THE reigning champion apprentice Dylan Brown McMonagle took a major step towards retaining his crown in 2022 as he reeled off a treble headed by the victory of Michael Halford’s Golden Twilight in the €50,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Red God Handicap.

Now a four-time winner, this strapping son of Dawn Approach was going in search of his first win since December and had to bounce back from a below-par showing at Galway. However, he had also posted several decent efforts in quality handicaps over the course of the season, and he was restored to peak form.

The well-backed Frank Lynch-owned 15/2 shot struck for home shortly after turning in and retained control of this extended 10-furlong contest thereafter to reach the line two and three-quarter lengths clear of last year’s winner, Ides Of August.

“He’s obviously just a better horse here on that surface,” stated Halford. “When the ground changed at Galway he got lost but this is great and I’m delighted for Frank Lynch who has been a great supporter of ours over the years. This horse is only getting stronger now, we’ve had to be patient with him.”

Earlier the rider teamed up with Joseph O’Brien’s Karaoke in the six-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Auction Series Fillies Maiden.

The HLT Partnership-owned daughter of Acclamation got into a decent early position and took over in front inside the last quarter of a mile before keeping on well to defeat Alabama Pearl by half a length. The winner was progressing on her debut second to Thebestisyettobe in a Gowran maiden last month and looked quite at home as she dropped from seven to six furlongs. There should be more to come from the victorious 10/11 favourite.


Royal Scholar, who is trained by Sarah Lynam for her uncle John, made it two wins from three starts this year in the 47-65 rated Bar One Racing-sponsored one-mile handicap where he supplied the opening leg of the crack apprentice’s treble.

A second to The Bog Bank here last month on his first outing since January meant that this five-year-old was returned a well-backed 13/8 favourite and he won with authority. He struck the front over a furlong out and reached the line a length and a quarter ahead of Tynamite.

From his last seven starts at this track the winner has only finished out of the frame once and the winter season is likely to figure on his agenda.

Harry’s Bar the toast of Dundalk yet again

THERE was a handicap tour de force in the offing in the Bar One Racing Mourne Handicap over six furlongs where Harry’s Bar (100/30) shrugged aside a rating of 110 to record his sixth win at this track.

A synthetic surface kingpin – all 13 of his victories have been on artificial surfaces – the Shamrock Thoroughbreds-owned Harry’s Bar had to concede chunks of weight to his rivals in a race run at a ferocious gallop. That pace burn up was always going to suit those who were played late and patient apprentice Adam Caffrey produced his mount to strike the front early in the final furlong for a half-length triumph over stablemate Dream Today.

“Adam was very good on him and is great value for his 7lbs claim. They went very quick there and sometimes lads would panic but he didn’t,” stated McGuinness, who has the Group 3 Mercury Stakes here in October as the winner’s foremost target.

Harry’s Bar was the fourth winning favourite in five races but things got a little tougher thereafter. Indeed the divided Bar One-sponsored 47-65 rated handicap over an extended 10 furlongs served up a 28/1 winner in division two as Ragtime Red struck for trainer Anthony McCann and owner Rita Shah.

Killian Leonard’s mount steadily got the better of Fryda from the turn in and he went on to defeat the favourite, Spirituoso, by a length and a quarter. The winner was wearing first-time cheekpieces as he made it four wins from 51 career starts.

The other division of that handicap went to Joey Sheridan and Denis Hogan as Ghumama (11/1) returned to the form that saw her show up well in a number of handicaps here last autumn. The Fountain Hill Racing Syndicate-owned filly had plenty to spare in defeating Aleksey Tolstoy by just under four lengths and could easily be adding to her haul in the coming weeks.

O’Brien’s River looks smart on debut

THE card kicked off with a very nice display from the Aidan O’Brien newcomer Adelaide River (11/4) who captured the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden over a mile in the style of a smart colt.

The son of Australia and the Irish 1000 Guineas second Could It Be Love sat second for Wayne Lordan and from the turn-in gave the impression that he was always going that bit better than the front-running odds on favourite, Gimmie Shelter. Adelaide River was in front well over a furlong out and with his ears pricked and, looking as though he had plenty in reserve, he went to the line nicely to defeat Golden Temple by just under three lengths.

He looks a colt of real substance for various pattern-race assignments over a mile between now and the end of the season.

A tremendous season for Natalia Lupini yielded yet another winner as Lecale’s Destiny became the trainer’s ninth success of the campaign in the Bar One Racing-sponsored apprentice rider’s maiden over a mile.

After starting his career with two good runs in defeat, the Mehmas gelding was returned a well-backed 5/4 favourite on his first start for owner Cormac O’Flynn. Jockey Danny Gilligan struck for home with over a furlong to run on the winner who struck to his task in willing fashion to defeat the staying on Pinehurst by half a length.

“He had two very solid runs and is a tough and genuine horse,” declared the trainer. “Danny gave him a lovely ride and we hope he might be a horse to compete in premier handicaps.”