MEATH trainer Thomas Coyle has done a fine job with Krujers Girl since attaining her from Johnny Farrelly’s yard and she made it two wins from just three starts since returning to Ireland with an impressive win in the Remembering Caughoo Handicap Chase.
The 10-year-old mare won on her first start for Coyle when promoted to first after a stewards enquiry at Kilbeggan and she performed with credit again when second at Roscommon for her latest start.
Luke Demspey took over for the suspended Conor Orr and it was straightforward for him, the mare hitting the front as early as the third last, and comfortably holding all challengers, with a big leap at the last a stylish way to seal her win. It was nine lengths back to the runner-up Ardagh’s Choice at the line.
Coyle was leading the mare up himself so Dempsey commented: “I was speaking to Conor (Orr) yesterday, he told me all about them. He is suspended today. It is grand to pick up the rides on them.
“I heard the horses around me at the second last and I kind of wanted to keep the revs up. She has done it well and winged the last.”
Earlier, Dempsey rode another comfortable winner in Favourite Moon, who set himself up for a bid for the Cesarewitch when winning the opening Downpatrick Autumn Maiden Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
The five-year-old son of Sea The Moon was bought out of William Haggas’s yard last October and was scoring for the first time in Ireland for trainer Bill Durkan. He had struggled a little on his first two starts but ran a huge race to finish sixth off his mark of 100 in the Connacht Hotel Handicap at Galway.
He was always going to be difficult to beat if transferring that level of form to hurdles and having travelled well to challenge coming down the hill before the straight, he stayed on up the hill strongly for an eighth-length win over John McConnell’s No Trouble.
“We are very happy with him,” said Gary Bannon, assistant trainer. “He ran a bit with the choke out in Bellewstown (in a maiden hurdle in July) and ran a bit in snatches today.
“It is all systems go for the Cesarewitch on 8th October (in Newmarket). Softer conditions and a more galloping track will suit him even better.”
JOHN McConnell is always worth following in Downpatrick and he proved that again with a double at the northern track on Friday, highlighted by Champagnesocialist’s 19-length win in the concluding J Murdoch Contracts INH Flat Race over two miles and two furlongs.
The Wingate Square Limited-owned mare previously showed smart bumper form for Tom Taaffe, chasing home the likes of Chemical Energy and Grangee this time two years ago. She had run reasonably well on her first two starts for McConnell but was simply in a different league to her rivals here, notably travelling strongly throughout the race for Ben Harvey.
“We’ve always really liked her,” Harvey said. “She had some good bumper form in her early days.
“She has just had a few little niggly issues that have taken a bit of time. In fairness the owners have been brilliant, they have been so patient with her and John has done a great job with her.
“She won as she liked really today, she is tough. She is from a good family, so I think there is a lot of fun to be had with her.”
Earlier McConnell’s Hereditary Rule continued a great summer for the CF Syndicate when he took advantage of a comparatively lenient mark over hurdles to win the C R Handicap Hurdle over two miles and three furlongs.
John McConnell’s gelding came into this contest off a comfortable win over fences at Cartmel, and was able to race off a 33lb lower hurdles mark. He had to work hard to seal the deal, having travelled up well to challenge long-term leader Ballinlough Gale, who responded well when headed.
Thomas Reilly was strong in the saddle to forge his mount to the front inside the final half-furlong and the late challenge of runner-up Diamondinthemud was never going to trouble him.
The winner had a cut on his near fore after the race but that was reported to be nothing serious and he could go to either the October or November meeting at Cheltenham next for a novice chase.
There was nothing to separate Ingenious Stroke and Final Orders in the betting for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners’ Chase and it proved close on the track as well, with the former just getting the better of the argument.
Henry de Bromhead’s gelding led more or less from the start for Rachael Blackmore but he looked in trouble when challenged on either side by first Majavango and then Final Orders, but outstayed the pair up the hill.
He was winning over fences at the first time of asking here and was a first winner for de Bromhead since the tragic passing of his son Jack.
After the race, Blackmore commented: “Obviously, winners don’t feel the same now. He jumped well and he was brave. He won a point-to-point for Rosemary Connors, so he had that experience coming here today. He’s a very forward-going type, so hopefully he will improve now for fences.
“We are all thinking of Jack.”
FRESH off the back of a midweek treble at Sligo, Keith Donoghue is in really good form and he proved the difference between victory and defeat on Trishknowsbest, owned by his father Michael, in the M B McGrady & Co Accountants Handicap Hurdle.
The Meath rider was eagle-eyed on the turn for home to take full advantage of a gap on the rail. That saved the pair lots of ground, and Patrick Griffin’s mare stayed on strongly for Donoghue’s urgings to hold off Darkest Hour and score by three quarters of a length.
“I took the gap on the inside going to the last and I probably ended up committing too soon, but I kind of had to take it. Thankfully she held on,” Donoghue said.
“It means a bit more alright (father is the owner) and my mum is here today.”
Martin Brassil’s Desertmore House was winless from seven starts in bumpers, but he is already two from two over hurdles, recording his second win at this track with a hard-fought success He’s Leading Me On.
Racing in the Grand National winning colours of Bernard Carroll, the seven-year-old was always towards the outside nine-runner field for Ricky Doyle and he responded well to pressure coming down the hill and up the straight. It was only in the final 50 yards that he saw off He’s Leading Me On to win by two lengths.
“I enjoyed it very much so, I only bought him very recently,” the winning owner said. “He’s a decent horse and will be a good chaser.
“I don’t know where he might lead us, he might come back here for the Ulster National in three or four years’ time. He wouldn’t be what Numbersixvalverde was. I’m still paying the bills for him!”