THE Aussie Rules colt Hollymount King, which crossed swords with the likes of Treasure Beach and Casemento without success as a juvenile, looked to have lost his way when folding tamely on his recent two outings at Navan and Wexford. However, he finally came good when touching off No Trimmings in the mile apprentice handicap at Gowran Park on Friday evening.
Trained not too far from the track by Sean Treacy, Hollymount King went to post an 18/1 chance and once again he attempted to make every post a winning one. Rider Conor Hoban gave him a breather before the straight but had enough up his sleeve to kick on again and just hold the late surge of No Trimmings by a short head.
It looked a vintage ride by Hoban as his mount was badly drawn, however, he was able to claim the rails early in the race which was a huge help and for once the horse put his best foot forward.
In his post-race remarks Treacy revealed that he was absent from the winners’ enclosure since Casela Park scored at Dundalk a year ago last March. He has only six riding out so this victory was a welcome guest for a man who in his riding days mixed it with the best and also trained many good national hunt winners, including that of a Thyestes Chase.
Rich vein of form
Jim Bolger, together with his son-in-law Kevin Manning, is enjoying a rich vein of form. The duo kept up the momentum by landing the seven furlong 52-74 handicap courtesy of Sunset Beauty.
Having shown decent form in maiden races over longer trips, the daughter of Whipper had some solid support in the betting market. After chasing the leaders she shot to the front at the two furlong marker and drew right away to win unchallenged by five and a half lengths from Footprint.
This was a highly impressive display by the winner. The shorter trip seemed to suit her well and if she comes out of the race well she could turn out at Leopardstown tomorrow (Thursday) where she would have a big following.
Aidan O’Brien saddled three in the mile two-year-old maiden and claimed the first three places. Victory went to the Colm O’Donoghue-ridden Triumphant in a tight finish with the favourite Secretary Of State, the mount of the trainer’s son Joseph.
Settled well off the pace, Triumphant improved under pressure in the straight but to his credit he kept finding enough to hold the late run of Secretary Of State by a head with a couple of lengths back to the third finisher Mannheim.
It was interesting to note that Joseph O’Brien failed to claim his 3lb riding allowance which, in the end, was the difference between victory and defeat.
On paper, at least, Zabarajad should have won the opening seven furlong maiden with a leg tied up. Although he delivered the goods, he was put to the pin of his collar to do so.
Considered to be the best maiden in the country with a rating of 105, the son of Invincible Spirit was an almost unbackable favourite. Those who traded at the odds had to suffer as he struggled, but eventually got his head if front close home.
Made the running
Miss Gardenia made the running and had everything at full stretch turning to face the judge. At this point Johnny Murtagh was hard at work on the favourite but, in fairness to the horse, he responded gamely. As the leader gave way the Aidan O’Brien runner President Lincoln took over but jinked to his left which did Zabarajad no favours, but the latter recovered to lead almost on the line for a head victory.
Winning trainer John Oxx revealed that he was glad to have the race out of the way but had no firm plans for his charge. On this evidence Zabarajad is no flying machine and will struggle at Pattern level, but Oxx is a past master at placing his horses so we can expect to see him pick up a nice prize somewhere along the line.
Kilkenny-born but Fethard domiciled Joe Murphy is another who made his name at the jumping game but in recent times he has been concentrating on the flat game with reasonable success. Magical Cat gave him a somewhat surprise victory when she stayed on well to account for Wicked Spirit in the concluding fillies maiden over an extended mile and a furlong.
After making little show on her debut at Limerick Magical Cat was allowed to start at 14/1. Racing in mid division she closed on the leaders heading to the three furlong marker. When Jockey Wayne Lordan sent her to the front a quarter of a mile from home she pulled out plenty to land the spoils by a length at the expense of Wicked Cat.
A good looking daughter of Giant’s Causeway, the winner could well go to better things.