The Willie Mullins-trained Daisy’s Gift (ridden by Paul Townend) edges ahead of Slowmotion (Jody McGarvey) to win The Charleville Chase EBF Mares Novice Chase at Limerick on Sunday.
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend were the big winners at Limerick on Sunday where they won both Graded races on the card.
Kate Appleby Shoes, the 6/4 favourite, won the Grade Three Shannon Spray Mares Novice Hurdle in great style, easily seeing off her market rival The Green Lady.
Daisy’s Gift upset 9/10 favourite Slowmotion to take the Grade 2 EBF Mares Novice Chase at odds of 11/2 to complete the brace.
On a good day for the former champion jockey, who had brought his Cheltenham Festival tally to six winners during the week, Townend enjoyed a third winner when he got the Michael Hourigan-trained 11/4 favourite Donegal Tuesday up in the closing stages to win the 2m5f handicap hurdle.
Jody McGarvey landed a double, winning the rated novice hurdle on Niall Madden’s 5/2 chance Fit To Be Tied and the 2m6f maiden hurdle on 7/4 joint-favourite Mon Lino who is trained in Enniscorthy by Paul Nolan.
Skerries trainer Karl Thornton sent out 5/1 chance Paper Lantern to win the 3m handicap chase under Ambrose McCurtin while Jack Kennedy and Gordon Elliott landed the concluding beginners’ chase with 11/4 shot Double Scores.
Five for Elliott in Navan
While not quite matching his exploits at Navan last November, Gordon Elliott saddled five winners at the Meath venue on Sunday.
He had enjoyed six winners at the track on Troytown Day and totally dominated again when taking the first four races and the concluding bumper.
Monbeg Notorious, a 100/30 chance, and Denis O’Regan got the ball rolling in the opening novice hurdle while Davy Russell was in the saddle as 4/7 fav Chirco Vallis won the 2m maiden hurdle.
O’Regan was back in the winners’ enclosure as 4/1 chance Sanibel Island easily won the 2m handicap hurdle. Ruby Walsh partnered Elliott’s fourth winner of the afternoon when A Toi Phil, the 6/5 favourite, won the Grade 2 Webster Cup Chase.
Jamie Codd rounded off another memorable day at Navan for the season’s leading trainer when landing the bumper on 6/4 favourite Minellafordollars.
Eoghan O’Grady and David Splaine took the most valuable race of the meeting when 3/1 chance Mick The Jiver easily won the Grade B novice handicap chase. Fran Flood saddled his third winner when Sunsetstorise readily saw off odds-on favourite Ontopoftheworld to win the 2m1f handicap chase at odds of 13/2.
Irish trainers dominated at the Cheltenham Festival last week and ended the four days with a record 19 winners, comfortably bettering last year’s previous best of 15.
The season’s principal trainers were to the fore, with Gordon Elliott taking the opening two days by storm and Willie Mullins dictating matters on Thursday and Friday.
Both men ended the meeting on six winners, but Elliott was crowned the leading trainer at the Festival for the first time by virtue of the number of second-placed horses.
It was Jessica Harrington who landed the biggest prize of all when Sizing John, her first runner in the race, won the Timico Gold Cup. It was also a first success in the week’s feature for Robbie Power. The duo shared three winners over the four days - Harrington is now the winning-most female trainer at the Cheltenham Festival with 11 winners.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Kennedy enjoyed his first taste of Cheltenham Festival glory as did riders Lisa O’Neill and J.J. Slevin. Tully East gave trainer Alan Fleming a first Festival winner while Pat Kelly gained his second.
Success for Slevin
J.J. Slevin added to his first success at the Cheltenham Festival when partnering the Ray Hackett-trained Tidy Zag to victory in the 2m handicap hurdle at Limerick on Saturday.
A day after landing the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle on the Gordon Elliott-trained Champagne Classic, Slevin brought the 11/4 chance home a clear winner, the first of two at the meeting for the Nenagh trainer.
Hackett also landed the winners’ bumper when 5/4 chance Crackerdancer made all the running under Tommy Brett to beat 9/10 favourite Hardline in great style.
Joseph O’Brien won the first of two bumpers on the card when the Tom Hamilton-ridden 11/1 chance Shady Operator held off Elliott’s Stooshie by a neck.
