This week’s Irish racing

Horses for Courses Tom Red This Friday evening sees the start of the three-day newly sponsored Curragh Dubai Duty Free Derby Festival.   The main race on Friday is The Saoire Stakes a Listed Race with a Guaranteed value of €55,000 for 2-Y-O fillies only run over six furlongs and with his stable in top form the newcomer from Jim Bolger’s yard, Ceist Eile, should ask all the questions and take beating here.    Saturday sees the Group 1 Audi Pretty Polly Stakes with a value of €250,000 for fillies 3-Y-O and upwards run over one mile and two furlongs. Ballydoyle’s Peeping Fawn who won the Pretty Polly Stakes a year ago, is an absentee from the 13 acceptors.   Jim Bolger, who has left in both Lush Lashes and Finsceal Beo will be more likely represented by the latter who should be favourite.   Finsceal Beo, second in the Tatterstalls Gold Cup to Duke of Marmalade in the Curragh over 1m 2f and third over 1m in last week’s Queen, will step back up in trip to 1m 2f.    Second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas Mad About You runs for Dermot Weld with two British-trained raiders Richard Fahey-trained Anna Pavlova and Sir Michael Stoute’s Promising Lead, winner of a Group 3 race at York last time out.    Second to Duke of Marmalade should be good enough to win this valuable purse and continue Bolger’s good run.    Also on Saturday there is a premier handicap race worth €100,000. This is an extended handicap for 3-Y-O and upwards fillies only which are E.B.F. eligible sponsored by Jordan Town & Country Estate Agents and the European Breeders Fund. Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby  Sunday sees the highlight of the festival with the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby run over a mile and a half with a guaranteed value of €1,500,000 for 3-Y-O only entire colts and fillies.    There are 14 horses left in the race including the first six home in Epsom but Sir Michael Stoute’s Doctor Freemantle is unlikely to run here but will probably run in Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp on July 14. Stoute runs the 2nd Tartan Bearer, Dermot Weld the 3rd Casual Conquest with the 5th and 6th finishers from Ballydoyle Washington Irving and Alessandro Volta.   Jim Bolger always favoured this race for New Approach over the Epsom equivalent and should win again, completing the double for the first time since High Chaparral in 2002. New Approach’s sire Galileo also completed the double in 2001.     Fran Berry links up again with Luca Cumani’s Curtain Call which he rode in all his five races as a two-year-old winning once and finishing 2nd to New Approach. The colt, finished tenth behind New Approach at Epsom, was then trained by Jessica Harrington and should finish much closer than at Epsom.   John Gosden has supplemented both Centennial and Upton Grey, at a cost of €150,000, and these overseas challengers who must also be respected and strongly fancied.     Trusting Jim Bolger’s instinct New Approach should win and repeat his sire’s great achievement of 2001. Last week’s results In last Saturday’s Ulster Derby at Down Royal Jessica Harrington’s Fantoche in the hands of Willie Supple got up in the last few strides to win by a neck from Salute Him who just held on the runner-up spot from Ragged Staff also by a neck.    The runner-up is trained by Tony Martin, the third by Pat Fahey and they were ridden by Declan McDonagh and respectively.    In Sunday’s Ulster Oaks Jim Bolger great run continued when Angels Story, well suited by the cut in the ground, won with a brave performance under young 7lb claimer Martin Harley.    Dancera, beaten 2l, ran a huge race on her debut for Mervyn Torrens just holding on to 2nd place by a short head from Charlie Swan’s Varsity who made late progress but just failed to catch the runner-up.  Royal Ascot revisited  By the time you read last week’s article Yeats had won another Group 1 race, the Ascot Gold Cup, completing a hat-trick of wins in the 2m 4f  race for Ballydoyle.    O’Brien who won both Group 1 races on the first day with Haradasun in the Queen Anne Stakes and Henrythenavigator in the St James’s Palace, followed up on Wednesday with Duke Of Marmalade in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes crowned Ballydoyle’s week when Yeats won a third successive Gold Cup on Thursday.    Only the great Sagaro, trained at Lamorlaye in France by Francois Boutin achieved this feat way back in 1977 winning the famous race for the third year in succession as a 6-Y-O.    ‘To win one was great, to win two was amazing, but to win three was absolutely unbelievable,’ said O’Brien.   Watching the race unfold as the three principles were spread across the track 2 furlongs down Johnny Murtagh drove on Yeats to beat Geordieland, also 2nd last year, by an impressive 5 lengths with the French challenger Coastal Path back in 3rd.    As the race unfolded and the realisation that history was being made stirred feelings and emotions normally associated great national hunt horses who carry on racing for years and not with great flat horses who usually are retired to stud after a successful single season. Let us hope that the owners of this great equine machine let him have another crack at this race and create history by becoming the only horse to win it four times in a row.   Jim Bolger, wife Jackie and son-in-law Kevin Manning got Friday off to a great start for the Irish when Cuis Ghaire justified favouritism at odds of 8-11 in the Albany Stakes winning for the 3rd time and maintaining her unbeaten record.    This daughter of Galileo, who is bred to stay at least a mile, looked in trouble at the two furlong marker as Penny’s Gift and Ares Choix both appeared to be travelling easier.   Also on Friday, as you were told in this column last week, Jim Bolger’s crack 3-Y-O filly Lash Lushes proved that she was back to her best and won over The Coronation Stakes over 1m giving Kevin Manning his 2nd winner at Royal Ascot at nice odds of 5/1 again in the colours of Jackie Bolger.    