Weekly Limerick Racing News- Chris Hayes secures personal landmark

LimerickRacing News

Chris Hayes is enjoying his best season winner-wise and he brought his tally to 57 with success on the Kevin Prendergast Russian Campaign at Dundalk on Wednesday. Backed on-course from 16/1 to 6/1, the three-year-old landed the 8f handicap under the Ballingarry jockey whose previous best tally of 56 winners was recorded in 2012.

Other Racing News

Star Chaser side-lined once again

Douvan, a six-time Grade 1 winner over fences and one of the leading lights in the yard of champion trainer Willie Mullins, looks set to miss this season after suffering another setback.

The eight-year-old ran only twice last season after incurring a leg injury before he was due to run in the Tingle Creek Chase, and he has now experienced more ill-fortune. At Naas on Sunday, Mullins revealed that his star performer has a lesion on a tendon at the back of his pastern.

At Horse Racing Ireland’s Winter Jumps launch early last week, Mullins announced that Rich and Susannah Ricci’s chaser had suffered a hold-up, but connections were hopeful the problem was a minor one. However, clarifying the situation on Sunday, Mullins said: “Following veterinary examination it has turned out that the problem is with the same leg that troubled him a year ago. This time the injury is higher up on the leg. It’s an unusual injury, although Dawn Run had a similar problem many years ago, and it looks as if it’s going to be enough to keep Douvan on the sidelines this season.”

Winner of the Racing Post Arkle Chase at Cheltenham in 2016, Douvan suffered a pelvic injury when disappointing in the 2017 Champion Chase. He was off the track until returning in the same Cheltenham Festival event last season, when he was leading until falling four fences from home.

He went on to finish second to stablemate Un De Sceaux in the BoyleSports Champion Chase at the Punchestown festival in April. Douvan was generally 10/1 third favourite for the Champion Chase behind Altior and Footpad, while he was also quoted for the Ryanair Chase, Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and 32Red King George VI Chase.

2018 Flat Champions crowned at Naas on Sunday

Donnacha O’Brien is Champion Jockey for the first time

Shane Crosse runs out a clear winner of the Champion Apprentice Title

Aidan O’Brien is Champion Trainer for the 21st time

Mrs Sue Magnier retains Champion Owner Title

On the back of a stellar season that saw him ride his first Classic winners in Ireland and England, Donnacha O’Brien is the new Irish champion jockey.

Riding solely for his father Aidan O’Brien and his brother Joseph, Donnacha (20) won his first Classic race when Saxon Warrior landed the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May. Closer to home, he captured his first Irish Classic when Latrobe, trained by Joseph, took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh while Nelson, Speak In Colours, Flag Of Honour, Just Wonderful, Ten Sovereigns and Rostropovich were winners for him at Group 3 level.

Donnacha reached the milestone of 100 winners for the first time at Dundalk in late September and ends the season with a tally of 111 which sees him land the title by 29 winners from last year’s champion Colin Keane. With 63 winners, his highest total since 2007, Declan McDonogh takes third place in the championship with Shane Foley and Chris Hayes next on the list with 58 and 57 winners respectively. Hayes’ tally is also a career best.

It was only in the final days of the season that Shane Crosse drew clear of his rivals to secure the title of Champion Apprentice. Shane only rode his first winner in April of this year and ends the term on the 28-winner mark, five clear of Killian Leonard who finishes runner-up for the second year.  Ben Coen takes third place with 22 winners and Tom Madden finishes in fourth place with 19 winners.

Naas 4-11-18 Champion Apprentice Shane Crosse (Photo Healy Racing)

Aidan O’Brien is crowned Champion Trainer once again, an accolade he wins for the 21st time. Aidan captured an Irish Classic with Flag Of Honour and further Group 1 success with Lancaster Bomber while other notable wins came his way thanks to Cliffs Of Moher, Merchant Navy, Magical, I Can Fly, Van Beethoven, Anthony Van Dyck and Japan. While the trainers’ championship is decided on prizemoney, Aidan has set a new record of 152 winners for the season.

Mrs Sue Magnier is our champion owner for the 16th time since 2000. Victory for Flag Of Honour in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh and success for Cliffs Of Moher in the Group 2 Coolmore Camelot EBF Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas were among the big winners in her colours during the season. 

Upcoming Fixtures

Fairyhouse – Tuesday November 6 (First Race 12.20)

Dundalk – Wednesday November 7 (First Race 6.30)

Thurles – Thursday November 8 (First Race 12.45)

Dundalk – Friday November 9 (First Race 6.00)

Naas – Saturday November 10 (First Race 12.00)

Navan – Sunday November 11 (First Race 12.35)

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Jack Neville