INNISHANNON native Kevin Coleman sent out his fourth winner as a trainer at Cork’s flat fixture yesterday when Swiss Army Officer sprung a 14/1 surprise in the first division of the Mallow Handicap.
The physically-imposing Swiss Army Officer, a runner-up at Roscommon in late August, was always positioned close to the pace and he overtook long-time leader Raffaello two furlongs out.
Swiss Army Officer was always in command thereafter and he stayed on dourly to defeat Raffaello by one and a lengths to provide 18-year-old Ben Kennedy from Dingle with a first career success.
Coleman, who partnered the Liam Burke-trained Sir Frederick to victory in the 2007 Galway Plate, now trains an eight-strong string outside Carrick-On-Suir.
The Corkonian remarked of Swiss Army Officer, owned by his mother Eileen Coleman.
”He’s a very big horse and he didn’t run until four as he was thinking of going down the bumper route with him, but he doesn’t stay.
“He has been unlucky a few times and I might now leave him off for the year.
”I’m delighted for Ben (Kennedy), who is full time with me and he gave the horse a good ride.“
There was another Cork winner as Innishannon-based handler John Murphy struck with Autumn Mist in the second division of this contest.
Runner-up Eye Of The Dragon appeared the most likely winner until Autumn Mist, owned by Mairead O’Keeffe, hit the front inside the final couple of strides with Shane Foley to oblige by a neck.
“The ground was probably too deep for her on her last two runs,” said handler Murphy’s son George of Autumn Mist.
“She’s a very tough filly, Shane [Foley] gave her a good ride and we might now try her at Dundalk.“
Colin Keane moved five winners ahead of the aforementioned Foley in the jockeys’ championship (82 – 77) by recording a two-timer and the Co Meath jockey brought up his brace aboard Matthew Smith’s Starlight Dream in the Fermoy Fillies’ Maiden.
Starlight Dream was always positioned at the head of affairs and she bravely maintained the tempo in the closing stages to see off Menagerie by a neck.
“She’s a consistent filly, she handles that ease in the ground and the drop back in trip to a mile would have suited her,“ disclosed Keane of Starlight Dream.
Keane earlier partnered a rare winner for Aidan O’Brien by landing the opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-O EBF Median Auction Race over a mile aboard Sir Lucan.
Sir Lucan stepped up from his most recent fourth-placed effort in a Curragh maiden when an unconsidered 40/1 shot last month by coming from off the pace under a well-judged ride to overtake the front running Flying Visit inside the final couple of strides to beat Jim Bolger’s charge by a neck.
The easiest winner of the day was undoubtedly the former point-to-pointer Dreal Deal who supplemented his Limerick victory three days earlier by sluicing home under Mark Enright in the second division of the Dromahane Handicap.
Dreal Deal, who started his career in points with former Cork All-Ireland winning footballer Paul O’Flynn, was always merely in cruise control and he picked up the running three furlongs out to beat Poster Child by three and a quarter lengths.
“We got 26 lbs for winning in Limerick on Saturday and we will take that on the chin,“ said Dreal Deal’s Armagh-based owner/trainer Ronan McNally.
“He’s still a big, weak horse and we will probably put him away and leave him develop. Chasing will be his game down the line.“
The Michael Halford-trained Leabaland sprung a 14/1 surprise in the CorkRacecourse.ie Handicap for three-year-olds’. Leabaland showed the necessary improvement from his most recent sixth-placed effort at Dundalk last month by making all the running and the victorious son of Cappella Sansevero asserted inside the final furlong to dismiss the staying-on Waterville Lady by two and three quarter lengths under Ronan Whelan.
Billy Lee combined with Nenagh-based trainer Michael O’Meara to capture the Cork Handicap with the gambled on top-weight Noble Music. The 75-rated Noble Music made all the running and she powered clear inside the final furlong to beat Dundory by four and a half lengths.
“She’s an ideal national hunt type and she will now go to the Newmarket horses in training sale later this month,“ reported 12-horse handler O’Meara of Noble Music.
Dylan Browne McMonagle is experiencing a fine run and the seven lb claimer landed the first division of the Dromahane Handicap aboard Jarlath Fahey’s Prime Chief.
A well-supported favourite, Prime Chief kicked clear from the two-furlong marker to dispense with the fast-finishing Miss Louise by one and a half lengths. The next meeting at Cork is a jumps one and it takes place this Sunday — October 18.