Limerick Racing News
Charles Byrnes got punters off to the best possible start at Killarney on Monday evening where he saddled Doctor Duffy to win the 2m4f maiden hurdle. A strong 9/10 favourite, the six-year-old scored a comfortable victory over his nearest market rival Abyssinian in the hands of the in-form Phillip Enright for the Relicpride Partnership. Byrnes and his old ally Davy Russell combined to take the mares’ maiden hurdle at Punchestown on Wednesday with dual bumper winner Run For Mary. Supporters of the 2/7 favourite might have been worried with three hurdles to jump but she picked up well going down to the final flight to beat Fulysse by two lengths.
Billy Lee and Willie McCreery continue in the best of form and they won the fillies’ maiden with 7/1 chance Tipitena at Killarney on Monday evening. The winner will now go back up in class for the Group 3 Munster Oaks. Lee was back in the winners’ enclosure at the same track the following evening where Foxtrot Liv ran out a thoroughly impressive winner of the median auction fillies’ race for Cashel trainer Paddy Twomey. A strong 4/7 favourite, she could reappear in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh and Royal Ascot is also on her agenda.
Chris Hayes and Fozzy Stack won the opener at Leopardstown on Friday evening where Mohican Heights made all the running to land the 7f maiden at odds of 14/1. On the same evening, Oola jockey Cathal Landers was on the mark at Kilbeggan where he partnered the Dot Love-trained Gotthenod to win the 2m3f maiden hurdle.
The concluding Thank You Tom Ryan Handicap at Naas on Sunday was won by the Madeline Tylicki-trained Port Lions, which was ridden by Billy Lee. The race was run in honour of outgoing racecourse manager Tom Ryan, who will soon depart Naas Racecourse after 13 years.
Other Racing News
Benie Des Dieux, fresh from a Grade 1 victory at the Punchestown festival, ran out a decisive winner of the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil, comfortably beating the odds-on favourite De Bon Coeur on Saturday. The mare was providing Willie Mullins with a fifth victory in the Grande Course de Haies d’Auteuil, following success for Nobody Told Me (2003), Rule Supreme (2004) and Thousand Stars (2011 and 2012). The 3/1 shot was ridden by Paul Townend and took her record for Mullins to seven wins from eight starts – her only defeat was in the Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival when she famously fell at the final flight with the race at her mercy back in March. A delighted Mullins said: “She did everything right. I am surprised how easily she did it. I thought De Bon Coeur would be difficult to beat but I knew she would stay.”
On Sunday, Youghal rider Davy Russell added France’s biggest jumps race, the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, to his already incredible CV after he guided Carriacou to a dominant success at Auteuil. The Isabelle Pacault-trained Carriacou could be seen cruising under Russell and quickly settled matters to register a wide-margin success over second-place Bipolaire. Russell, who has won the last two Aintree Grand Nationals on Tiger Roll, pointed his whip to the air to celebrate a first French Grade 1 victory. Burrows Saint fared best of Willie Mullins’ five runners, finishing fifth under Paul Townend. Pleasant Company, Rathvinden, Total Recall and Acapella Bourgeois were all well beaten.
Nominations open for 2019 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards
Nominations are now open for the 2019 Irish Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards and can be made online at www.studandstablestaffawards.ie. The awards encompass 10 categories which carry prizemoney of over €80,000. 2019 marks the fifth year of Godolphin’s sponsorship of the Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards which will take place at The Curragh Racecourse on Tuesday October 29. Sandra Hughes, Godolphin’s Irish Stud and Stable Staff Awards Ambassador will be visiting racing yards and stud farms and attending race meetings and bloodstock sales to encourage as many nominations as possible. In addition to nominating online, every trainer, breeder and point-to-point handler will receive a nomination form. Nomination forms are also available from Horse Racing Ireland’s Head Office at Ballymany, Newbridge, County Kildare. Bernard Caldwell from the Irish Stablestaff Association (ISSA) and his colleagues will be distributing nomination forms at upcoming race meetings. The nomination form is also available to download from www.studandstablestaffawards.ie. Nominations are open until Monday June 24 and must be completed online or returned to the Marketing Department in Horse Racing Ireland by 5pm that day.
Sligo – Tuesday, May 21 (First Race 5.30)
Wexford – Wednesday, May 22 (First Race 2.05)
Cork – Wednesday, May 22 (First Race 5.35)
Tipperary – Thursday, May 23 (First Race 5.05)
Downpatrick – Friday, May 24 (First Race 5.15)
Curragh – Friday, May 24 (First Race 4.55)
Curragh – Saturday, May 25 (First Race 1.50)
Curragh – Sunday, May 26 (First Race 1.50)