Cleary clicks on Nic’s Colleen

RORY CLEARY, fresh from finishing top flat jockey jockey at the Galway Festival, was on the mark again at Tipperary last night when guiding Nic’s Colleen to a smooth success in the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap.

In truth the youngster enjoyed an armchair ride on a filly who is rapidly on the upgrade and was winning her third race of the season.

Well beaten over six furlongs at Ballinrobe previously, Nic’s Colleen found this extended seven much more to her liking.

Always travelling sweetly, she eased ahead a furlong and a half down to score unextended by three lengths.

Said trainer, Pat Flynn: “We will find another handicap, but I don’t know where. She’s not one you can run too often.”

Belle Artiste, running for the sixth time, but the first occasion over five furlongs, streaked away with the Ashtown Median Auction Maiden.

Jamie Spencer had her into her stride in a flash and the daughter of Namid made all to win with plenty in hand.

Carrying the colours of Aidan O’Brien’s wife, Anne-Marie, Belle Artiste is trained by her father, Joe Crowley.

Tigim was equally impressive in taking the other sprint on the programme, the Oversway Handicap for the Curragh yard of Peter Henley.

He ran fast from the start, holding a clear advantage for Michael Hussey from over a furlong out.

Commented Henley: “When I saw the draw (he came out of one), I knew he would be there or thereabouts. This horse has been very unlucky with draws in the past.”

Defi followed up his maiden success at Galway with another game display in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Race. He again just about made all the running, holding the persistent challenge of Hard Warrior, much improved for the dispensing of blinkers, by a head.

Right on top of the front two was the Ballydoyle newcomer, Falstaff, who was slowly away and took a long time to get the hang of what was required. Defi was partnered by Padraig Beggy, enjoying his 15th success of the campaign.

In-form Denis O’Regan gave market leader, Timeless Spirit, a tremendous drive to turn what looked certain defeat into victory in the Join The Fun At Tipperary Handicap Hurdle.

He was stone last with just over a circuit to go and O’Regan was hard at work heading out into the country for the final time.

But gradually the six-year-old closed them down, forged ahead coming away from the third last and stayed on doggedly to beat Calder Ridge.

Timeless Spirit, giving O’Regan is fourth victory in five rides, is owned by the 43-member High Spirits Racing Club, who all work for Irish Distillers.

Ballybeg Glen, backed from 5-2 to 7-4, took the Bumper, despite his saddle slipping back early in the straight.

He edged ahead at the three furlong pole and found plenty for pressure to win decisively in the end.

“He comes from the same family as Papillon and will make a smashing ’chaser in time, I am really looking forward to him”, reported trainer, Philip Rothwell.

Roger Quinlan, who rode second placed, Glenhaven Man, was suspended for two days for using his whip with excessive frequency.

Davy Russell enjoyed a welcome turn when taking the Breen Farm Machinery Maiden Hurdle on 14-1 shot Shes Flying.

Tom Kidd’s mare shot away at the back of the second last and was soon clear to score by five lengths.

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