Just a week after registering his first racecourse success on Funny How in Cork, teenager Jack Kennedy hit the headlines with a double, on Eshtiaal and Mutadrik, for Gordon Elliott in Down Royal last night.
Kennedy (16), from Dingle, was champion rider on the pony-racing circuit three times. He has already made a big impression since making his debut under rules little more than three weeks ago.
Last night, he recorded his first win over hurdles when Eshtiaal, successful at Ballinrobe on Monday and 6lb. ‘well-in’ despite a mandatory penalty, justified 4/7 favouritism in the WorkPal Handicap Hurdle, before completing his first double on Mustadrik in the Sony Xperia Handicap Hurdle.
Although he encountered some traffic problems when tracking the leaders, Eshtiaal was in front at the second last before forging clear to slam Crystal Earth by eleven lengths.
A delighted Gordon Elliott enthused: “Jack’s a very good lad and rides well. This horse is in good nick and won well again. He’s in at Tramore tomorrow and we’ll see how he is in the morning before we decide if he’ll travel.”
Mustadrik, which was Kennedy’s first ride over hurdles in Clonmel last week, was an even more impressive winner. He travelled well on the heels of the leaders before taking command going to the second last flight and stretching clear to win, hard held, by seventeen lengths from Cousin Bill.
A progressive four-year-old, Mustadrik will make a quick reappearance, as Elliott explained: “He’ll go to Kilbeggan on Sunday, with a mandatory penalty,” and quipped: “I don’t think I’ll be letting Jack ride for too many others!”
Robbie Power, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Wednesday, a day after riding a double in Ballinrobe, registered his second brace of the week, when scoring on Keith Clarke’s New World, which made all in the O2 Office 365 Maiden Hurdle and the Peter Fahey-trained Medinah Gold, which landed the Barclay Telecom Handicap Hurdle before surviving a Stewards Enquiry, although Power was banned for three race-days for careless riding.
Clarke commented: “I’ve always thought a lot of this horse. He was fit enough for today, but there’s more to come. He’ll make a nice chaser in time.”
Favourite Kalopsia made a bold bid to make all for Aidan and Sarah O’Brien and J P McManus but was caught virtually on the line by the Tom Taaffe-trained newcomer Glacial Drift, ridden by Declan Queally.
Meanwhile, locally-based Shay Barry registered the first treble of his training career, at odds of 296/1, thanks to Time For Bucks and Patsio, both ridden by Brian O’Connell, and the Katie O’Farrell-partnered Kalanisi King in Tramore.
Formerly trained by Sharon Dunphy, Time For Bucks captured the opening www.tramore-racecourse.com maiden Hurdle at the expense of Dougal. Barry commented: “Brian was good and strong on him. This horse likes good ground and will be kept busy for the summer.” O’Connell picked-up a two-day whip ban.
Patsio, which belatedly got off the mark in Tipperary last time, followed-up when defying top-weight in the Find Tramore Racecourse On Facebook Handicap Hurdle, holding the late surge of Gordon Elliott’s Seeyouallincoppers by a short-head.
Kalanisi King, off the track since Christmas, was produced with a well-timed challenge on the inside by Katie O’Farrell to land the lady riders’ bumper at the expense of Dixie Lee.
Another local trainer on the mark was Eoin Doyle, successful with the Mikey Butler-ridden 20/1 shot Indian Temple in the Tramore Racecourse Supporters Club Beginners Chase, compensation for the trainer following the defeat of Royal Chief in the Tramore Gold Club Handicap Hurdle, collared in the dying strides by the Mick Winters-trained Lettermacaward, which got up under David Mullins to triumph by three-quarters of a length.
Mullins, whose cousin Danny partnered Ballychorus to victory for his mother in the mares beginners chase in Down Royal, completed a 59/1 double when Dante Anna, trained by Lar Byrne, foiled favourite Redclue in the Jim Ryan Racecourse Services handicap Chase.
An incident at the start of the Tramore Handicap Hurdle resulted in eleven riders being suspended — for disobeying the starter — Joe Banahan.
Conor Brassil, Pierce Gallagher, Jonathan Moore, Niall Kelly, David Mullins, Ger Fox, Rachael Blackmore, Brian O’Connell and Jonathan Burke were all banned for two race-days while Brian Hayes (four days) and Ben Dalton (three days) received more severe sanctions.
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