Limerick/Clare Racing News
Again teaming up with Paddy Twomey, high-flying Billy Lee won the opening eight-furlong maiden at Killarney on Tuesday on Milestone Payment which was bought out of a claiming race at Saratoga by her breeders Louise and Kevin Quinn. The easy-to-back 13/2 chance had an easy time of it on her Irish debut as she beat the Ger Lyons-trained Texas Sun, the 7/4 favourite, by three and three-parts of a length.
Lee added a more valuable success to his tally when landing the Flat feature of the track’s July festival on Cigmia which scored a last-gasp win in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes. The strong 11/8 favourite, trained by Willie McCreery, led on the line to deny Ger Lyons’s Panama Red by a shorthead.
Conor McNamara teamed up with Slane, County Meath trainer Pat Downey to win the two-mile one-furlong handicap hurdle with Little Big Rocky as the Killarney festival came to a close on Friday afternoon. Owned by the Lane Syndicate, the seven-year-old made much of the running to beat the John Burke-trained Our Bobby by two and a quarter lengths at odds of 15/2.
At Kilbeggan later that evening, the William O’Doherty-trained Swelltime won the near two-mile maiden hurdle in the hands of Paddy O’Hanlon. The 100/30 chance led before the final hurdle and raced clear to win by eight lengths from the Liz Doyle-trained Scalor for the Swelltime Partnership. O’Hanlon replaced Mark McDonagh on the winner after the latter took a fall at Downpatrick on Wednesday.
There were emotional scenes at the Curragh on Saturday as the Sylvia O’Donnell-ridden Extensio, trained by her Cheltenham Festival winning father, Pat, won the Ladies Derby Handicap in battling fashion. A first success for the Kildare-based jockey, she sat just off the pace on the 6/1 chance and closed on the leaders early in the straight before taking up the running just inside the furlong pole. At the line, the game partnership had half a length to spare over the Gavin Cromwell-trained Pachmena with the winning trainer saying,
“It’s unbelievable and I’d have given up a Group 1 winner for my daughter to ride the winner of this race. A lot of ducks had to line up in a row today and it’s a hard thing to do. This horse has never run a bad race and he’s been a very lucky horse and a very good ride.”
Billy Lee rounded off the week with a winner at the Curragh on Sunday where apprentice Wesley Joyce was also on the scoresheet. Lee brought his tally to 55 winners for the season when getting 3/1 favourite Are We Dreaming home by two and three-parts of a length from the Kevin Coleman-trained Only Spoofing in the five-furlong handicap for trainer Willie McCreery. Earlier in the afternoon, Joyce had won the eight-furlong fillies’ handicap on the Michael Mulvany-trained Red Heel. Owned and bred by Aidan Archdeacon, the 14/1 chance made all the running to beat the Gavin Cromwell-trained Giselles Ausie by a length and a quarter, the five-year-old’s fifth career success.
Michael McDonagh provided County Tipperary conditional jockey Cian Quirke with his first success over fences as Fly De Megaudais easily won the two-mile handicap chase at Tipperary on Sunday. In the trainer’s own colours, the 20/1 shot eased clear after the second last fence to win by all of 17 lengths from the Shark Hanlon-trained A Mere Bagatelle.
Ballinrobe – Monday, July 18 (First Race 5.30pm)
Ballinrobe – Tuesday, July 19 (First Race 5pm)
Naas – Wednesday, July 20 (First Race 5.30pm)
Limerick – Wednesday, July 20 (First Race 5.15pm)
Limerick – Thursday, July 21 (First Race 5.15pm)
Leopardstown – Thursday, July 21 (First Race 5.30pm)
Down Royal – Friday, July 22 (First Race 5.30pm)
Cork – Friday, July 22 (First Race 5.15pm)
Gowran Park – Saturday, July 23rd (First Race 2.55pm)