Henry de Bromhead continued in flying form, sharing a double with jockey Mike O’Connor in Clonmel Friday.
Having only his second run for the yard, Ingleby Mackenzie landed the Clonmel Show Opportunity Handicap Chase at the expense of top-weight Silver Star, completing a double initiated by Arvico Bleu in the Orchard Thieves Apple Attack Beginners Chase.
The Gigginstown-owned Arvico Bleu made virtually all, jumping impeccably, and held favourite Druid’s Altar by a half-length to open his chasing account at the 14th attempt.
“Michael is riding very well and really going places,” enthused De Bromhead who, referring to Ingleby Mackenzie, added: “He loves that summer ground and we should have a bit of sport with him. He’s in Wexford on Wednesday and, if he’s okay, he’ll go there.”
Also in double form (the third of his career) was Ambrose McCurtin, successful on Debbie Hartnett’s Tommydan (20/1) in the opening maiden hurdle, following the dramatic exit of favourite Karakhan, who ran out through the wing of the final flight, and the John Joe Walsh-trained Romella in the Suir Blueway Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Closutton’s conveyor belt of bumper horses produced another winner when Dani Barcelona, a daughter of Shirocco and Irish Cesarewitch winner Dani California, justified 8/13 favouritism on her debut in the Irish Stallion Farms Mares Flat Race.
“She’s quite small, like her mother, and could go back to the Flat,” said the winning rider.
Joseph O’Brien is enjoying success in all spheres at present and initiated an across-the-card treble when well-backed 7/4 shot Golfe Clair, in the colours of his sister Sarah and ridden by Hugh Morgan, won the second division of the Marlfield Opportunity Maiden Hurdle, surviving a last flight mistake for an emphatic win.
O’Brien was on the mark again with San Andreas, ridden by apprentice Hugh Horgan (who was handed a six-day whip ban), in the Follow Us From Home Race in Fairyhouse.
A three-time winner on the polytrack, the five-year-old came from off the pace to beat the flattering Bellagio Man readily by two and a quarter lengths.
Newcomer Okita Soushi, a Galileo colt, landed a significant gamble (backed into 100/30, from double-digit prices in the morning) when getting the better of favourite Malawi in the Tattersalls Ireland Maiden.
Ridden by Shane Crosse, he stretched clear to triumph by four and a half lengths and is open to plenty of improvement.
“He’s a typical Galileo,” stated O’Brien’s assistant Brendan Powell.
“He was quite lazy early and just stays and gallops. He pulled away in the end and, a big horse, should improve in every way with the run under his belt.”