McDonogh bagged a trio at Dundalk on May 13, when Charles O’Brien also provided two of his winners. O’Brien acknowledged: “Being drawn on the fence and getting out quickly is worth quite a lot around here,” after Great Wide Open made most of the running and fought tenaciously to keep favourite Exprese Brasileiro at bay by a head in the Gowran Park Handicap.
And he added: “I’ve been trying to get him to stay a mile, but he just doesn’t stay. He might just be a specialist seven-furlong horse and there should be plenty of races for him over that trip.”
After top-weight Zorba The Greek came from the back of the field to land the first division of the Cat Laughs Goes Racing June 6th Handicap, O’Brien commented: “It’s great for a horse rated 65 to break his maiden. At least this proves that he goes on turf. Declan decided to drop him out the back and take his time and it worked. We’ll look for something similar, on fast ground.”
McDonogh rounded off a successful night and completed his 1143/1 treble when Usain, trained by Paul Nolan, got the better of a good duel with Romantic in the finale, the second division of the ‘Cat Laughs’ and quipped: “Winners are hard to come by, so it’s great to get three on the one night – it’s riding like a front runner’s track.”
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Monarch, an expensive failure in Killarney last week, made amends when justifying 8/11 favouritism in the opening Irish Stallion Farms Maiden and sparking a double for Ballydoyle, completed by Earring in the fillies maiden.
But the Galileo colt gave rider Donnacha O’Brien, and his supporters, a fright when hanging left under pressure at the furlong-pole, with the race in safe-keeping, before finishing along the stands rail and, winning, comfortably, by two and a quarter lengths.
“He’s a horse with plenty of ability, but he headed for the gate,” admitted O’Brien. “I was glad we had the ‘chifney’ (bit) on him.”
Aidan O’Brien’s double was completed when Earring, runner-up on her debut in Navan and an easy-to-back 11/4 shot, captured the Irish Stallion farms Fillies Maiden in convincing fashion from favourite An Cailin Orga.
Earring was partnered to a length and a half victory by Seamus Heffernan, who commented, “She has a lovely pedigree (a daughter of Dansili and Together) and had a lovely first run in Navan, I’d imagine the good ground was a good help to her tonight.”
The featured Summer Festival Rated Race, over seven furlongs, went to the Ger Lyons-trained Reckless Endeavourm, which dug deep for Colin Keane to hold favourite Mizaah by a head.
“It looked a strong race and I knew he was capable of running to his rating,” said Lyons.