The father and son team of Eamonn and Eoin O’Connell took the 3m handicap hurdle with Be My Vinnie who just got up in the dying strides to pip The Church Gate by a head.
Racing began with a surprise result in the mares maiden hurdle which went to 25/1 shot Mary Frances who was ridden for Burnchurch trainer Martin Hassett by Sean Flanagan.
Prince Charmin’ and Bold Emperor were easier winners to find. The former took the conditions’ hurdle for Tony Martin and Eamonn Corbett at odds of 11/10 favourite despite mistakes at the final two flights while 6/4 favourite Bold Emperor won the maiden hurdle for Stamullen trainer John McConnell and David Mullins.
Amateur rider Harley Dunne had his claim reduced to 5lbs after he rode two winners at Wexford on St Patrick’s Day.
His first double on the racecourse proper came about when he landed the rated hurdle on 7/1 shot Crosshue Boy for Sean Doyle and the bumper on the Peter Croke’s 20/1 shot Vanellope.
Another locally-trained winner was 16/1 shot Delface who won the opening four-year-old maiden hurdle for Liz Doyle and Brian O’Connell. O’Connell helped himself to a second winner when taking the novice handicap hurdle on 14/1 chance Jefferson Davis for Mooncoin trainer Eoin Doyle.
Katie O’Farrell partnered 8/1 chance The Paparrazi Kid to win the veterans handicap chase for Willie Mullins who was also responsible for the third-placed The Crafty Butcher, the 7/2 favourite.
Arthur Moore and Jody McGarvey won the 2m maiden hurdle with 5/2 chance Crossed My Mind while Newmarket-On-Fergus trainer Aengus King and Andrew Ring took the novice handicap chase with Capture The Drame at odds of 4/1.
Kildare jockey Conor Brassil enjoyed the second double of his career at Down Royal on St Patrick’s Day. He celebrated a new job with Gordon Elliott when landing the featured Daily Mirror Chase on the leading trainer’s 6/5 favourite Roi Des Francs having earlier partnered 11/4 chance Geneva Barracks to a most fortunate success in the opening maiden hurdle for his father Martin.
Clane trainer Shane Nolan and Barry Browne combined to win the opportunity handicap hurdle with 7/1 chance L’Attesa and there was further success for the county when Jessica Harrington landed the rated novice chase with the Mark Bolger-ridden 5/1 shot Bright Tomorrow.
Noel McParlan was the first of three amateur riders to partner a winner on the card when taking the 2m6f handicap hurdle on Tyrrell’s Success, a 7/1 winner for local trainer Aaron Stronge. Declan Lavery and David Christie won the hunters’ chase with 5/4 favourite Maple Mons while Danny Benson and Leighlinbridge trainer Pat Fahy took the bumper with 7/1 chance Dazzling Sarah.
Teenager Gavin Ryan rode his first winner when taking the 12f handicap on the Jim Bolger-trained Locus Standi at Dundalk on Thursday.
The 16-year-old from Killenaule brought the 9/2 chance home a comfortable winner on his debut ride. Shane Foley rode three winners on the card culminating in a success for the well-supported Shabra Emperor who won the 7f handicap at odds of 9/1 for Anthony McCann.
Foley had earlier shared a double with trainer Michael Halford, the pair taking the 8f median auction race with 5/4 favourite Vincy and another 7f handicap on 11/4 favourite Shannon Soul.
Hes Our Music bounced back to form when taking the claiming race at odds of 3/1 for Dick Donohoe and Denis Linehan and another apprentice on the mark was Ross Coakley who partnered the Richard O’Brien-trained 7/2 favourite Khabaray to win the 8f handicap.
More senior riders to visit the winners’ enclosure were Kevin Manning and Wayne Lordan. Manning initiated a double for Jim Bolger when winning a 12f handicap on 5/1 shot Mainicin while Lordan teamed up with Pat Martin to win the 8f handicap with 9/2 chance Lady Rosebud.
Tomorrow (Thursday): Cork (First Race 3pm). Friday: Dundalk (6pm). Saturday: Thurles (2.10pm). Sunday: Naas (2.10pm), Downpatrick (2.20pm).