THERE was a poignant and highly popular winner of division one of the Mary Rogers Memorial Handicap as Clifftop, trained by Mary Rogers’ husband Harry, got on top in the closing stages for a memorable win in the mile-and-a-half event.

The Rogers family and supporters together with racegoers gave the Siobhan Rutledge-ridden gelding a rousing reception on returning to the winner’s enclosure after the well-backed 100/30 (from 6/1) favourite led inside the final furlong to beat Ellaat by three-quarters of a length.

“Mary loved horses and loved animals. She was the brains of the operation and was at Bellewstown last year when this horse was second. That was the last day she went racing,” said an understandably emotional winning trainer.

“This is special and she must be looking down on us. Siobhan gave him a good ride.”

Rogers and Rutledge went close to taking division two as well but Bolero just found top-weight Firstman (11/4) too strong as Ben Coen’s mount got a nice run up the inner in the straight to score by three-quarters of a length.

“It’s great for the boys (Keep Your Distance Syndicate) and they are a great cheerful lot who claimed him last year in Dundalk.

“He’s won a couple and was a tad unlucky on Monday as well. It was unreal the way it all opened for him like the Red Sea,” said trainer Tony Martin.

Plain sailing for Magellan

JOSEPH O’Brien and Mikey Sheehy teamed up for a short-priced double on the afternoon including the featured Kilsaran Race with Magellan Strait.

Just three went to post in the absence of Global Energy (coughing) and it was effectively a match with 66/1 shot Power To Love fading before the straight.

Colin Keane sent 4/6 favourite Hazy Mehmory to the front at the start of the back straight but was narrowly headed by her 5/4 market rival at the two-furlong pole. Sheehy’s mount only got on top inside the final 100 yards and had a length and a half to spare at the line.

O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell said: “Mikey said the best thing that happened was Colin taking it up as at every bend he was looking out. He’s very genuine but not very quick.

“I think he’s a horse that is going to progress in time and could be a Cesarewitch horse next year. Ray (Grehan, owner) said he has three brothers to him.”


Native Queen, owned by O’Brien’s mother Anne Marie, initiated the double in the Champion Lettings Fillies Maiden but those who supported her into 4/7 favourite were certainly made to sweat before scoring by half a length.

The daughter of No Nay Never struggled to reel in the front-running Pilbara Gold in the closing stages while Vadiana flew home on the outer to snatch second on the line.

“She’s a big mare and Mikey said she got unbalanced most of the way around. The further she went the better she went and got there on ability more than anything. She’s tough and hardy,” said Powell.

Savill success

Peter Savill was on hand to see his maroon and light blue colours carried to success by My Minervina in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap.

The Jessica Harrington-trained filly, available at 7/1 in the morning and sent off the 7/2 joint favourite, challenged down the outer in the straight leading inside the final furlong before staying on well to beat Take My Hand by two lengths.

“She seems to like it here as she’s had three runs now with two wins and a second. She likes to come from the back and Jessie put the blinkers on her,” said winning rider Shane Foley.

“She’s in again on Saturday (at Killarney) and seems to enjoy going left-handed. She doesn’t seem to act going the other way.”

Keane keeps up

the title pressure

COLIN Keane drew level with flat jockeys Championship rival Billy Lee on the 79-winner mark after Aloysius Lilius showed great pace throughout to land the five-furlong Goodenuftoeat Event Catering Handicap.

The Lance Bloodstock-owned 9/1 shot kept on strongly from over a furlong out to beat Realtin Fantasy by three and a half lengths.

Adrian Joyce, assistant to trainer Ger O’Leary, said: “He had a pole position drawn two and Colin let him roll along and he loved it. The horses are running well and we have a great team of staff at home. Hopefully we’ll get another few before the end of the season.”

Cian MacRedmond and Ado McGuinness teamed up to take the opening Tara Stud Nursery with Reigles. The 5/1 chance was switched out from the rail to challenge inside the final furlong and got on top close home to beat Pure Circle by half a length.

Good ride

“He gave her a good ride and the draw (stall one) was key there. He got stopped turning in and the other horse went on but he didn’t find a massive amount which was great!” said McGuinness. “We were getting plenty of weight but it’s great to get a win and she’ll probably end up in the sales. They (Kabin Racing Syndicate) have four horses with me and are a good bunch of lads.”

Slamadoor benefitted from a patent ride by Ronan Whelan to cause something of a surprise in the Bluegrass Horse Feeds Handicap. The 18/1 chance made headway up in the inner in the straight and struck the front over 100 yards out to beat Nyla Rua by a length.

Winning trainer Jarlath Fahey said: “Ronan gave her a great ride. We decided even though we put blinkers on her to ride a patient race. She’s a filly that can probably step up a bit more in distance.

“Bill (White) and the family are new owners to the yard so it’s great to get a winner for them. We don’t know whether she will go on softish ground but she had a nice run as a two-year-old in Dundalk so that might be an option for her.”