Racing came to a premature end in Cork last night when, due to safety concerns, the last two races were abandoned.
A delegation of riders expressed concerns about the safety of the round course following rain, expressing the opinion the track had become “slippy”, causing a number of runners in the one-mile maiden to slip on the bend.
Clerk of the Course Val O’Connell confirmed the track had been sanded and spiked before racing.
And following discussions with the concerned riders, a number of trainers, O’Connell and recently-appointed racecourse manager Andrew Hogan, the stewards’ decided, in the interest of safety, to abandon the last two races.
But the early end to proceedings did little to dent jockey Colin Keane’s enjoyment of the evening as he completed a superb 52/1 treble on Spy Ring, Ardhoomey and Mittersill.
The Michael O’Callaghan-trained debutante Spy Ring travelled sweetly throughout the two-year-old fillies maiden and having edged ahead, held off the persistent challenges of Arabia Verse by a half-length.
“She was sharp away and is a very smart filly,” said Keane. “She’ll improve from this.”
Keane struck again when Ardhoomey, successful at Navan last Sunday, completed a hat-trick for the rider’s boss Ger Lyons in the five-furlong Racing Again June 12th Race, clocking an impressive 57.43 seconds in the process.
Abstraction set the fractions but Keane nursed his mount, the 7/4 favourite, to challenge inside the final furlong.
And, shaken up, the four-year-old asserted to triumph by a half-length, prompting the winning trainer’s brother and assistant Shane to say: “He’s learning with experience and conditions were right for him tonight.”
Keane completed his treble and provided Ger Lyons with a double when 81-rated Mittersill turned over Dermot Weld’s odds-on favourite Aasheq in the mile maiden.
Shane Lyons said: “Colin made a bad draw into a good draw — he’s riding with tremendous confidence.”
In the earlier sprint handicaps, Robbie Downey swooped late on Eddie Lynam’s Falcao in the six-furlong Cork Racecourse Handicap while Nora Batt, owned and trained by John Nicholson, proved a shock 25/1 winner of the five-furlong event.
Meanwhile, there was drama in Downpatrick when Tellthemnuttin was disqualified after winning the Downpatrick Looking Good Handicap Hurdle.
The 9/4 favourite, ridden by Dylan Robinson, barged his way through on the inside turning for home before beating Quelle Belle Vie and Shabra’s Bertolini but was subsequently disqualified, with the race being awarded to the Paddy Kennedy-ridden Quelle Belle Vie.
Robinson, found guilty of dangerous riding, was suspended for 10 race-days and ordered to forfeit his riding fee.
Bryan Cooper notched his sixth success of the new season when 4/6 shot Rise Of An Empire, successful on the track two weeks ago, followed-up in the rated novice hurdle.
Trainer Noel Meade said: “The race was made for him and he loves that ground.”
Charles Byrnes was on the mark when the Philip Enright-ridden Lash It On held the late effort of Redclue in the Friday Feeling Handicap Chase.
Colin McBratney, who enjoyed mixed luck with his hunter-chase runners in Stratford, missed seeing Drumhart, under a determined Sean Flanagan get up late to foil Personal Shopper and Rachael Blackmore in the Congratulating Kate And Michael Handicap Chase, after the runner-up was left clear when House Limit ran out before the third last.
And The Storyteller sent odds-on players home happy when recording a wide-margin victory for Gordon Elliott and Luke McGuinness in the bumper.
Rachael Blackmore (Personal Shopper) and Derek Fox (Atlantic Breaker) were both banned for two days for whip offences.
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