Sidelined since May 7, champion-jockey Davy Russell made a successful return to competitive action when landing the €30,000 thetote.com Connacht National Handicap Chase on top-weight Kaiser Back in Roscommon last night.
Trained by Pat Doyle and raised 15lb to a mark of 138 for a comfortable win in the Mayo National in Ballinrobe last month, the 7-2 favourite was given a supremely confident ride by Russell, who stalked the leaders throughout before delivering his challenge two fences from home.
Kaiser Black soon asserted, produced a spectacular leap at the final fence and went on to beat Master Appeal convincingly by four lengths with Na Trachtalai Abu a close third.
A Germany gelding, Kaiser Black carries the colours of Martin O’Callaghan, who died in March and who was represented here by his son Chris, who said: “I can’t believe it — it’s great. Dad was looking down on us tonight.”
In the absence of the winning trainer, Russell said: “Pat is stocking-up for next year (at the Land Rover Sale in Goffs). But he has done a marvellous job with this horse. And it’s great to be back.”
Referring to Kaiser Black, Russell said: “He’s a lovely horse and Pat feels he needs a flat track and to be going right-handed. We can be very hard on the handicapper, but this win justifies the hike he got for winning in Ballinrobe.”
Champion trainer Willie Mullins completed a double with Causey Arch and Cadmium on the supporting card, providing his nephews David and Danny with a winner each.
Causey Arch, confidently handled by David, made it three wins from four starts over hurdles when outpointing favourite Canardier and Scheu Time in the two-and-a-half-mile Dermot Hughes Car Sales Rated Hurdle.
David Mullins said: “He’s really starting to come to himself. He’s learning all the time and should keep improving.”
The Willie Mullins double was completed when Cadmium, ridden for the Supreme Horse Racing Club by Danny, justified 4-6 favouritism in the Ladies Day At Roscommon On Monday 9th July Novice Chase, beating just three rivals. Cadmium mastered market rival Le Martalin between the last two fences to score by two and three-quarter lengths.
“It was another good piece of placing by Willie,” said Danny Mullins. “He had never run on ground that fast and every drop of water they put on the track was needed. He got away with it and produced a good performance. I’m sure Willie will find something else for him during the summer.”
Out of luck with Le Martalin and Net d’Ecosse earlier, Noel Meade landed the four-year-old bumper with 9-10 favourite Jerandme, who followed-up his debut success at Down Royal with another smooth performance under Mark O’Hare.
The Azamour gelding travelled strongly throughout and, ridden confidently, only had to be shaken up by O’Hare to see off newcomers Chasing Abbey and Sporting Stowaway.
Joseph O’Brien recorded his 18th win in the last three weeks when Gold Seal, the 5-2 favourite, got up late under Barry Geraghty to foil Tenth Amendment in the opening www.roscommonracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle.
“It’s nice to get it,” declared Frank Berry, racing manager for JP McManus.
“He has been consistent and had plenty of experience, which stood to him. He jumped great and battled well. I’d say he’ll go for a little handicap somewhere now.”
Balbriggan-based Peter Cluskey savoured his first success in more than two years and jockey Mark Bolger received a timely boost before serving a five-day suspension when Ciankyle made all to capture the Roscommon racecourse handicap Hurdle at the expense of top-weight I’m Serious. “He had a good run in Limerick before he ran on the Flat in Gowran and is a nice type,” said Cluskey.
“He was sweet for today and we’ll mix it with him, Flat and hurdles, for the summer.”
Conor O’Dwyer, enjoying a good run with his relatively small string, was on the mark again when Floramar, ridden by Ricky Doyle, got the better of Lizzies Champ and About You after a good battle for the OCR Waste Management Handicap Hurdle.
“I thought he had a great shout over the three miles,” admitted O’Dwyer.
“He’s still learning his trade and will stay hurdling for the moment.
“He’s not mature enough to go chasing yet, but he has schooled over fences and jumps them well.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved