Castlecomer based Pat Murphy, a new and wlecome addition to the training ranks, opened his account in style at the weekend.
He saddled the 20/1 chance Wagadoogoochoochoo to take the second division of the mile 47-65 handicap. Having shown little in four outings this season, the daughter of Footstepsinthesand filly had few takers in the betting market.
She failed to read the script as she came from off the pace to lead inside the final furlong and win going away by two and a half length from the Jim Bolger runner New Regalia. The winning trainer was absent from the meeting as he was on his honeymoon but the way his charge finished suggests that she may be only coming to herself and could easily score again in a similar type contest.
Another trainer absent from the meeting was Jim Bolger however, he kept up his impressive strike rate at the venue by recording a brace courtesy of Mandatario and Wexford Opera. The Manduro colt Mandatario went into many a notebook when he overcame an unfavourable draw to land the opening 2-year-old maiden over a mile in the hands of Kevin Manning.
After breaking smartly Mandatario was able to command a decent position early on, Manning sent him to the front at the two furlong marker and he showed plenty of resolve to land the spoils by a short head from Kerkeni. This must go down as a highly respectable performance in what was generally regarded as being a competive contest.
Ger Flynn representing the Bolger year revealed that this is a fine big horse that has always shown plenty of potential. He will probably have another outing before going into quarters and on this evidence he looks every bit as good as Trading Leather who took the event a year ago.
There were a few hard luck stories in the race most notably that of the fifth placed Belisarius, unfancied the Montjeu colt was beginning to run on from the rear when he was hampered and almost brought down a furlong out. One thing is for sure he will not be a 12/1 chance when he next appears.
Wexford Opera has been expensive to follow but he finally got his head in front when taking the seven furlong maiden for 3& 4yo’s to complete the Bolger/Manning double. Johnnie Murtagh’s mount Like A Diamond was all the rage here but after flattering early in the straight he dropped away and had to be content with third place.
In contrast Wexford Opera made every post a winning one and found plenty when it was needed to see off the challenge of High Net Worth by just over a length. when this pair last crosses swords at Down Royal it was the latter that came out on top but different riding tactics helped to turn the tables on this occasion.
Feature race of the afternoon was the Group3 Denny Cordell Laverack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes over an extended mile and it went for export as the Sir Michael Stout trained Mango Diva recorded a comfortable enough success.
Partnered by Johnnie Murtagh the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor which was a Listed winner on her previous outing raced behind the leaders early on. Murtagh elected to strike for home two furlongs out and Mango Dive responded well to hit the wire a length to the good over the Andy Oliver runner Uleavemebreathless.
The winner which has shown a reluctance to load on occasions in well related and now that she has a Group3 on her CV she is a valuable asset as a broodmare.
Chris Hayes is currently riding like a man inspired but he had lady luck on his side when getting Sretaw home a narrow winner of the first division of the 47-65 handicap. Stone last turning for home and going nowhere the four year old suddenly found a gap on the rail.
She availed of the pace and picked up well to lead well inside the final furlong to take the money by a length and a quarter from Maal. ‘I think I should buy a lotto ticket,’ was the winning riders remark after the race as he was planning his excuses before the home straight but decided to stick to the rail. The decision proved to be an inspired one.
Donal Kinsella made the long journey from Dunleer worthwhile when he saddled King Of Oriel to capture the mile apprentice handicap under Marc Monaghan. Coming from of the pace to lead entering the last furlong, King Of Oriel stayed on doggedly to defeat Carenza by threeparts of a length.
There was slight controversy before the start of this race as the Jim Bolger representative Scelig was withdrawn because she was not wearing the blinkers in which she was declared.