Frankie Dettori's team win Barney Curley Cup

The ever-popular Italian lifted the trophy after the two-leg challenge, thanks to a point system which saw his team prevail over the ‘home’ team, captained by Willie Mullins
Frankie Dettori's team win Barney Curley Cup

Frankie Dettori shows his delight after captaining his team to victory in the Barney Curley Charity Cup, in aid of Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), in Bellewstown. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

On the 26th anniversary of his famous ‘magnificent seven’ at Ascot, Frankie Dettori was again the centre of attention as the winning captain of the inaugural Barney Curley Cup, in aid of Direct Aid for Africa (DAFA), in Bellewstown.

The ever-popular Italian lifted the trophy after the two-leg challenge, thanks to a point system which saw his team, comprising Shane Kelly, Tom Queally, Jamie Spencer, Chris Hayes, Billy Lee, Seamus Heffernan, and Siobhan Rutledge prevail over the ‘home’ team, captained by Willie Mullins.

Ironically, it was members of the Mullins team, Declan McDonogh and Dylan Browne McMonagle, who triumphed in the challenge, McDonogh partnering Fastman, trained locally by John McConnell, to a convincing victory over Dark Note in the one-mile leg of the challenge.

McDonogh said: “He’s been in good nick and was entitled to win one. He travelled well and I always felt in control, although he did jink at the road.” 

The second leg saw the Luke Comer-trained Bring Us Paradise come from last to first under Dylan Browne McMonagle, to beat Mc Donogh’s mount Wild Shot.

Comer’s assistant Jim Gorman said:  “He’s been running well, but the ground was too soft the last day. He enjoys coming from off a fast pace, so everything fell right for him out there. He has a nice turn of foot.” 

Martin Hassett was a happy man after watching his speedy four-year-old Harry’s Hill, confidently handled by Scott McCullagh, completed a hat-trick in the five-furlong Colm Quinn BMW Handicap, at the expense of Tai Sing Yeh.

“He’s a legend,” said Hassett. “He’s a year older and taking his race better and has really transformed this summer. I think there’s a race at the Curragh for him before the end of the season, so we’ll go again.” 

There was a fitting outcome to the five-furlong two-year-old maiden as Escaping Thejungle, representing the Delany family, synonymous with Bellewstown for many years, made all for a stylish victory over disappointing favourite Polar Bear.

The winner is trained by veteran handler Eamon Delany, whose son and assistant Alan, a major force on the track’s committee, said: “She has always shown plenty at home and had run well in each of her three starts, including a Listed race. She has plenty of gears and Wayne was impressed.” 

A course and distance winner back in July and now 12lb higher in the ratings, The Bog Bank scored again for local trainer Tom McCourt in the Seamus Murphy Memorial Handicap.

Apprentice James Ryan soon had the mare in a handy position, from a wide draw, and, having taken command around the elbow, the five-year-old stayed on dourly to beat joint-favourite What Adaay.

“She’s in a serious vein of form and we’ll tip away with her in Dundalk for the winter,” said McCourt. 

"James gave her a great ride — he’s serious value for his 7lb claim and I’m surprised trainers are not using it. He has a great head on him and rides a very good race.” 

Back from a fruitful hurdling campaign, which yielded three wins in Britain during the summer, the Gordon Elliott-trained Ted Hastings, strongly handled by Sam Ewing, upstaged his three-year-old rivals in the Johnny Kierans Memorial Maiden, the 16-1 shot digging deep to master Ballydoyle filly Honeycomb by a neck.

And, one of four runners representing James McAuley, Sweeping Statement (Shane Foley) landed the opening claimer, after which there were no claims.

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