Dermot Weld reaches 4,000 winner milestone

Dermot Weld reached a significant milestone in his long and illustrious career in Naas last night when a double, with Discipline in the listed Naas Oaks Trial and Sea Swift in the fillies maiden, saw him reach the 4,000 winner mark.

Dermot Weld reaches 4,000 winner milestone

And the Master of Rosewell House took particular pleasure in the fact that he reached the milestone with a home-bred filly Sea Swift, bred by his late mother.

“We’ve had so many great days and many miles have been involved. I knew it was coming and it’s nice for a home-bred filly to do it.”

Weld’s career stretches back to New Year’s Day 1972, when Spanner and Chevy Chase (which he rode himself) provided him with a double in Baldoyle.

He acknowledged the fact that he has worked with so many top people over the years, mentioning, in particular stable-jockeys Pat Smullen, Michael Kinane and Johnnie Roe, plus Lester Piggott and Brendan Sheridan who provided him with Irish Grand National and Galway Plate success. He attributed much of his success, over such a long period, to “teamwork”.

Weld won the listed Naas Oaks Trial for the fourth time in six years when Disipline, ridden by Pat Smullen, produced a gutsy display to see off Ballydoyle hope Earring by a half-length.

The daughter of Dansili, tracked the runner-up from the start, edged ahead with two furlongs to race and kept Seamus Heffernan’s mount at bay on the final climb to the line as less than four lengths covered the first seven home in the ten-furlong trial.

“She’s a lovely filly, from a family that has been good to me,” stated the winning trainer, “She is a full-sister to Famous Name and is a good, improving filly. We’ll really only see the best of her as the season progresses.

“She won her maiden well in Gowran and then finished second in a listed race there. She has won her stakes race tonight and we’ll look for a Group 3 for her next. She likes a bit of space between her races and I have no definite plan. She got to the line well tonight, so she might stay a bit further.”

The Weld/Smullen double and the road to 4,000 winners was completed when Sea Swift, home-bred but carrying the Calumet Farm colours, won the finale, staying on stoutly to beat 66/1 shot Nuclear Option.

“She’s a nice progressive filly and should improve as the season goes on,” said Weld.

The winning run of Jessica Harrington and Colm O’Donoghue continued when 12/1 newcomer Drumfad Bay held the late challenge of 4/6 favourite How, a full-sister to Minding, in the two-year-old fillies maiden.

“Colm was delighted with her and said she travelled great,” said the winning trainer.

“She got a bit tired in the last hundred yards, but was entitled to. She’s a very relaxed, straight-forward filly and should stay a mile. I’m not sure where she’ll go next, but the Moyglare would have to be on the agenda.”

Palmones, an all-the-way winner at Gowran Park on Sunday and raised 10lb. for that performance, followed-up under a mandatory 5lb. penalty in the John Murphy Memorial Apprentice Handicap, ending apprentice Gary Halpin’s 5lb. claim.

The Andy Oliver-trained filly, came from off the pace this time, mastered front-running Primal Snow and stayed on to beat Athenry Boy by a length and a half, prompting Oliver to comment: “We had to run her again, thanks to the handicapper. She did it well and I was very impressed by the very professional ride Gary gave her.”

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