Kilkenny jockey Shane Foley
Shane Foley all but stole the show when dominating with four winners as racing resumed after a 76-day absence at Naas on Monday.
Foley helped Jessica Harrington to a treble of her own and also provided County Down trainer Leanne Breen with the third winner of her career.
Foley had previously ridden four winners on the same card at Dundalk in October 2014 and he set the ball rolling on the Harrington-trained Lucky Vega in the 6f maiden. The 9/2 chance battled well to score by half a length from the Aidan O’Brien-trained 4/6 favourite Lipizzaner.
Harrington and Foley landed a bigger prize when 22/1 outsider Punita Arora won the Listed Kuroshio At Compas Stallions Committed Stakes. She came from well off the pace to get the better of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Alligator Alley by a length.
A 9/2 chance, Masteroffoxhounds wrapped up a memorable day when giving Harrington her third winner and Foley his fourth in the concluding 8f maiden. In between, Foley had won the second division of the 6f handicap on the Leanne Breen-trained Parkers Hill which landed an 18/1 success with a two and three-parts of a length win for the Galaxy Horse Racing Syndicate.
Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning were among the winners at Leopardstown on Tuesday where Ten Year Ticket, owned by Nicholas Teehan, battled well to take the Listed Holden Plant Rentals Trial Stakes. The 8/1 chance got the better of Aidan O’Brien’s King Of Athens.
Shane Foley was back in the winners’ enclosure at Navan. He got the well-backed 4/1 joint-favourite Blastofmagic up on the line to pip Leanne Breen’s Ticks The Boxes by a short-head for trainer Ger O’Leary.
While a lengthy photo-finish went again him in the Listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Salsabil Stakes, Foley had better fortune in the other Listed race on the card, the Heritage Stakes. He lost out by a nose to the Tom Madden-ridden Silence Please on One Voice, both trained by Jessica Harrington, but helped Harrington’s Ancient Spirit beat Joseph O’Brien’s Buckhurst by the narrowest margin.
The remarkable run of both Foley and Jessica Harrington continued at Gowran Park the following afternoon where they landed the final two races. Peter Savill’s Bella Brazil pipped the Jim Bolger-trained Feminista by a head to win the 8f handicap at odds of 5/1 and Shone Mea, a 9/2 chance took the three-year-old handicap over the same distance by a length for owner Pat Harty.
Joseph O’Brien landed his first winners since racing resumed with a double at the Curragh on Friday evening. He saddled 4/1 chance Galileo Chrome to win the 10f maiden with Shane Crosse getting the winner up on the line to pip the Emmet Mullins-trained King Of The Throne by a head. Crosse was also in the plate as the pair landed a bigger prize later on the card. They took the Group Three Coolmore Ten Sovereigns Gallinule Stakes with Crossfirehurricane which remained unbeaten when comfortably accounting for the Jessica Harrington-trained Gold Maze at odds of 7/1.
O’Brien had to settle for second place in the 7f handicap as Bright Idea lost out by half a length to the Danny Sheehy-ridden Champers Elysses. Johnny Murtagh’s 14/1 chance came from well off the pace to lead over a furlong from home.
Shane Foley made it nine for the week and he gave Jessica Harrington her eighth winner in five days when capturing the Group 2 Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes with the hugely impressive Leo De Fury at the Curragh on Friday. The four-year-old came from well off the pace to score a three-length success from the Aidan O’Brien-trained Fleeting at odds of 6/1.
Foley easily reached double figures since the resumption on Monday with a cosy success on the Harrington newcomer Dickiedooda in the 5f fillies’ maiden in the colours of Alpha Racing. A well-backed 5/2 favourite, she beat Denis Hogan’s 33/1 outsider Grammata by an easy length and a quarter.
FRIDAY: Tipperary (1pm), Gowran Park (4.05pm). SATURDAY: Naas (2.20pm). SUNDAY: Leopardstown (2.40pm).