THERE was some competitive fare at yesterday’s flat fixture at Cork racecourse and Bagenalstown-based handler Pat Foley, who took over the licence held by his late father Tom of Danoli earlier this year, will forever treasure fond memories of the meeting as he was credited with his initial training success courtesy of Yermanthere in a competitive renewal of the Fermoy Maiden over seven furlongs.
Yermanthere, runner-up on his previous start in a Gowran Park handicap earlier this month, was always well positioned and he made his way to the front with Luke McAteer under two furlongs out to beat the 96-rated Notre Belle Bete by one and a half lengths.
“I got my full licence two months ago and I’ve hit the crossbar a few times since, “said Foley. “It’s great to have a nice horse like Yermanthere (owned by Ray McSharry, son and namesake of the former Fianna Fail politician) in the yard and we will go for a handicap with him now.
"I also think that he will improve from three to four.”
The featured race was the Navigation Stakes, a listed contest over a mile, and Joseph O’Brien continued his outstanding campaign by sending out Queenship to win this €37,500 event in the hands of Mikey Sheehy.
The three-year-old filly Queenship, upped 12 lbs to a new mark of 96 for winning a Gowran Park handicap on her previous start back in April, took command on entering the final furlong to dismiss April Showers by a half-length.
Mikey Sheehy, who was recording an initial listed success, went on to partner a two-timer aboard the Pat Flynn-trained Accessory in the closing Follow Us On Twitter Handicap. Accessory, supported from 6/1 into 100/30, made all the running and he held on grimly to deny Men Of Dreams by a diminishing head in a gripping three-way finish.
Kanturk native Killian Leonard teamed up with Rosslare-based handler Tom McGuinness to win the first division of the Mallow Handicap with Coffeemeanscoffee. The six-year-old Coffeemeanscoffee, supported from 33/1 in the morning into 14/1 on course, put some previously uninspiring efforts behind her by making the best of her way home from over a furlong out to beat outsider Ceapach Rua by a half-length.
This victory was a special one for McGuiness, who only received his training licence in July, and the Co Wexford-based operator presently has four horses under his care.
Colin Keane brought his seasonal tally to an astonishing 120 winners by partnering a double. The Trim native initially joined forces with Ger Lyons to collect the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF 2-Y-O Maiden with clear form choice Pirate Jenny.
Runner-up on her debut in a Navan maiden last month, Pirate Jenny assumed command over a furlong out and she stayed on stoutly to defeat the promising Hotel Wren by one and a quarter lengths.
Handler Lyons’ brother Shane reported of Pirate Jenny: “She’s still immature. Colin rode her with kid gloves and her attitude was very good. We will probably now finish with her until next year and she does need a winter under her belt."
Keane will have attained immense satisfaction from his success aboard Secret Road in the second division of the Mallow Handicap over six furlongs as the triumphant grey is trained by his father Ger. Secret Road vindicated the promise of his third-placed effort at this same venue last month by holding on valiantly as the line approached to see off Tullypole Annie by a head.
The winning jockey disclosed: “Secret Road had a good run here on his handicap company. He came back here today to win on a track that he likes and he probably would go an extra furlong. “
The Johnny Feane-trained Dragons Call came home as she pleased in the Irish Stallion EBF Fillies’ Handicap. Dragons Call bounced back from a slightly disappointing eighth-placed effort at Navan earlier this month by making all the running with Kevin Manning and she forged clear inside the final furlong to dispose of Notoriously Risky by four lengths.
“She’s a mare that got badly injured last year and we didn’t think that she would run again, “said Feane of Dragons Call.
Jockey Manning Manning was yet another to partner a double and the Co Dublin native completed his 118/1 brace by landing the Thank You To All The Frontline Workers Handicap aboard Jim Bolger’s 16/1 shot Stylistic Approach.
The always-prominent Stylistic Approach struck the front over a furlong out to thwart Coill Na Sionainne by three parts of a length.