Successful on his fencing bow in Ballinrobe last month, the JCB 2014 Triumph Hurdle winner survived a mistake at the final fence, when in command, to beat Valyssa Monterg by three and a half lengths, continuing the excellent summer for of Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott, who trains the classy six-year-old for Gigginstown House Stud.
Just back from a short holiday, Elliott explained: “That was good. He’s had his problems, but it’s great to have him back rocking.
“He’s a classy horse and is a favourite in the yard. We’ll have a look at the novice in Galway for him now (a €25,000 event on Guinness Galway Hurdle day).”
The combination of trainer Denise O’Shea and in-form Rachael Blackmore struck again when Supreme Vinnie, winner of his maiden on this track recently, ran out an emphatic winner of the featured Carmel Fay Memorial Handicap Hurdle.
The joint bottom-weight proved too strong for Kylecrue and Conduct Yourself, to the delight of his County Cork-based handler, who enthused: “That’s my biggest win and it’s brilliant. He’s a very special horse to me as he was my first runner and my first winner. He’s had a few problems, but Matty Tynan lets us use his pool which is a great help.
“That’s the fourth winner Rachael has ridden for me. She’s a great help and gets on great with this horse. I’d love to go to Galway with him, if the rain stays away. We’ll think about running him on the flat”
Rachael Blackmore went on to complete a double when seen at her strongest on favourite Glenwood For Ever, which had made the early running and which she got up on the line to foil 50/1 shot Notimetoserve by a short-head in the Irish Stallion Farms Handicap Chase.
Glenwood For Ever, a previous course and distance winner, is trained by Paul Gilligan, who stated: “I took a chance running him over the trip – I knew he was in great form, but I thought it might be a bit short for him. He likes it around here and might come back for the Midlands National next month, But the big aim is Galway.”
Convincing winner of his maiden hurdle in Wexford last Wednesday, the Noel Meade-trained Red Giant, in the familiar colours of Mrs Patricia Hunt, followed-up when landing the Mullingar & North Westmeath Vintners Novice Hurdle over an extended three miles.
Ridden by Jonathan Moore, whopicked-up a two-day careless riding ban, the five-year-old Beneficial gelding kept fellow 15/8 joint-favourite Consharon Boy at bay by a length and three-quarters, prompting his trainer to explain: “He’s done that well enough.
"The only reason I ran him back so soon is that he needs three miles and there isn’t another three-mile novice until October. I’d say chasing will be more his game.”
Unlucky when third in Sligo last month and pulled out of an engagement in Limerick due to fast ground, Golden Poet gave Andrew McNamara his second training success when, driven into the lead turning for home, he stretched clear under Katie Walsh to land the bumper convincingly by six lengths.
The winner, a four-year-old son of Urban Poet, will go back hurdling – he unseated on his racecourse debut on this track in April.
The opening Follow Kilbeggan Races On Facebook went to 7/4 favourite Long Journey Home, a first winner since April for 7lb. claimer Conor Brassil, which made all and shook off the attentions of market rival Dove Mountain before the final flight before beating the eye-catching William Du Berlais by five lengths.
The versatile eight-year-old, a five-time winner on the flat, is trained by Rodger Sweeney, who said: “He won easily, but it wasn’t a great contest. Fair play to Conor – he kept a bit up his sleeve. He might go for a little handicap somewhere now, or he could go back on the flat.”
Ironically, Conor Brassil’s trainer-father Martin denied Rodger Sweeney a double when Rolling Revenge landed a substantial gamble in the three-mile Hurley Family Handicap Hurdle, beating Sweeney’s charge by a length and three-quarters.
The winner, off the track since December and ridden here by Mark Walsh, was available at as big as 20/1 when the layers priced the race initially before being sent off 7/2 favourite. The winning trainer commented, “I’ve had him for four years and his owners have been very patient. It took a while to find a bad race for him. He’s a big, long-striding horse and I wasn’t sure he’d handle the track but thankfully, we got away with it.
“I thought the trip wouldn’t be a problem - he was second in a point-to-point. I’ll look for another similar handicap. I think there’s another three-miler for him in Tipperary soon (on July 9).”