The Racing Week That Was 20-9-20


Monday, we start with Seanjohnsilver ran out another massive priced winner in Ireland this season when scoring at 150/1 at Tipperary this afternoon for trainer John McConnell. This has been a feature in Irish racing since the COVID restrictions several massive priced winners. It certainly puts the previous SP system up for debate. One of our Syndicate members Peter Breen was part of a winner at Tipperary as Cracking Name gained a fourth win at  Tipperary. There was a form boost for our own first lady Lottieloveheart as Khafaaq who defeated us by a neck at Galway followed up at Tipperary. Lottieloveheart got four pounds for finishing second to Khafaaq so hopefully, we get some testing ground in October for Lottieloveheart. At Sligo, Benefit Run got a deserved win at for Ross O'Sullivan. At Bath, Montagally was an impressive winner.


Tuesday, only one story. I am afraid it is a sad one as Pat Smullen passed away. The nine-times Irish Champion jockey Pat Smullen has passed away at the age of 43. Pat Smullen, one of the most popular figures in Irish racing, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March of 2018 and while in the midst of battling the disease he helped raise over €2.5 million in vital funds for new equipment and cancer trials to aid in the diagnosis and management of the illness. Pat Smullen captured the hearts of the racing world with his dignity, resilience and most of all positivity as he battled against the odds. Indeed Smullen did much for cancer awareness in the last few years. Pat Smullen leaves behind his wife Frances and their three children Hannah, Patrick and Sarah.

As a rider, Smullen was the man for a big day. A great tactical brain as well as Ice cool under pressure. Pat Smullen was often seen to brilliant effect at Royal Ascot. My abiding memory of Pat Smullen will be kicking on at Galway around the corner for Dermot Weld. Pat Smullen was no big-time Charlie, he often did punters a good turn at Dundalk on a Friday night. At 43 Pat Smullen was taken far too young his memory as well as a legacy will live on.


Wednesday, we start at CorkA Step Too Far continued her amazing progression in sprint handicaps this season by landing her fifth successive race in the featured Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap at Cork. Kieran Cotter’s charge was beaten off a mark of 48 back in June but has now won all five starts since and a rating of 82 couldn’t stop her here at odds of 9/2. It was good news for our members who had a (1pt each way) bet. There was a spectacular debut for our friends at Hilltop. Breakfast Club made a very impressive winning debut for the lads. I was lucky enough to see all the Hilltop horses that came back from the recent sales. I called up to James McCauley on a Saturday morning. Breakfast Club really stood out with a couple of others. I spent a fair bit of time in his box. I really liked him James joked " You are going to try and get this lad into the car". Hopefully, he kicks on the Joe McGrath looks a sensible next target for Breakfast Club. That man Colin Keane maintained his challenge for the Flat jockeys’ championship when completing a double at Cork aboard Curious Bride in division one of the 45-65 rated mile and a half handicap.

Hollie Doyle further strengthened her partnership with owner Imad Al Sagar after steering Majestic Noor to glory in the EBF Stallions John Musker Fillies’ Stakes at Yarmouth. At Sandown, there was a double for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore with Just Fine and My Swallow. The feature race the Fortune stakes went to Posted. This was a tremendous front running ride from William Buick. At Kelso, there was a double for trainer Fergal O'Brien with Kiruna Peak and All Clenched Up


Thursday, we start at NaasWayne Lordan completed a Naas double on Sziget (10/1) in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden. Earlier successful on Giselles Thunder for Gavin Cromwell, Lordan did the steering on Sziget for John Grogan. At Tramore, Call Me Lyreen (4/1) looked very smart on debut for Gordon Elliott. At Pontefract, there was a double for Tim Easterby with Highwaygrey and Garden Oasis. It was only the start of a fantastic day for Tim Easterby who had a treble at Ayr with True Blue Moon, Cassy O and Eclipse De Lunar. At Yarmouth, Bodyline was on target for Sir Mark Prescott.


Friday, we start at Downpatrick. There was a treble for Gordon Elliott with Off Your Rocco, Give Him Time and Fancy Foundations. There was also a winner for Galaxy trainer John McConnell with Itsalongroad. It was the first Friday night meeting for Dundalk of the Friday night series. John McConnell followed up his 12/1 success with Itsalonglongroad at Downpatrick earlier as 20/1 chance Dame Rapide won the finale at Dundalk. The feature race went to Zaffy's Pride for Shane Foley and Jessica Harrington.

At Ayr, there were doubles for Mark Johnston and Richard Fahey. The Johnston winners were Fairmac and Mondain. The Fahey winners came with  Outrun The Storm and Exceptional. The card at Ayr also saw a double for Tim Easterby with Winter Power and Cassy O (the second win in 24 hours). At Newbury, Glorious Journey took the feature race for Charlie Appleby. At Kempton, there was a double for Amy Murphy with Alborkan and Marlborough Sounds.


Saturday, we start at Ayr. Dual Group One winner Addeybb set himself up for a second tilt at next month’s Qipco Champion Stakes with a battling victory in the Jordan Electrics Doonside Cup at Ayr. Nahaarr came from the clouds to claim a last-gasp victory in a thrilling renewal of the QTS Ayr Gold Cup. At Newbury, Elarqam got his career back on track with a front-running victory in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup. Lazuli registered the biggest victory of his career with a battling success in the Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes. Alkumait ran out an impressive winner of the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes.

Colin Keane is firmly in pursuit of leader Shane Foley at the head of the Jockeys' Championship and today completed a treble at Gowran. The horses were Everyhouronthehour, Mr Wendell and TalacreRachael Blackmore doubled up at Navan today when Somptueux ran out a convincing winner of the beginner's chase on the card. Blackmore had also struck on Annexation for the Henry de Bromhead yard in the opener.


Sunday, we start at Listowel who had the first day of the Harvest FestivalGordon Elliott's Longclaw defied top-weight to bring up his hat-trick of juvenile hurdle victories. Barry Connell has had plenty of good winners as an owner but today he made the breakthrough as a trainer with Snake Oil in the bumper at Listowel. Hand In My Pocket made it five winning favourites out of five at Listowel for trainer John McConnell. At Chelmsford, Oh This Is Us was on target for Ryan Moore. At Plumpton, On My Command was on target for Amy Murphy. At Hamilton, Freyja took the feature race for Mark Johnston.