CHAMPION jockey Colin Keane notched up his second double in three days at Dundalk which he completed on a back-to-form Bowerman who edged a cracking finish to the BetVictor-sponsored conditions race over an extended 10 furlongs.
The Adrian McGuinness stalwart, whose finest hour came when he won in Qatar this time last year, filled the runner-up spot in a handicap here the previous week.
The Total Recall Racing Club-owned eight-year-old got himself into a challenging position early in the straight and showed a commendable will to win over the course of the last furlong to edge out Isle Of Sark by a nose with Summit Star finishing strongly to lie a further half length away in third.
“We’ve had some fun with this horse all over the world. He was a bit sore when he came back last year and it took us a long time to get him back and I think he’ll be competitive this year in some nice handicaps,” said McGuinness who will target his charge at next month’s Irish Lincoln.
Keane was also successful on Ajax Tavern (4/1) in the Willie Buckley Memorial Handicap over six furlongs. Now successful in four of his six starts at Dundalk since the start of December, the James McAuley-owned and trained gelding scored in good style.
He was firmly in charge when he got the better of No Speed Limit to lead over a furlong from home and he reached the line just under two lengths clear of Inflection Point. Premier handicaps could now beckon for the five-year-old who was winning here off a mark of 89 after starting life in Ireland with a mark of 68.
APPRENTICE Jack Kearney saw his claim reduced from 10-7lb after he rode his second winner in three days on Adapt To Dan in the one-mile claimer.
The victorious six-year-old was winning his second race for trainer Mark Fahey as he overcame a slow start to lead over a furlong out and defeat Cedar Rapids by one and three-quarter lengths.
This race was a hive of activity afterwards with the winner being picked up for €10,000 by David Adam to join Lee Smyth. James McAuley secured the runner-up for €12,000, Pat Martin paid €6,000 for the third-placed Stardayz and John McConnell spent €8,000 on the fourth-placed No Patience. Adapt To Dan sported the colours of the Haven’taclue Syndicate.
Miss Cunning springs a surprise
IT was an evening to remember for apprentice Jessica O’Gorman who sprang a 40/1 surprise on Miss Cunning in the 45-65 rated seven-furlong handicap. Now under the care of Clare-based owner-trainer Aengus King, this five-year-old gave her rider a winner from her first ride on the track back in September 2020.
On her debut for the King yard, Miss Cunning was restored to form as she got to the front in the last stride and for good measure the winner was led up by the jockey’s father, Anthony.
“Jessica started off with us riding ponies and that’s how her father Anthony got friendly with me. She wanted to go and progress, but we have all National Hunt horses so they weren’t really suitable,” stated King. “We got her in RACE and then she got into Kevin’s (Prendergast) and she loves it. I’m delighted for her.”
Last season’s champion apprentice Dylan Browne McMonagle got among the winners as El C Wells (12/1) bolted up in the 45-65 rated mile-and-a-half-handicap. The Kevin Bradley-owned daughter of Belardo was the recipient of a masterful waiting ride as she came from last before the turn in to lead over a furlong out and prevail by two and three-quarter lengths with a loose horse happily leaving the winner alone in the closing stages.
This was a deserved success for the winner who had reached the frame in a number of races over the last year.
THE Pat Murphy-trained Craft Irish belied odds of 66/1 by taking second on her debut here in January and she followed that up with a victory in the older horses’ maiden over seven furlongs.
The Adaay filly went off at the appreciably more cramped odds of 4/5 and she got on top over the course of the last furlong for a two-and-a-half-length-triumph over the 66/1 chance Cristal Clere.
Nathan Crosse was on board the J & J Racing Partnership-owned daughter of Adaay. The winner could now be kept under wraps until the turf season gets underway.
There was a really likeable front-running effort on show in the BetVictor Casino Handicap over a mile where Punk Poet (11/2) notched up the fourth success of his career.
Poet pulls away
At various points in the straight it seemed as though Eddie Lynam’s charge was sure to be picked off but he kept pulling out more for Declan McDonogh.
The strongest challenge of all came from Super Over who was disputing the lead over the last 100 yards or so but in a bobbing finish Punk Poet got home by a short head. The winner is owned by the trainer’s wife Aileen.
After losing out by a nose here in mid-January, the likeable Sister Bridget (7/2) get her turn in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden over a mile.
Adrian Murray’s charge, who is owned by Anthony McLoughlin, had run with considerable credit on her first three outings and won.
Gary Halpin committed her to the front early in the straight and the 75-rated daughter of Galileo Gold was unwavering at all stages to defeat Sistine Madonna by a length and a half.