Carrolls Cottage posted a classy performance under top weight in the Adare Handicap Hurdle, the feature on yesterday’s card in Limerick.
Philip Fenton’s lightly raced five-year-old was trying handicap company for the first time, off a mark of 123, and proved better than that figure.
Brian Hayes had his mount prominent from the outset and steered a wide course on the tight inner track. There were plenty of potential challengers as they turned for home, but the well-backed Carrolls Cottage quickened up nicely to take control going to the second-last and stayed on strongly to the line to beat Oscar Montel by three lengths.
“He had been running on deplorable ground on his last couple of runs and we thought maybe this better ground would help him,” said Fenton. “Some people are saying it’s on the slow side but, at the same time, after walking it I felt it would suit our fella.
“We were in two minds as to whether we’d draw the line with him or keep him going (for the season).
“We said that if we didn’t get a result today, we might keep him on the go and try win a novice chase as he mightn’t be good enough to compete with the better fellas for the winter.”
It was a great day for three generations of the McDonagh family as Mark McDonagh rode a winner, Jody Ted, in the colours of his father, Mark, and his grandfather, Michael, trained Cratloe to win later on the card.
Jody Ted, who won a Wexford maiden in March, took the Athlacca Rated Novice Hurdle for trainer Eoin Griffin. A patient ride by McDonagh reaped reward as he moved through quite stylishly to lead between the last two flights and stayed on well to see off last-time-out winner Cotteemcavennigoal by a couple of lengths.
Cratloe contested the Patrickswell Handicap Hurdle and landed the spoils under Barry Browne. Brought wide to challenge early in the straight, he led two out and stayed on strongly enough to deny the gambled-on Rich Belief by a length and a half.
Keith Donoghue recorded a double on the card, starting early with Clever Currency, who raced home clear of his rivals in the Broadford Maiden Hurdle. Trained in Co Longford by Paul Flynn, he led all the way, travelled strongly throughout, and readily asserted his superiority in the straight.
Donoghue completed his near 30-1 double aboard the Jim Dreaper-trained Mr Bercow in the second division of the Newcastlewest Handicap Hurdle. Building on a couple of promising efforts in recent outings, the point to point winner found plenty for pressure to see off the game Esthers Marvel, the pair a long way clear of the remainder.
War God ran out a comfortable winner of the Kilmallock Maiden Hurdle for Enda Bolger and Darragh O’Keeffe. The Cathal Don was sent off favourite and held every chance, but he came under pressure early in the straight, where the eventual winner asserted. Aboutagout ran on from off the pace to take the runner-up spot, with the favourite a fading third.
The first division of the Newcastlewest Handicap Hurdle went the way of Definiteadare, trained by Tom Cooper and ridden by his son, Bryan. Touched off on his previous outing, when well backed at Clonmel, he ran out an emphatic winner this time.
Rebel Rose showed a good attitude when winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares’ Bumper for Mark Fahey and Derek O’Connor. Beyond Ambitious, who was sent off a heavily backed favourite, moved up looking the most likely winner entering the final furlong but the winner picked up again to deny the gamble.
- After drawing a blank from six rides on the card, Rachael Blackmore eased to 2-1 (from 7-4) to win the jockeys’ championship, with Paul Townend, who leads by nine, 4-11 to retain his title.