Cork racing: Special horse has proved a charm for Doneraile trainer

Cork racing: Special horse has proved a charm for Doneraile trainer
Davids Charm Philip Enright take full advantage of the last fence fall of Convara as they win the Mansionbet Beginners Steeplechase. Picture:Healy Racing

EVERY yard would love to have a horse like Davids Charm within its ranks. 

The son of Milan has won on the level, over hurdles and is now a winning chaser, following his latest victory, at Tipperary.

John Joe Walsh’s stable star was winning race number eight of his career, last weekend, when justifying favouritism to deliver on his first outing over fences. 

The nine-year-old gelding has been a mighty servant for the Doneraile handler, having already accumulated career earnings in the region of €280,000 – not a bad return for a horse that cost €9,000 as a foal.

Along with his eight wins under rules, which include a grade three hurdle triumph and multiple valuable handicap wins, there have also been several gallant efforts in defeat for Davids Charm, including a runner-up berth in the Irish Cesarewitch and a luckless fourth in last season’s Galway Hurdle. 

The Tom O’Brien–owned runner is unlikely to head to Ballybrit for the Galway Races, next week, despite being a course winner. Nor is his trainer likely to have a runner at the meeting.

Nevertheless, Walsh is pleased to have seen his flag-bearer make a winning start to life over fences, on his second outing of the season, having previously finished ninth in a grade three hurdle contest, at Tipperary. Looking ahead, the local trainer is hopeful that his charge has much more to offer as a chaser.

‘‘He’s a great old servant. He’ll be good when he’ll learn about fencing. He’ll probably stay at that for a while now. He ran a cracker in Galway last year; he should have won but he was murdered (when badly hampered). 

"He’s getting a bit old now for hurdling and he’s too high (rated 149 over hurdles, 94 on the Flat). We’ll see how we get on. He’s unlikely to go for Galway, as he hasn’t enough experience over fences yet. 

"We have only a few horses in and we didn’t bring them in until late, on account (of the lockdown)," Walsh said.

Meanwhile, a number of other Cork trainers are readying their charges for the Galway festival, which gets underway on Monday. Summer festivals have been a happy hunting ground for Terence O’Brien in the past, but he’ll have just one possible runner at Ballybrit, with recent Curragh second, Leahman. 

The Carrigtwohill trainer had been aiming Articulum at the Galway Plate, but the son of Definite Article is set to miss the festival, owing to a setback.

"It’s a bit like 10 green bottles sitting on the wall! Articulum has a palate problem again, so he needs a procedure before running, which rules him out ‘til Listowel at best. 

"Lakemilan (second at the 2018 festival) picked up a small injury which will keep her out until then, too. Our Roxane won’t make it either, as I’m just not happy with her fitness yet. Leahman might go in the four year old handicap hurdle,’’ O’Brien said.

Cork’s Kevin Coleman won the Galway Plate as a jockey, when delivering the Liam Burke-trained Sir Frederick to success, in 2007. The Carrick-on-Suir-based handler could be represented in the Flat handicaps, across the meeting. 

Swiss Army Officer, an agonisingly-close second at Leopardstown, last week, and Red Vermillion, a winner at Fairyhouse, earlier this summer, could both run.

"Swiss Army Officer was unlucky the last day, but he’s gone up 7lbs in the weights. He’ll get an entry over a mile, probably. He’s a big horse, so I don’t know if he’ll handle the place. But you don’t know ‘til you go. 

"I’ll probably give the filly, Red Vermillion, an entry as well. There aren’t many races for her, so I’ll give her an entry at a mile and a half or two miles. There are a couple of two year olds who might get an entry," Coleman said.

Conna trainer, Eamonn Gallagher, spoke within these pages, last weekend. He could let Lady In Lavender take her chance over hurdles, at Ballybrit.

"Lady In Lavender will be entered. The ground went for her last Friday (when she finished sixth at Kilbeggan). It was lashing at the track. She travelled well but didn’t get home," Gallagher said.

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