Brennan Avoids Marathon

With a twelve race marathon card being decided at Ballydarragh, a number of local trainers and jockeys took the opportunity to travel a little further afield with some considerable success. The United Hunt meeting at Dungourney in Co Cork saw John Paul Brennan join forces with Colman Sweeney to take the Four Year Old Maiden with the Oscar mare Spirit Oscar. This mare owned by Marie Brennan led all the way to win easily. On the same card Myles Sunderland saddled the five year old Vinnie Roe gelding, Bob Ford, to win in the hands of Pat Collins. Bred by Loran Allen, this horse was left in the lead at the last fence following the fall of Rebel Cry. Both of these winners will be seen on the track in the New Year according to connections.  The Louth Foxhound meeting at Tattersalls Farm saw Jamie Codd ride a nice double and retain his lead, now of four, over Derek O’Connor. King Rolfe, a half brother of the former top class mare Feathard Lady gave Codd his first winner when the four year old Kings Theatre horse stayed on well to win. Codd then joined forces with his brother William to win with the 5 year old Pierre gelding, Pierrers Bounty. This horse avoided the casualties at the last to win well in the colours of Thomas Kirwan. While Pat Day saw his seven year old mare Bee Fallon battle on well under Ciaran Murphy to justify a run on the track.

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No Christmas Cheer for Daryl

Daryl Jacob will have a glum face on him this Christmas as he will be on the sidelines following a ten day ban. Jacob, who rode last seasons Aintree Grand National winner, Neptune Collogne to a memorable victory in April was suspended following an incident during the finish of a race at Wincanton on the 6th. Having been adjudged to have missed the finish line and failed to ride his horse out he received a ten day ban which covers the 20th of December up till the 1st of January. This will see him miss the lucrative Christmas meetings including Leopardstown, Kempton and Chepstow. Given his position as second jockey to Ruby Walsh at the powerful Paul Nicholls yard he would have expected to have been in a position to have had a number of good rides. Following an appeal of his suspension during the week Jacob was given no Christmas cheer with his appeal being over ruled and the suspension remaining.

2013 fixtures

It is interesting to explore the compactness of the national hunt season as it reaches its conclusion in the spring time of 2013.  With the Cheltenham Festival taking pride of place from the 12th of March to its culmination of the Gold Cup on the 15th.  A little over two weeks later sees the Irish Grand National being held on Easter Monday, the 1st of April ,with the Fairyhouse Festival spread over the 3 days from the 31st to the 2nd of April.  Five days later the Aintree Grand National will be held at Liverpool making it a very tight fit for anyone interested in securing the best race for their staying chasers.  Punchestown kicks into action on the 23rd of April a little over two and a half weeks following the conclusion of the Aintree meeting. With a five week gap between Cheltenham and Punchestown looking like a good idea they must impact negatively on Fairyhouse and Aintree who could well be vying for a similar type of Championship horse.

Codd Leads the Way

Jamie Codd has had a very good start to his 2012/13 season with the Mayglass man leading the riders table with 17 winners closely followed by the reigning champion Derek O’Connor with 15 and MJ O’Connor squeezing Barry O’Neill out of 3rd place on the 10 winner mark.  Codd is travelling the length and breadth of the country to secure his winning rides.  In Loughanmore in the North on the 1st of December Codd joined forces with Ross O’Sullivan when winning with Pocketfullapennies.  This son of Oscar got a great ride from Codd to shade the finish on the line.  Codds next trip was to the Tipperary Foxhounds meeting at Lisronagh, here he joined forces with Virginia Considine to win on Isaacstown Lad. Codd made all the running on this 5 year old son of Milan to win comfortably.  Colin Motherway has long since given up the quest of winning a national title so his mounts these days always look like they have a chance of winning.  He was seen to great effect on Robin Victoria at Ballindenisk on the 2nd with the 6 year old Old Vic mare making a renewed challenge to her maiden race.

Sales update

Brightwells held a breeze up and HIT sale at Cheltenham at the November festival meeting.  It had a really strong local interest when Need To Talk trained by Davidstown based Alan Dobbs who had won a point to point at Ballinboola earlier in the month was sold for 230,000 sterling.  Dobbs celebrated his first winner with this horse at this meeting so he must have been really chuffed to be involved with this sale. The 4 year old son of Kings Theatre has now moved to the British yard of Phillip Hobbs, from Dobbs to a Hobbs and it only cost 230,000 !.  Denis Murphy must also have been pleased to get 85,000 sterling for his Heron Island 4 year old Sail By The Sea who was also purchased by Roger Brookhouse.

Lamb on the Menu

With all local eyes very firmly on the Lingstown meeting Sean Finn sent Vinnieslittle Lamb to Boulta in West Waterford.  Booking the reigning national jockey champion Derek O’Connor, Finns decision was justified when the 4 year old Vinnie Roe mare won the second division of the Mares maiden.  Bred by the intrepid Lorcan Allen and owned by a syndicate based in North Wexford under the banner of the Morris Syndicate, this mare stayed on well to indicate strong hopes for the future.  All roads next week will lead to Ballydarragh where the Island Hunt meeting will be staged on the land of the Kenny family.  With this meeting being one of three in the country it’s going to be a busy day for horses, jockeys and owners as they try to select the best venue for a run. The ground at Ballydarragh won’t be any worse than soft so that will make up the minds of many mudlarks who require heavier conditions.