Cork racing: Former jockey Eamonn Gallagher making his mark as a trainer

Cork racing: Former jockey Eamonn Gallagher making his mark as a trainer
Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner Arizona, and Killian Hennessy, on the gallops this morning for trainer Aidan O'Brien. Picture: Healy Racing

EAMONN GALLAGHER mainly focuses on the pre-training of horses, and preparing charges for point-to-points.

Occasionally he’ll have a runner for the racecourse, and he has proved more than capable of plundering some prize money, when given the ammunition.

Based in Conna, the local handler is currently working with a string of 10 at his yard — four of which are set to race on the track, this summer.

The former jockey has had most of his success as a trainer with mares, including with Backinthere and Cailean’s Angel.
Backinthere was Gallagher’s first winner on the racecourse, back in 2012.

The daughter of Flemensfirth won four races under rules, sporting the colours of Vincent Sheehan.
Cailean’s Angel, for the same connections, is among the current string in Conna.

The daughter of Getaway has been a consistent sort for her trainer, and she landed a handicap hurdle at Bellewstown, last summer.

Gallagher expects to have two runners, this weekend, with Cailean’s Angel and Lady In Lavender.


Both mares have run already this term, with Cailean’s Angel finishing eighth in a mares’ beginners’ chase, at Killarney, and Lady In Lavender finishing sixth on the level, at Gowran Park.

‘‘Cailean’s Angel (entered in Tramore and Tipperary) is for the same owners as Backinthere. I broke her, she ran in points for her owners and she wasn’t getting the trip.

“So, she came back to me. She likes good ground for the summer.

“She won last year and she was unlucky in a couple of races.

“She’s not over big, but she’s a fun mare. She is back in now and she had her first run after the lockdown last week over fences. She’ll be campaigned over fences.

“Hopefully, she can perform over both (hurdles and fences).

‘‘Lady In Lavender ran well the other night when she was sixth. I do a bit of pre-training and she went to Denis Hogan, and she won for Denis last year.

“But, the owner has left her with me now. She’s running Friday tonight in Kilbeggan over hurdles,’’ he said.

Gallagher saddled Idas Boy to win a point-to-point at Dromahane, in the spring of 2019.

The Dubai Destination gelding subsequently fetched £155,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sales, when purchased by Gigginstown House Stud.

‘‘It was a mighty touch. But I wasn’t the owner unfortunately!

“It was great as it was my first time taking a horse over to the sales.

“He was very popular over there; all the big stables were mad after him. He ran once last year for Noel Meade and he was second, just beaten in a bumper.

“He looks a horse for the future,’’ Gallagher said.

He continued; ‘‘I’m mostly involved in breaking and point-to-pointing. The couple of mares we had left over, I actually went to the track with them.

“Backinthere was probably the best. I broke her and the owners, who are builders, had her for a point-to-point and she came back to me then and she won four races.

‘‘Eoin, my brother, was southern champion in point-to-points, a few years ago.

“I rode one winner as a jockey, but I didn’t get many breaks. I used to ride out for Liam Burke and Jimmy Mangan.

“They are good to me; I am very close to their yards and I use their facilities to work horses.

“I have a small gallop of my own, a lunge ring and a walker.

“I was in Sean O’Brien’s yard for a few years.

“I went to Martin Pipe’s for a summer to get a view of the training side of things and it was a good education.’’

Elsewhere, Killian Hennessy claimed the biggest win of his career, at Dundalk, last weekend.

The Youghal jockey made virtually all aboard Nobel Prize to win the Group Three Ballysax Stakes. Hennessy is a work rider at the Aidan O’Brien yard and he made the most of his opportunity last Sunday, when leading almost from flagfall, and driving his charge over the line, to win by the narrowest of margins.

The 27-year-old has ridden winners in Britain, Ireland and the USA, and can now add a group race win to his career CV.

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