ADO McGuinness gave stable apprentice Cian MacRedmond two winners on board horses owned by Shamrock Thoroughbreds at Dundalk on Wednesday evening, setting himself up well for a busy weekend.
Harry’s Bar got the ball rolling in the opener when making a winning return on home soil.
The seven-year-old had a fruitless trip to Dubai early this year but did the job nicely on his return to the Polytrack. MacRedmond produced the 3/1 shot to lead inside the final furlong and record a half-length win over the fast-finishing Ajax Tavern.
Assistant trainer Stephen Thorne said: “This horse is just off the plane from Dubai and had a luckless trip out there but he is an all-weather specialist. We’ve got the conditions race at Newcastle on Good Friday as the main plan.”
Connections completed their brace in the penultimate race on the card when Form Of Praise stayed on well to get up close home in the seven-furlong handicap.
The 11/1 shot pipped Cherry Bloom late on to record a half-length victory and Thorne commented: “Double tonight and we are over the moon. She’s a tough filly. We changed tactics and it worked, the cheekpieces definitely helped her.”
THE three-year-old conditions event looked a decent contest on paper but Unconquerable Keen proved much too good for his rivals on his return to action.
The Michael Halford-trained gelding was soon in front in the six-furlong contest and had his rivals at work early in the straight.
Mikey Sheehy asked him to quicken away inside the final furlong to record a cosy two-and-a-quarter-length win in the colours of Nicky Hartery.
“I just thought he wintered really well. I had been pleased with his work and he was ready to start,” said Halford. “I think there is a lot more to come from him. He looks like a stakes horse and will make into one anyway.”
Andrew McNamara, successful at Clonmel with Scarpeta the previous day, was back in the winners enclosure thanks to a game effort from Very Excellent in the Irishinjuredjockeys.com Handicap.
Wesley Joyce was soon prominent on the 9/2 joint favourite from a wide draw and went on three furlongs from home. The Andrew Heffernan-owned Casamento gelding answered every call down the straight to repel the challenge of Crescent Lake by half a length.
“Wesley is a Limerick man like myself so I have to look after him! He gave him a lovely ride, exactly what we discussed beforehand,” said the winning trainer afterwards.
Dundalk has been a happy hunting ground for James McAuley and Beleaguerment gave him another winner when narrowly getting the verdict in the six-furlong handicap.
Shane Foley came to grab front-runner Brokers Tip close home on the 15/2 shot but he only just held on as Teddy Boy flashed home to join him passing the line.
“Shane hasn’t been riding him the last five or six times and he does get on particularly well with him. He has been unlucky and running into traffic,” said McAuley.
TRAINER Denis Hogan claimed back Fox Leicester after the Dark Angel gelding ran out an easy winner of the 10-furlong claimer on the card.
Daniel King gave the 11/8 favourite a confident ride, producing him to lead under two furlongs out and kicking on before the furlong pole for a four-and-a-half-length win over Intend.
“Fast ground on turf would suit him. He’s nice to look forward to.” commented the young 7lb claimer afterwards.
The runner-up, Intend, was claimed by Pat Martin.
Charlie Moore is hoping to add a few more horses to his string after Coviglia sprang a 40/1 shock on his first start for the Donegal handler.
Dylan Browne McMonagle’s only mount of the night came wide to challenge in the straight and went on over a furlong out to record a length success over Cristal Clere in the concluding mile handicap.
“The owner Andrew Crawford sent him to me. He is going to send me a few, hopefully after this he will!”
Luke Comer has had a fine campaign on the all-weather during the winter series and Dammit made it 13th time lucky when opening his account in the mile-and-a-half handicap.
Chris Hayes got a good run up the inner on the 17/2 shot in the straight as he lunged late to beat Evening Verse by a neck.
Assistant Jim Gorman said: “Good ground is his thing and it will be turf for the rest of the year. We will see where we go with that and what opportunities come up.”