THE Tom Foley-trained Dariak sprang a 16/1 shock in the Knockcroghery Hurdle at Roscommon last night.
Having his second run since joining Foley’s string, the Aga Khan-bred grey was sent into the lead by David Flannery after the third last flight and, kept up to his work in the closing stages, the five-year-old stayed on stoutly to beat Impudent by a neck. Favourite Valain, after a bad mistake at the second last, finished best of all, another head away in third place.
Dariak triumphed twice for Paul Webber in England last year. And Foley admitted: “It’s a bit of a surprise. And that’s what I like. We were disappointed with him at Cork, when he probably didn’t handle the ground. But the ground was better than I expectedhere and he won well.”
Odds-on punters had no worries in the Gerry Coffey Auctioneers Maiden Hurdle as Robert Power steered 1/2 shot Afasheen to a convincing victory.
Cross-country king Enda Bolger has the Velka Pardubicka in the Czech Republic in October as Moscow Maui’s long-term target after Sue Ann McManus’s eight-year-old landed the JF Hanley Group Handicap Chase at the expense of De Chirico.
“He likes that ground and needs at least three miles,” said Bolger of the gelding whose only previous racecourse success was recorded in a hunter chase at Tramore
In the flat action, apprentice Amy Parsons recorded her second success of the season when partnering Blaze Trailer to a convincing win in the First Choice Betting Castlerea Handicap.
The Tom McCourt-trained five-year-old, in the frame 15 times, was opening his account at the 32nd attempt.
Noel Meade won the bumper with the Nina Carberry-ridden newcomer Seefin Dancer, but admitted: “He was ready to run last year and I thought he’d win. But he had his share of problems. He hasn’t been doing things right at home recently and I told the lads not to back him.
“He’ll run at Galway, because Paul (owner Paul Connolly) is from there - it could be a winners’ bumper, a maiden hurdle or a flat maiden. I don’t know at this stage.”
Andy Oliver saddled uneasy favourite Kiss N Run to land the opening Irish Stallion Farms Maiden, battling well to see off the well-backed Prize Spirit (11/2 to 7/2).
Stephen Cox won the Ladies Day At Roscommon On July 7th Handicap with 20/1 shot Whatwodmyrasay, ridden by James Sullivan.
The winner, in foal to Rakti, is owned by Patrick O’Reilly, who lives beside Goffs in Kill, and is likely to reappear at Naas next Wednesday.
Chris Hayes picked-up a one-day careless riding ban following an incident in the opening maiden, in which he rode third-placed Pecavi and was later severely cautioned for failing to weight-in after finishing fifth on Confirm in the mile-and-a-half handicap.
And Davy Russell was also severely cautioned as a result of an incident turning into the straight in the Knockcroghery Hurdle. He was found guilty of careless riding and also cautioned concerning the accuracy of his evidence in the enquiry.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved