Local rider JJ Slevin took the riding honours in Wexford last night, completing an 87/1 double on Cut Em Down and In A Pinch.
Cut Em Down, outsider of the two Gigginstown House Stud runners in the opening Welcome To Wexford racecourse Maiden Hurdle, provided the rider’s first cousin Joseph O’Brien with a 25th birthday success when proving six lengths too strong for favourite Pallaskenry.
The winner was partnered to an emphatic success by J J Slevin, who commented: “He’s a grand horse, stays well and appreciated that better ground.”
Slevin struck again on board In A Pinch, trained by his father Shay, in a division of the Loch Garman Handicap Hurdle, arriving with a well-timed challenge to beat joint-favourite Ingleby Mackenzie by a length and three-quarters.
“She always runs a good race and never lets us down,” stated the winning trainer. “She ran well last year as a four-year-old and probably needed time.
The featured Slaney Handicap Hurdle went to Mezajy, trained and ridden by Denis Hogan to beat top-weight Mr Picotee and favourite Le Vagabond.
Hogan, who also ran Nulife, admitted: “I wasn’t sure I had picked the right one – the other horse has ability but it’s hard to get it out of him.
“But the winner loves that ground. He really rattles off it and hasn’t had it since last summer.”
Following the withdrawal of Kagney, Orion D’aubrelle and Consharon Boy from the beginners chase, the door was left open for seasonal debutant Master Appeal, which duly seized the opportunity for veteran County Waterford trainer John Kiely and Andrew Lynch.
Sent off 2/1 favourite, the Brian Boru gelding proved too strong for the higher-rated Fire In His Eyes, prompting his trainer to explain: “The owners have been with me for thirty years and have been very patient with this horse. He got injured in Tramore and we though we might have to write him off. He went to Fethard Equine Hospitality and it’s been a long road back.
Followers of Willie and Patrick Mullins went home happy after Dorrells Pierj, in the colours of Sullivan Bloodstock, landed the bumper in convincing style, coming from off the pace to beat Court Maid by eight and a half lengths.
The winning rider explained: “He stays well, so the two and a half miles and better ground were a big help. He got hurt last year and we were slow to wind him up again. But that’s the sort of form he’s been showing at home.”
Proud Wexford man Conor O’Dwyer has a good strike-rate at the track and delivered again when 9/2 joint-favourite I’ve Got Rhythm, ridden by Ricky Doyle, landed the first division of the Loch Garman Handicap Hurdle. The winner is declared for Tipperary tonight, but is unlikely run again.
The two-mile handicap chase was decided in the Stewards Room, after the Paul Power-trained Bakers Street, ridden by Jeannie Cook, beat James Dullea’s Dark Outsider (Danny Mullins) by a head but was disaqualified, having hampered the runner-up on the long run-in (last fence was omitted) and carried him across the course in the last fifty yards.
My Betty, trained in Glenealy, County Wicklow by Peter Croke for owner-breeder Maurice Sheehy, proved a shock winner of the Rosslare Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Ridden by amateur Harley Dunne, the 20/1 shot, which made the early running, mastered Lockeen Girl before the final flight and stayed on to hold the late flourish of Trans Wood by two and a quarter lengths.
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