Ridge bolts up under big weight

THE Ger Lyons-trained Solent Ridge proved the star of last night’s action in Sligo, defying the welter burden of 10-5 when bolting up in the Racecourse Signage Handicap over six and a half furlongs.

The progressive five-year-old, raised 10lb. for an emphatic win at Naas last Wednesday, took full advantage of a loop-hole in Turf Club regulations which allowed Solent Ridge to contest a 47-65 handicap while rated 70.

Always travelling sweetly under Emmet McNamara, the well-supported 11/8 favourite edged ahead turning for home before powering clear to win readily by five lengths from Slapper, prompting trainer Lyons to comment: “He has always worked like a good horse and it’s good to win two races with him in a week. I just hope the handicapper realises what he has beaten and doesn’t hit him too hard.”

Chris Hayes picked up a two-day careless riding ban following his victory on board the Jessica Harrington-trained Bobskier, another winner for sire Big Bad Bob, in the opening Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Auction Maiden.

Bobskier tracked the leaders on the home-turn, before Hayes squeezed his mount through a narrow gap, brushing two rivals, before becoming involved in a stirring battle with well-backed and locally-trained Hope Of An Angel.

A short-head separated the pair where it mattered and Bobskier then survived a Stewards Enquiry. In the absence of trainer Harrington, Hayes suggested: “I won the race this filly ran in last time and felt she was a bit unlucky – she was trapped wide all the way. I had plenty of horse under me today. It was just a case of finding the gap.”

Hayes came close to completing a double on recent Ballinrobe winner Table Forty Six, which failed by the narrowest margin to Maal in the Sligo Claiming Race. Maal was a rare flat winner for David Casey, who earned high praise from the winning trainer: “Maal had 10-2 and I wanted a jump jockey to ride, because I didn’t want him carrying too much dead weight. David came here for just the one ride and gave the horse a super drive. Maal might run in another claimer in Killarney and we might consider going hurdling again later on.”

* Because of the upcoming Leinster Senior Football final between Meath and Louth, Fairyhouse has transferred the meeting originally scheduled for Sunday, July 11 to Saturday, July 10.

As a consequence, the Tipperary meeting originally scheduled for Saturday, July 10, will now be held on Sunday, July 11.

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