Get More makes the headlines for Slevin!

The two day July meeting at Wexford got underway on the Friday evening 25th in glorious sunshine on a 7 race all National Hunt card. With the ground good to firm in places it seemed to offer ideal jumping ground for our national hunt horses as the very large attendance enjoyed a good evenings sport with three winning favourites.

The highlight of the evening was the JP McManus sponsored Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase, run over 2 miles 3 furlongs it resulted in a great local win with Shay Slevin’s Kiltrea ,Enniscorthy yard winning with Get More in the colours of Co. Westmeath based Michelle Ryan. With Old Supporter attempting to make all the running under Brian Hayes, Patrick Corbett had the 7 year old Milan horse towards the rear and only came into the reckoning after the second last. With All Fired Up attempting to see off the flattering Imperial Joey , Corbett surprised them all to win at 14/1.

An obviously delighted Slevin family were celebrating with their owner in the winner’s enclosure with the winning trainer taking the time to state “He got a good ride, they stuck at it well, he will improve for this, and we will stay handicapping”. The winning owner Michelle Ryan is an important part of the Slevin operation with 15 horses in training, but she enjoys the sport immensely as it is a good break from her wholesale business which she operates throughout Ireland.

The other two Steeplechase’s on the card all seemed to turn into a bit of a farce however. With the Saltee Islands Handicap Steeplechase in particular seeing only 4 of the original 13 declared finish following 2 late withdrawals. The winner here was Best Value for Michael Darcy with the 7 year old Helissio gelding who has been mixing it over hurdles of late leading all the way to beat Jansboy at 6/1 co favourite. The local hope here Yvonne Latta’s Most Chaste was pulled up by Davy Condon with indications afterwards that the ground was too fast for her. Nagle stated that the plan was to head to Galway for a 3 mile Handicap Hurdle on Sunday. A lot of horses pulled up in this race with only 5 horses still running 6 fences from home putting a question mark over the reliability of the form in my view, but hey a win is a win and Nagle won’t worry !

The Mares Beginners Steeplechase sponsored by Easy Fix Rubber Products saw 13 starters but 4 of them had already left the contest by the 2nd fence with 3 falling at the first including Michael Winters Silver Chief and his Missed Cloud falling at the 2nd. With Ger Fox being injured early in the day, Brian Cawley got a late call up from Denis Hogan to ride Dedoctorsdaughter for the Wildcats Syndicate. This 7 year old Doctor Massini mare bred by John Bowler of Co. Clare (one of the Wildcats Syndicate) was always pretty close to the action. Cawley indicated afterwards “It was a weak race, she was entitled to it, she was fit and healthy beforehand and the others didn’t just get competitive”. Her winning owners from Tipperary and Clare indicated afterwards “She needed good summer ground and we will race on with her”.

Racing opened with the http://www.wexfordraces.ie Maiden Hurdle where Norman Lee saddled the Paul Mullins home bred gelding Bashful Beauty to win under Adrian Heskin. With Hard Fought setting a furious gallop upfront under Paddy Kennedy Heskin didn’t panic and he reeled in the leader before the last and held off Liz Doyle’s Cashofgold. Co. Galway based Lee commented “We fancied him today, he is a good little horse that won a point to point with Jamie Codd. He will go to Galway next week for Friday or Sunday”. This 7 year old High Rise gelding has a nice bit of form to his name and he might be worth keeping on the right side of.

Phelim Byrne provides the restaurant services at the track and he sponsored the 2 Mile 4 Furlong Handicap Hurdle which went to Old Theatre Royal for owner/trainer Lorcan Donnelly, this 9/1 winner was well ridden by Kevin Sexton who jumped off into the lead at flag fall and nobody got past him. Donnelly who is now based in Co. Wicklow is originally from Gorey, Co. Wexford has only 4 horses in training and will send this 9 year old son of Kings Theatre to Galway if he stays sound. This race was always between Old Theatre Royal and Orion’s Might, with that horse falling at the second last leaving the favourite Kinneagh Cross to attempt to reel in the leader but to no avail. Sexton must take credit for a very well judged ride here and he continues to bloom as a 5 pound claimer.

Co. Kilkenny based trainer Thomas Walsh has been coming to Wexford for quite a few years now. Having saddled his first winner at the track in 1959, he saw their home bred Springfield Grey take the Littlewoods Ireland 3 Mile Handicap Hurdle ridden by Shane Crimin. Lar Byrne’s locally trained Key Account was sent off to the front by Martin Ferris and they continued to lead until passed by Springfield Grey who stayed on stoutly to defeat Milan Ridge for Colin Bowe and Patsy Farrell. Walsh and his wife Joan indicated afterwards “This is the only horse we have in at the moment, we took a chance in running him here, but we were confident that he would win if in form”.

The concluding bumper saw a very nice field of 16 mares face the starter with success here going to Co. Waterford based Riche Kiely on Cruisingdownriver for Phillip Fenton. This 4 year old Milan mare had run here in June and built on that promise to take her first race in the colours of Youghal owner/breeder Jerry Russell . Russell father of well known jockey Davy was a little concerned afterwards as the filly had to be dismounted before returning to the winner’s enclosure putting a little dampener to celebrations. Fenton indicated afterwards “We are a little concerned; we will have to bring her home and investigate”. This race was sponsored by the Acquired Brain Injury Ireland Charity which saw a number of notable celebrities playing hurling on the track earlier in the evening, thankfully none of them will be lining out for Wexford in the near future!

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