KEN Condon likes nothing more than to have a winner at Cork and the Ballyhea native kept his supporters happy by recording a two-timer at Saturday’s flat fixture at the Mallow venue.
Drombeg Banner initiated the Condon brace by collecting the Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2-Y-O Maiden over five furlongs. Drombeg Banner, a gelded son of Starspangledbanner that’s owned by Cian McAuliffe from Athlacca, stepped up from his fifth-placed debut effort at Naas last month by leading from after a furlong with Niall McCullagh to beat favourite Orinocco River by a comfortable one-and-a-quarter lengths.
Condon reported: ”He ran a nice race on his debut at Naas and I actually thought that he would be ready to run on Guineas weekend (late May), but he grew on us. He’s still not furnished and hopefully, he will develop further. All of his family relished soft ground, his dam Drombeg Dawn won an Irish Lincolnshire on soft ground and I think that he will make stakes grade.“
Condon doubled up by sending out Affable, representing his wife Pauline, to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Handicap. Affable, acquired for just £6,000 stg at last December’s Newmarket sales, made smooth progress from the rear of the field under Princess Zoe’s regular partner Joey Sheridan to pick up the running over a furlong out to see off Maud Gonne Spirit by two and a quarter lengths.
“This seven furlongs trip is perfect for her and Joey [Sheridan] rode her with plenty of confidence,“ remarked Condon of Affable, who was posting her third success of the season.
“She’s busy but she has been thriving on it. She is ground versatile and we will be chasing black-type with her before the end of the season.“
The featured race was the €65, 00 Group 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Give Thanks Stakes and Paddy Twomey’s La Petite Coco spreadeagled the opposition under Billy Lee. The 101-rated La Petite Coco, who was winning her third race of the season for present connections, stylishly made her way to the front two furlongs out en-route to dismissing Thunder Kiss by a widening five and a half lengths in the colours of Team Valor International LLC.
“I was hoping that she would win as well as she won today,“ confessed Twomey. “She’s a filly that’s physically progressing and is enjoying her training. She is in the fillies’ and mares’ race in Ascot on Champions day in October and she’s also in the Prix Vermailles (at Longchamp).“
Upton-based handler John Murphy’s Ten Ten Twenty added to his success at Sligo just three days earlier by making all the running with Colin Keane in the second division of the Thanks To All The Frontline Workers Handicap. Ten Ten Twenty asserted from a furlong out to dismiss Accessory by three lengths.
“The drop down in trip was probably not ideal,“ said Murphy’s son and assistant George of Ten Ten Twenty. “He is improving away the whole time and one and a quarter miles plus is probably his trip. He’s a fine, big good looking horse and he deserves a break now.“
Colin Keane went on to partner a double as he teamed up with Dermot Weld to capture the Newmarket Maiden aboard Azallya. On what was her fourth career start, the favourite Azallya readily asserted from a furlong out to see off Cycladic by one and a half lengths.
Joseph O’Brien is experiencing an outstanding summer and the Owning-based operator’s Snapraeterea ran his rivals ragged in the Platinum Stakes, a listed race over seven furlongs. Snapraeterea made all the running and the 105-rated colt bounded clear from over a furlong out for Declan McDonogh to dismiss Surrounding by an eased-down four lengths.
O’Brien’s representative Brendan Powell said: "Snapraeterea is one of the toughest, most honest you’d ever get. Declan (McDonogh) said he loved this straight seven and he burned them all off one by one.“
Dylan Browne McMonagle maintained his advantage in the apprentice championship by teaming up with Pat Martin to land the Fermoy Handicap with Pretty Smart. Also successful over this same course and six-furlong distance last month, Pretty Smart made her way to the front over a furlong out to beat Roxette by two lengths.
The Shane Crawley-trained Karlsberg vindicated the promise of her recent third-placed effort in a 30-runner handicap at The Curragh by winning the first division of the Thanks To All The Frontline Workers From Cork Racecourse Handicap. Karlsberg got on top with Seamie Heffernan inside the final 100 yards to account for Rugaday by a length.