THE concluding bumper at Punchestown on Saturday was notable for the fact it brought up a four-timer for all-conquering Meath trainer Gordon Elliott as Caldwell Potter made amends for a disappointing run at the Festival last season with a very impressive victory.
However, a remarkable story noteworthy of mention was the third horse Teuchters Glory just pipped for second place by a neck by another Elliott horse Cardamon Hill.
Teuchters Glory was returning off a 773-day absence and was partnered in the race by his 65-year-old Cork trainer Liam Burke who the horse had last run in October 2020 when winning on debut in a Galway bumper. The Fame And Glory gelding showed sufficient promise to suggest he hasn't lost any of the gloss he displayed in his debut victory success.
Liam Burke returned to the saddle at the age of 64 in July last year when finishing sixth on Shumard in a bumper at Sligo. That was Liam's first ride in public for over 20 years, since taking part in a charity race at Listowel. His last victory in the saddle came at another Kerry track Killarney back in May 1988 when he won aboard Take Beating at 12/1 in a Handicap Hurdle.
Burke's return to the saddle was accentuated by having both his knees done which gave him a new lease of life and a fresh impetus to ride again in public. Prior to that, he'd been crippled with pain in both knees and any thoughts of race riding seemed a million miles away.
The classy pair Thyne Again and Sumos Novios were two other major standard bearers for the yard.
Liam Burke is the father of UK-based jockey Johnny Burke who rode his first Cheltenham winner last March on Harry Fry's Love Envoi in the Mare's Novice's hurdle. Johnny is enjoying a great start to the season in the UK with 27 victories to follow up last season's tally of 63.
Johnny was again seen at the top of his game as he landed the £125,0000 Hurst Park Handicap Chase aboard Boothill for Harry Fry at Ascot last weekend foiling a big gamble on Emmet Mullin's So Scottish.
The previous weekend was even more memorable for Johnny as he rode a double at Cheltenham's Paddy Power meeting including the featured Paddy Power Gold Cup aboard Ga Law for Jamie Snowden and the exciting mare Queen's Gamble who made it two from two with a scintillating bumper success for Oliver Sherwood. She looks a proper horse going forward.
Exciting times for the Burkes then. Men of substance.