St Lawrence Gap back in rude health at Tramore

It was a weekend of fierce inter-county rivalries on other sporting fields but yesterday’s feature at the Tramore August festival brought together a disparate group from the region to take the honours with St Lawrence Gap.
St Lawrence Gap back in rude health at Tramore

“The owners are from Kilkenny, Wexford, Tipp, everywhere,” said trainer Eoin Doyle of the South East Racing Club after a one-and-a-half length victory for their four-year-old, steered home by Paul Townend to see off the strong-finishing My Manekineko under Ruby Walsh.

Doyle himself hasn’t had the best run of things lately but saw St Lawrence Gap run well when second in the bumper on Thursday night, before going one better this time in the Richard Power Private Client Betting Handicap Hurdle at odds of 13/2.

“It was great to win because the horse has been under the weather over the last few weeks. This was his first run in a handicap, he’s a good, tough horse and he’s improving with time.

“I’ll probably go to Listowel now but he might even return on the flat. I still think there’s a two-mile maiden in him.”

The last day of the festival attracted a bumper crowd, with the warm weather doing no harm, and racegoers saw Old Castletown overcome an early mistake to win his second race of the week, easily claiming the Heinz Pollmeier Memorial Handicap Steeplechase for Ted Walsh and Ruby Walsh.

Despite almost coming down at the first, and with a four-pound penalty for his Thursday win, Old Castletown (7/4) nevertheless was untroubled on the run-in after hitting the front at the last.

“I thought he was on the ground,” Ted Walsh confessed afterwards of his horse’s hiccup. “He switched off after that, Ruby took his time with him. He was under no pressure, if it happened it happened.” The five-time winner is a “daft auld so-and-so,” according to his trainer and was “a bit revved today” after running just a few days beforehand. Listowel could be on the agenda for the five-time winner, “if it was quick ground,” but otherwise plans are loose.

There was a local winner in the Sunday Business Post Handicap Hurdle when Venture Lazarus (8/1) powered home after the last with a well-timed ride by Andrew Lynch to hold off Balinaboola.

Trained at Kill in Co Waterford by Vincent Halley who has “seven or eight for the flat for the summer and a few point-to-pointers for the winter,” Venture Lazarus was “on a nice mark [92] so he’s entitled to do that”.

Tocororo rewarded odds-on backers with an impressive win in the Tramore Amusement and Leisure Park Mares Beginners Steeplechase, sent off 8/13 for the 2m6f contest and never threatened once she took it up on the second circuit.

After a promising hurdling career, Tocororo could prove an interesting chaser if this run is anything to go by as she stretched the field like an elastic band and ended up winning by a fence.

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