She Is Electric made all to give County Galway trainer Norman Lee and 7lb claimer Robbie Geoghegan a memorable Listed success in the Pat Walsh Memorial Mares Hurdle on the first day of Gowran Park’s two-day weekend meeting.
The 16-1 shot denied favourite Champagne Problem the early lead, jumped fluently and, at the business end, stayed on dourly to triumph by a length and a half.
“She galloped them into the ground and Robbie gave her a superb ride,” declared a delighted owner-trainer Lee. “The plan was to try and steal a march and take them off their feet. She’s like a handicapper to jump. Realistically, we were hoping to be placed, so this is a bonus."
In the Listed Mucklemeg Mares' Flat Race, Derek O’Connor’s tactics of taking the shortest route on Sam Curling’s charge Troubled Times paid dividends as she defeated Jetara.
“This was the plan since she was beaten in Ballinrobe,” explained Curling. “She’s home-bred by her owner Willie Cleary, with a good pedigree, and it’s massive to get black type for her. Derek was brilliant on her. And she’ll go back over hurdles now."
Danny Mullins and Jack Foley shared the riding honours with doubles, Foley sharing his double with trainer Philip Rothwell thanks to Berliet Express and Don’t Doubt Me and riding out his 3lb claim.
Mullins steered the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Saylavee to an impressive 14-length win in the Gowran Park Racing Club Maiden and followed up when providing County Waterford-based Mick Keoghan with his first training success as Sea Of Sands landed the second division of the 80-95 handicap hurdler.
Unfortunately, the eight-year-old broke down badly, prompting Keoghan, who rides out for Joseph O’Brien, to state: “He’s the only horse I train, but he’s gone completely — he won’t be back.”
Trainer Willie Browne, 76, triumphed with his first stakes-race runner when Spirit Gal made all under Seamus Heffernan to land the Listed Star Appeal 2-Y-0 Stakes in Dundalk.
The Invincible Spirit filly prevailed by two and a quarter lengths from Aidan O’Brien’s favourite Cairo.
Browne said: “It’s a great thrill. I didn’t know if she was that class, but she won well. She has plenty of speed, but settles in front. Seamie knows her well And knowing the man who owns her, the Breeders' Cup could be the dream.”
Heffernan and Browne’s brother Michael were narrowly denied in the opening sprint as Andy Oliver’s The Highway Rat prevailed by a nose, giving Billy Lee his 80th win of the season, one ahead of Colin Keane.
Eight-race maiden Funny Money Honey made all to take the Listed Legacy 2-Y-0 Stakes, initiating a juvenile double for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley, also successful with Slick Chick in the nursery.
“She loves to jump and travel and keeps going,” said Foley, who completed a treble on board Instrumental in a division of the 47-65 mile handicap.