CORK trainers have enjoyed a great week in the world of horse racing.
Trainer Ken Budds and former Cork hurling star Mark Landers were in the winners’ enclosure in Tramore last Saturday. It was an exciting finish to the 1m 4F contest with the verdict taking over three minutes to be announced. Supported in the betting market, Getaway Queen was sent off a well-fancied 8-1 shot.
A previous two-time winner around Dundalk, it was no surprise to see the talented Getaway Queen record a third career victory. However, the runner-up’s owner James McAuley is seeking clarity on the deciding picture, which appears to show a narrow gap between both horses’ noses and the white finishing line drawn on the still. An appeal will not be heard until at least next week.
Back to Getaway Queen. We can expect more big performances from the daughter of Getaway. She looks well handicapped over hurdles and I’m sure she will translate that good flat form to hurdles.
On Monday in Tipperary, Cloyne-based trainer James Motherway introduced a nice newcomer to win the opening race on the card, the MansionBet Faller Insurance 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle. Supported at bigger prices throughout the morning, Merry Poppins was sent off a 16-1 shot. Towards the back end early doors, the daughter of Authorized made lovely headway to move into a good position four out.
In front before the last, she was driven out to score by a length and a quarter.
Given a confident ride by Dylan Robison, she looks to have a big future ahead.
After the race, the Cork trainer gave Irishracing.com a few positive words on the exciting filly.
Motherway said: “She is a lovely filly who only came to us in March/April and was a little bit weak when she came, but has strengthened up nicely. I told Dylan (Robinson) to take his time as the ground had gone plenty soft for her as she isn’t a big framed filly.”
Curraglass-based trainer Liam Burke is another trainer in fine form. At the recent Tramore Festival, he enjoyed a fantastic time, sending out four winners at the Waterford track.
It all started when Trees Valley won the Newtown Head Mares Maiden Hurdle on Friday last. Given a great ride by Donagh Meyler, the 10-3 favourite was always prominent and, pulling out all the stops in the closing stages, she kept on well to deny Lady Rocco by three-quarters of a length.
It was two on the day for Liam Burke when promising young Cork jockey Darragh O’Keeffe guided Yaiza to a victory in the Copper Coast Geo Park Handicap Hurdle. O’Keeffe was seen to great effect aboard the 12-1 chance.
Two days later, on Sunday, Burke was also on double form. Horses that have good Tramore form are always worth following and Trees Valley, a winner on Friday, absolute hacked up again on Sunday. A 7-2 chance for the Frank Gillane Handicap Hurdle, the in-form runner, once again under Donagh Meyler, made all the running, winning with plenty to spare. At the line he was 10 lengths clear of his nearest rival.
Backed at huge odds early in the morning, Raven Rule confirmed that market support when winning the concluding race on the card, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Flat Race. Raven Rule (50s early, returned 9/1) under a magnificent ride from Tom Fenney.
Burke told Irishracing.com, “She ran well the last day, but was just too keen. Tom (Feeney) walked the track after four or five races and said that the best of the ground was right on the rail. He said I’m going to go around on the inner and he saved some ground. It’s all down to him.”
In other Cork-related news, Dunmanway jockey Philip Enright is enjoying a great few months and he was in double form in Sligo on Wednesday. It was pretty evident that Enright was expecting success as he made the long trip to Sligo. Enright teamed up with trainer Mouse Morris to record the 22-1 double. Friary Rock was the first to oblige when the 4-1 shot made short work of his opposition to win the RSS Document Storage Maiden Hurdle.
Baily Thunder (7/2 joint-favourite) completed the double in the Foley’s Bar & Off Licence Handicap Hurdle. Ridden entering the straight, the six-year-old, shedding his maiden tag at the 13th time of asking. He got on terms with Fruits Of Glory on the run-in, asserting close home to score by three parts of a length.