was a disappointing field of only 4 for this major race worth €100,000 to the winner.    On Monday the Irish Grand National was won by the Michael O’Leary owned Hear The Echo trained by Mouse Morris and ridden by Paddy Flood. Mouse is hoping that the horse can complete the Fairyhouse Aintree Grand National training double.    Roscommon owner Tom Gilligan was rewarded for his sponsorship on Sunday when his Shakervilz, trained by Willie Mullins, won in the hands of Ruby Walsh. In Cork on Monday The Bosses Nephew who has strong Roscommon connections won the Qualified Riders Beginners Chase in the hands of Robbie McNally. The winner is owned by Edward Farrell and trained by John Brassil.     All who were in Fairyhouse on Monday witnessed the end of a legend when Conor O’Dwyer bowed out as a jockey winning on the Davy Fitzgerald trained Mister Top Notch. All the jockeys formed a guard of honour as Conor came out of the weighroom as a jockey for the last time and the winning combination received a tremendous welcome back into the winners enclosure.    The highlights of a long career include two Gold Cup wins aboard Fergie Sutherland’s Imperial Call in 1996 and the Mouse Morris trained War Of Attrition for Michael O’Leary ten years later, He also won the Champion Hurdle aboard the Dessie Hughes trained Hardy Eustace.    Conor has already trained a winner out of his yard at Rossmore on the Curragh when Hangover won a Punchestown bumper for Michael O’Leary in January. The column wishes him all the best in his new career as a trainer.   Tuesday started with another Roscommon winner when Christopher Beirne’s Paco Jacko won Grade 3 Weatherby’s Ireland GSB Hurdle. Trained by Joe Crowley and ridden by Davy Russell the Soviet Star gelding was fulfilling the promise he had shown as a 3-Y-O in Roscommon when he won the second division of the first 3-Y-O hurdle of the season by 17 lengths before going on to win his 2nd hurdle race at Tralee 14 days later by 18 length ridden by Ruby Walsh on both occasions. Well done to Christopher who hails from Ballinameen.   Tuesday was a great day for two local families from the Fairyhouse area when the three Carberrys, Paul on Jered, Phillip on Major Sensation and Nina on Jaquouille all won. Paul was riding for the Noel Meade stable and Phillip and Nina for their uncle Arthur Moore.   In the 3m 1f Handicap Chase Jill Geraghty became the 4th member of her family to win on the family favourite What Odds when beating Tony Martin’s gambled on favourite Hold The Pin by 1¼ lengths. Her three brothers won on the gelding Norman won 4 point to points including a race at Roscommon in 2002, Ross won on the track again at Fairyhouse and Barry won on the horse at Punchestown. The horse is trained by their father Tucker for their mother Bee.   POINT TO POINT: On the point to point scene there are 4 meetings this weekend on Sunday at Dundrum in Tippearay first race 1.00, at Liscarrol in Cork starting at 1.30, at Monksgrange near Rathnure in Wexford and finally on the local scene when the Galway Blazers race at Newcastle outside Athenry  both starting at 2.00. The Route Hunts meeting in the North on Saturday at Limavaddy has been cancelled and will not been re-scheduled.     Flash Freddie trainer by Martin Lynch and part owned by Roscommon’s Brian Keenan, of Sir O J fame finished 3rd in his first run of the season in the 6 & 7 Y-O Maiden at Durrow outside Tullamore on Sunday. In the Mares Maiden the Tom Cleary trained Amazing View owned by the Roscommon based Amazing View Syndicate pulled up after getting a kick on the left hind leg.