FIRST cousins Joseph O’Brien and Hugh Horgan teamed up to record a double at Dundalk on Wednesday with Behind Enemy Lines the highlight of proceedings on the afternoon card.
The son of Sioux Nation went to post a well backed even-money shot (5/2 in morning) in the six-furlong maiden and ran out an impressive winner. Horgan settled behind the leaders before sending his mount to the front over a furlong from home. He soon settled matters, going on to post a comprehensive almost five-length victory in the colours of Justin Casse.
Assistant trainer Brendan Powell said afterwards: “Joseph liked him when he went to the Curragh (finished ninth on his debut) but he’s a big horse, he was quite weak and the ground was tacky. He just got a bit lost. Now he’s only starting to mature.
“It might not have been the greatest race in the world but he was impressive. He has a lovely action and for a big horse he has got plenty of speed as well. Six furlongs is good for him and there is no reason why he wouldn’t stay further. I think he could be half decent.”
Genuine and tough
Capuchinero had initiated the brace when taking the seven-furlong claimer a couple of races earlier. The Holy Roman Emperor filly was produced to lead over a furlong out and went on to post a length success over Ghumama.
“She’s genuine and tough. Joseph bought her for 13,000gns and she’s won two now,” said Powell.
“They are a syndicate (Thoroughbred Racing) and horses like that have to move on as they’ve got a load of two-year-olds now.”
The winner was subsequently claimed for €15,000 by John Keogh to be trained by Seamus Fahey.
CHEERS Again was all the rage to strike again at Dundalk in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Apprentice Handicap and did the job in some style under Jack Cleary. The Paul Flynn-trained gelding had opened his account with a cosy win at the track last month and was a well-backed 5/6 favourite to defy a 16lb hike.
John Eastwood’s four-year-old travelled well to lead shortly after the two pole and went clear over a furlong out to post a comprehensive four-length win.
“He won again but I was hoping to stay below 70. He won’t run again until the turf. I had a plan in mind but I’ll have to change it now!” said Flynn. “He was going to go to Leopardstown, as I think he’ll love it there, but he’ll have to go for a different race now. He’s a big horse and he’ll improve again, he could be a good horse.”
Connections are also hoping Mehman can develop further after he chased down stablemate Primo Uomo in the opening five-furlong handicap. Ger O’Leary’s gelding was the subject of a substantial gamble (as big as 40/1 in the morning into 3/1 favourite) and travelled with eye-catching ease down the straight. He picked up well, under Mark Enright, to grab Primo Uomo in the closing stages and record a neck victory.
“I really love this horse,” said assistant Adrian Joyce afterwards. “He shows a lot of class and speed and I’d say he’s still a big, raw weak horse. He could be better than this grade. It’s great to get a winner at the first meeting back. He’s a nice horse and we’ll look forward to him.
“Poor old Primo ran his heart out as well and was just unlucky to have that lad in the race.”
Where R U Now Bob was another winner that attracted support on the card when claiming the mile handicap for three-year-olds.
Roger Sweeney’s charge (backed from 13/2 into 10/3 favourite) led early in the straight, under Leigh Roche, and kept on gamely to record nigh on a length win over Press Play.
“He was tough and stuck his head in front. He’ll probably come back here again for something,” said the winning owner/trainer.
ADO McGuinness’s decision to ‘take a punt’ on Hightimeyouwon at the sales paid off when the Garswood gelding bounced back to winning ways in the seven-furlong handicap. Cian MacRedmond produced the 9/2 shot to lead inside the final furlong and the Shamrock Thoroughbreds-owned gelding held the late run of stablemate Hodd’s Girl by almost a length.
“We were drawn very wide so we put a visor on him to try and make him go forward early doors, which did help and I think that’s what won it for him,” said McGuinness. “He’s a huge big horse, a smashing horse, and I’d say he’ll be better on the turf.
“We were trying to get a win with him because he had run so well. He’ll probably go on a break now. We might look at the all-weather finals in Lingfield or maybe wait for the grass.”
THE two divisions of the concluding mile-and-a-half handicap went to big-priced horses. Lightly raced seven-year-old Hinemoa came good for owner Frank McNulty and trainer Mark Cahill in the first heat at odds of 25/1. Alan Persse disputed early on her and regained that lead in the straight as she recorded a game head victory over Angel In The Sky.
“She stays well and we always said she wanted a mile and a half plus,” said Cahill. “This mare always showed us a bit at home but used to get upset when she came to the races.
“Since she’s come back this time she seems to have settled down. We might come back for a two-mile race on Friday week.”
Bits and pieces
Mark Fahey’s Bambeano was sent to post 40/1 before claiming the finale under Jack Kearney. The French Navy mare came late to pip Gracesolution and record a neck success.
“She has bits and pieces of form over hurdles and in bumpers. We were banging our heads a little bit so we said we’d try her here,” said Fahey. “She did it well and we’ll keep her up here for the winter. She could go back jumping in the summer time but she’d want very quick ground.”