On a decent card in Navan, Jessica Harrington notched winners 25 and 26 for the season in Ireland, the first of which came in the opener when Los Andes became the stable’s eighth juvenile winner this term.
On debut Los Andes missed the kick, was forced wide and ultimately it all proved too much. But that experience may have been the difference this time as he touched off exciting newcomer Fernando Vichi.
After forging past the gambled-on Lust inside the last couple of furlongs, he was all out to deny the debutant, who was outpaced early in the straight but stayed on with real purpose. A nose separated the pair.
Papa Bear completed the double for the Harrington and jockey Shane Foley when taking the five-and-a-half-furlong maiden. The only winning favourite of the day, he was always in front rank and ran on strongly to the line to put a length and a half between himself and Ecclesiastical.
Earlier in the day, the runner-up’s stablemate Lady Scathach had gone one place better with a clear-cut success in the Wilkinstown Handicap, for which she was called in from the reserves. Trained by Tom McCourt and ridden by Danny Sheehy, she raced in mid-pack early, moved up going particularly well early in the straight and ran on strongly to beat heavily backed favourite Annexation by two and a half lengths.
There was plenty to like about Laurel Wreath’s success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden. Runner-up to I Know I Can in a Sligo maiden on her previous outing, Brian Nolan’s filly led early, was passed by Red Pantz, and stayed on again to lead all the way through the final furlong for a comfortable victory over the running-on Call Of The Jungle, who was also placed at Sligo on her previous outing.
Young rider Joey Sheridan gave Not Now Zeb a beautiful ride to take the Gormanlough Apprentice Handicap. Riding for the in-form stable of Tom Mullins, Sheridan was in mid division with a quarter of a mile to go but produced his mount with a run down the outside to collar last-time-out winner Half Nutz in the final 50 yards.
Tide Of Time confirmed previous form with Strong Johnson when winning the Bohermeen Handicap. The last-named is a natural speedster and, bidding for a hat-trick this season, showed blistering speed from the stalls.
He saw off numerous challengers at the furlong pole but could not quite fend off Tide Of Time, who prevailed by half a length under Oisin Orr. It was a third course and distance success for Eddie Lynam’s runner, this one 29lbs higher than the first, and 18lbs higher than the last one.
Pat Martin saddled his first winner of the season when Pretty Smart took the closing race, the Rathkenny Handicap, under Conor Hoban. Recent winner Eleuthera made a bold attempt to follow up last week’s win at Naas but Pretty Smart was in charge racing to the line.