The Murtagh O’Brien combination continued their great Royal Ascot with win number 5 when in the 2nd race on Saturday McArthur prevailed by a neck to beat Henry Cecil’s Multidimensional with Sir Michael Stoute’s Maraahel in 3rd 5l back.   In the Golden Jubilee Stakes there was finally a British winner of a Group 1 race when Kingsgate Native trained by Best and ridden by champion jockey Seb Saunders beat War Artist and Sir Gerry by 1¼l and ¾l.    Johnny Murtagh and Aidan O’Brien ended the week as they started when Honolulu won the last race, The Queen Alexandra Stakes over 2m 5f. Has O’Brien found a successor to Yeats in this 4-Y-O for the Gold Cup in years to come? Maybe so, only time will tell.   What a week for the Irish in the Group 1 races: Ireland (Aidan O’Brien) 4, Spain 1 and Britain 1, and the Spanish trained horse is Irish-owned. This makes up for the disappointment of not winning the major races at Cheltenham.   Quote of the week When told that Cuis Ghaire was ante post favourite for next year’s Newmarket 1000 Guineas, Jim Bolger replied tongue in cheek, ‘I don’t know much about ante-post betting as you know, so I’d leave all that to those who do know.’  Local winners last week  On last Friday night the Modreeny Syndicate owned Odachee, trained by Charlie Swan in Cloughjordan and ridden by Lenny Flynn won the 2 mile Qualified Riders race from by 3½ lengths from Mutadarrej with the favourite Ballet Boy a further 1¼ lengths back in 3rd. The winner was led in by syndicate member Pete Hennigan from Oran and was following up a good run in Leopardstown when he was 5th behind Queen Anthea in a 2 mile Handicap.    The horse was 3rd in a chase in Lenebane in May. The horse is a good and loyal servant for the syndicate and was winning for the 9th time – including a bumper, a hurdle and chases and he has been in the place money on 26 occasions in 55 runs.   Cecil Ross continues to turn out winners from his yard in Slanemore outside Mullingar when Six of Hearts won the 7f handicap in the hands of the season’s leading rider Fran Berry. In Down Royal the same evening the Ross trained High Risk was beaten only a length in the 2-mile maiden hurdle by JJ Lambe’s Inner Voice ridden by Paul Carberry.    A number of runners with Roscommon connections ran at Kilbeggan including Skidroe Joe trained in Clare by Donie Hassett and ridden by Michael Darcy from Ballinasloe. The horse, bred by Dermot Hughes out of the mare Supra Star by Even Top, finished a creditable 5th running for the first time over the new Easyfix plastic hurdles.   There were three horses with Roscommon connections in the last race, the bumper, which was won by Luca Brasi, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by his son Patrick for the Luca Brasi Syndicate. The mare had finished 6th in a 2m 4f maiden hurdle behind stablemate Cooldine at Thurles in January and this column reported that the horse has strong Roscommon town connections and gave it as one to watch.     Despite drifting in the market to 100/30 before ending up 11/4 the daughter of Lord of Appeal out of Minella Lass won handily from Henry de Bromhead’s Waterford trained Miss Marinello with James Burns gambled on, 7’s to 3’s, Regal Warrior 3rd in the hands of Nina Carberry.    The Luca Brasi Syndicate consists of three men involved in the shoe trade including Paul Byron of Roscommon, Gerry McDonagh of Cavan and Leo McArdle from Monaghan. Patrick Mullins was riding his first winner since completing his Leaving Certificate and for good measure won the bumper again on Tuesday for his father with Sir Vincent in Sligo.    Rocky Ryan, trained by John Berry in Wexford, who won his maiden point to point in Lisbride in April 2007 was bred in Ballybride by the late Brian Neilan, by Even Top out of The Dara Queen, and finished a creditable 5th in his first run on a track under Ross O’Sullivan.   Mariah Mooney, a half-sister to the useful Mariah Rollins, also ran. The 5-Y-O mare, owned by the Go West Syndicate and bred by Gerry O’Dowd of Ballinagard, Roscommon finished down the field.   The 11-year-old Rosaker who has a string of Grade Two wins over hurdles to his name was finally given his chance over the bigger obstacles by Noel Meade in the beginners chase and completed a double for Meade and jockey Paul Carberry, who earlier won the opening maiden hurdle with the odds-on favourite Kalellshan.   Jumping and travelling well throughout the race Paul Carberry kept Rosaker up to his work and beat Front Man ¾ of a length with Nipper John 4l back in 3rd. Competition Competition A chance to win tickets to Roscommon Races! Next racing on the local scene is in Roscommon at Lenebane on Monday and Tuesday the 7th and 8th of July when the only Listed Race ran in the West of Ireland, The Lenebane Stakes, worth €50,000, is down for decision on the Monday. Tuesday sees the Tote sponsor 6 of the seven races on a mixed card. There will be full details of the races in next week’s column.   In last week’s competition the winners were Mrs. Brenda Clogher from Ballinasloe, Paul Clogher also from Ballinasloe and Laura Byron from Roscommon, who made good use of the tickets to watch her father’s horse win the bumper. Each received a pair of tickets to Kilbeggan Races on Monday evening compliments of the track manager, Paddy Dunican.    Last week we had our first competition for tickets for a local meeting and this week we have 3 sets of a pair or tickets for Roscommon Races on the 7th July, Ladies Day, compliments of the track manager Micheal Finneran.  To be in with a chance of winning please let us know what is the name of the only listed flat race ran in the West of Ireland?    Answers on a postcard to The Roscommon People, The Harrison Centre, Roscommon by close of business on Friday 4th July or by e-mail to . Don’t forget to include a contact telephone number and the winners can arrange to collect their tickets at the paper’s office on Monday 7th July.