My Minervina continues Bellewstown love affair

Elsewhere on the card,  Joseph O’Brien and Mikey Sheehy shared a double
My Minervina continues Bellewstown love affair

FAMILY AFFAIR: An emotional Harry Rogers with daughter-in-law Deirdre and kids Jamie, Harry, Hugo, Hannah, Jessica, and Chloe after he won his wife Mary's memorial race with his horse Clifftop. Picture: Healy Racing

The Jessica Harrington-trained My Minervina is becoming a course specialist at Bellewstown and she made it two wins from three starts at the County Meath venue when coming from well off the pace to land the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Handicap.

Ridden by Shane Foley, the Peter Savill-owned 7-2 favourite overcame a tardy start, was ridden patiently, and swept down the outside in the straight to score by two lengths from Take My Hand.

“She likes it here — that’s two wins and a second for her,” stated Foley. “She likes to come from behind and Jessie decided to put the blinkers on her, so it all worked out well. She’s better going left-handed and has an entry in Killarney on Saturday — if she’s okay she’ll go there.” 

Joseph O’Brien and Mikey Sheehy shared a double with 4-7 favourite Native Queen, a narrow winner of the Champion Lettings Fillies Maiden, and Magellan Strait in the three-runner Kilsaran Race.

Native Queen needed all of Sheehy’s strength to master front-running Pilbara Gold before holding the late swoop of Vadiana by a half-length, earning a valuable bracket and prompting Brendan Powell to say: “She’s tough and hardy. Mikey said she was quite unbalanced on the turns but the further she went, the better she went.” 

And, after Magellan Strait turned over odds-on Hazy Mehmory in the three-runner affair, Powell said: “He didn’t handle the track, but it was a nice race for him. Mikey said he was having a good look going around the bends — he’s still as green as grass — and he jumped the road. He’s very genuine, but still a big eejit. He’s a fine big horse and should develop into a nice stayer next year.” 

Hazy Mehmory’s rider Colin Keane had earlier joined Billy Lee on the 79-winner mark for the season when Aloysius Lilius, trained by in-form Ger O'Leary, made virtually all for a convincing win in the five-furlong Goodenuftoeat Catering Handicap.

Undoubtedly the most popular result of the day came in the first division of the 47-65 handicap over just short of a mile and a half when Clifftop, ridden by Siobhan Rutledge (subsequently hit with an eight-day ban for misuse of the whip), justified 100-30 favouritism for Harry Rogers in a race he sponsored in memory of his wife Mary, who died last November.

An emotional Rogers said: “It’s very special. Mary was the brains behind the whole lot and bought this horse as a yearling. Her last day’s racing was when this horse finished second here last August. Hopefully, she’s in a good place.” 

Bolero almost delivered a dream double for Rogers in the second division, but had to settle for the runner-up berth, beaten three-quarters of a length by the consistent, Tony Martin-trained top-weight Firstman, ridden by Ben Coen.

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