Double joy for Hoban

On a night when apprentice Conor Hoban took the riding honours with a double, the Jim Bolger-trained three-year-old Livia Galilei landed the Connacht Oaks in Sligo last night.

The Galileo filly, in the colours of owner-breeder Kevin Molloy, edged ahead over two furlongs from home and stayed on bravely to land the spoils by a length and a half from Tantalising with Dare To Doubt in third.

Livia Galilei has a 100% record for last night’s winning rider Rory Cleary, who said: “She handles that ground and loves that trip. She’s a nice, genuine filly that keeps going, just what was required out there. She’s an uncomplicated filly and likes being ridden handy. She’s been good to me and won well tonight.”

Earlier, Hoban brought his seasonal tally to nine thanks to a double on two-year-olds Harley’s Harley and Chips Are Down.

Westport-born Hoban kicked off with victory on Harley’s Harley, a Cockney Rebel filly, trained by Arthur Moore for Liam Flood, in the opening two-year-old auction maiden.

The 9/2 shot came through strongly early in the final furlong to beat Fromajacktoaking by a length and a quarter.

Moore said: “I’m pleased to have another winner for Liam (Flood). He has been a very loyal owner and was responsible for me getting involved in the flat again. This filly has a great attitude and a learned a lot from her two runs and seems to go on any ground.”

Hoban’s double was completed when Chips Are Down, runner-up in a premier nursery in Galway on Saturday, went one better in the Ladies Day At Sligo 9th August Nursery, mastering market-rival Fontana Di Tevi before holding the late effort of Randall’s Alannah by three-quarters of a length.

Chips Are Down is trained by Mick Mulvany, who said: “He’s a good, honest little horse. He’s still a big baby and should keep improving.”

Trainer Pat Martin seldom leaves Sligo empty-handed. And Footprint gained compensation for a disappointing run in the valuable handicap won by Pintura in Galway on Saturday when winning the Foley’s Bar & Off Licence Handicap under an accomplished ride from Andrew Thornton.

The five-year-old, backed from 5/1 to 7/2, hit the front early in the final furlong and ran on well to beat front-running Jembatt by a length and three-quarters.

The Charles O’Brien-trained Double Double captured the Sligo Apprentice Maiden at the expense of apprentice Black Benny, holding on by a neck under Emmet McNamara.

Tommy Carmody saddled another winner for owner Andrew Tinkler when top-weight Seventh Sign, ridden by Niall McCullagh, ran out a convincing 11 lengths winner of the Sligo Park Hotel Handicap.

“He’s a big raw horse and will make a nice jumper for somebody in the future,” said Carmody. “He’s fairly laid-back and we used the blinkers to wake him up. He’s entered again for |Ballinrobe on Monday] and, if he’s okay, he’ll go there.”

Harry Rogers conceded it was “unlikely” that either Cheval Rouge or Irish Reel would reappear in Leopardstown tonight after finishing first and second in the finale the 21st August At Sligo Handicap.

Irish Reel (Chris Hayes) dictated the pace and had shaken off the challenge of even-money favourite Diplomat when Sam James produced Cheval Rouge to challenge late on the inside and triumph by a half-length.

“It worked out grand,” said Rogers. “I fancied Irish Reel at the weights and was a little worried about the winner stepping-up in trip. But the extra trip suited her.”

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