Halford on the double at Roscommon

Michael Halford, still en route from Singapore, where Invincible Ash was in Grade 1 action on Sunday, missed seeing Massiyn and Paddy The Celeb provide him with a double at Roscommon last evening.

Sent off a strong 4/1 favourite, Paddy The Celeb landed the Connolly’s Red Mills Horse Care Cubes Handicap in tenacious fashion, edging ahead early in the straight and staying on dourly under Shane ‘Dusty’ Foley to beat Noble Call and Statesmanship.

Earlier, Halford had registered his third maiden success in a week when the Johnny Murtagh-ridden Massiyn, backed from 9/2 to 3/1 on course, came from well off a very strong pace, set by Joseph O’Brien on Battle Of Saratoga, to claim the opening Irish Stallion Farms Maiden in the last 100 yards from the Pat Smullen-ridden Encrypted Message.

Biggest shock of the day came in the Roscommon Handicap when 2/9 favourite Time Of My Life, an impressive winner at Wexford on Saturday and taken out of the ‘system’ by the handicapper yesterday, was turned over.

The Tommy Stack-trained son of Galileo was prominent through out but, having looked the likely winner turning or home, faded to finish third behind the John Oxx-trained Shamooda, the second leg of a double for Johnny Murtagh and the Aga Khan.

The Kevin Prendergast-trained Emotional Dream, the highest-rated of the eight runners, justified 6/4 favouritism in the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Maiden after market rival Sparkling View had made the running and looked the likely winner until headed at the furlong-pole and fading.

Declan McDonogh, hard at work on the winner before the straight, brought the Shirocco filly wide to challenge and she stayed on well for victory.

The all-the-way win of 123-rated Baily Green in the www.roscommonracecourse.ie Beginners Chase, beating favourite Laganbank and Silverlord, proved the highlight of the night’s jumps action.

Ridden by David Casey, the Mouse Morris-trained six-year-old, whose chase form includes a third behind subsequent Grade 1 winners Bog Warrior and Flemenstar at Navan back November, jumped well for most of the journey while the runner-up made a bad blunder four from home and Silverford was sketchy at times.

The once-raced grey Ardboe Abbey captured the first division of the bumper, the Kepak Flat Race, for trainer Tom Hogan (absent with a chest infection), staying on under Nina Carberry to overcome another grey La Femme Blanche by two lengths.

Trainer Dessie McDonogh quipped: “For some reason, I have more winners here than anywhere else,” after 66/1 shot Miss Penny Pincher, owned by his son-in-law Norman Geraghty (brother of Barry) won the second division of the bumper.

Ridden by Roger Quinlan, Miss Penny Pincher held the late challenge of Deep Trouble by a neck.

The Ben Dalton-ridden Sumkindasuprstar, prominent throughout, won the concluding Frank Hannon Memorial Handicap Chase, keeping joint-favourite Kilflora at bay by two and a quarter lengths.


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