Dundalk report: Double delight for Joseph O'Brien 

Blackbeards Castle and Winner Takes Itall cruise to easy victories
Dundalk report: Double delight for Joseph O'Brien 

Winner Takes Itall and Mikey Sheehy winning the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Apprentice Handicap. Picture: Healy Racing

Joseph O’Brien recorded a double on today’s card in Dundalk and you will struggle to find two easier winners on the surface over the winter season.

Blackbeards Castle had promised much in previous outings and finally delivered on it with a runaway success in the 12-furlong punters.hollywoodbets.com maiden. Hugh Horgan let his mount coast around in front and, without having to ask a question, steadily established a commanding lead. A proverbial mile clear shortly after turning in, he faced no challenge and on this, his eighth outing, the War Front colt got off the mark.

Mikey Sheehy was in the saddle for the second leg of the double, and it came aboard Winner Takes Itall in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Apprentice Handicap. Runner-up in a Punchestown handicap hurdle on his previous outing, he cruised around under his motionless rider, moved upsides on the bridle early in the straight and eased away in the closing stages to win as he liked.

Chicago Bear, who cost €250,000 as a yearling, ran out a game winner of the first race, the DundalkStadium.com Maiden, for Johnny Murtagh and Ben Coen. Shackleton’s Hero set out to make all the running but the winner, who was well supported on the show, finished strongly to win in the style of a colt that could develop into a decent sort.

There was a good finish to the Join Us On Instagram @dundalk_stadium Nursery, which went to Stop On Red, ridden by Andy Slattery and trained by Jimmy Coogan, who was back in the winner’s enclosure after a long break. Third on his handicap debut a week ago, the gelding stuck to his task well under pressure to deny Brosna Empress by a head.

The first division of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Leading Jockey & Trainer Championship went to Foreign Legion, trained locally by John Larkin and ridden by Ross Coakley. He tracked the pace most of the way, led over a furlong out, and kept on well under pressure to secure a sixth career victory.

In the second division, Indiana Grey, who shed her maiden status with a narrow win on the turf in October, got off the mark on the all-weather with a typically strong-running display. Danny Sheehy brought Pat Martin’s filly down the outside with a well-timed run to beat St George’s Head.

In the first division of the Find Us On Facebook @dundalkstadium Handicap Chateau Musar came out best in a three-way photo finish. John Geoghegan’s horse, ridden by Chris Hayes, was dropped to 49 following defeats in similar race and that clearly helped as he stayed on well to get up in the final stride for a nose victory over Quiet Desire, with Scherbatsky a head further back in third place.

The winning rider completed a double by sharing the spoils in the second division, with his mount, the Sheila Lavery-trained Ms Thomson, dead-heating with the Kevin Manning-ridden Solar System, who was well backed on his first start for Leanne Breen.

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