A SECOND consecutive century of winners in an Irish flat season looks a mere formality for Joseph O’Brien who made it 98 victories for the campaign courtesy of a double which began with the juvenile Rubio Draco in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.
On testing ground, the Fast Company colt looked quite at home on his third start as he stepped forward from an encouraging third to Starry Heavens at the Curragh just over a fortnight previously.
The Thoroughbred Racing Syndicate-owned 3/1 chance was travelling very nicely for Declan McDonogh early in the straight and asserted in good style to strike the front approaching the final furlong. He soon held a useful lead which he maintained to the line to defeat Gunsight by a length and a half.
“He did it nicely and properly and I thought he quickened well a furlong and a half out when I asked him. He handled the ground well and I was impressed with him,” declared Declan McDonogh.
Clemmie C, who was also ridden by Declan McDonogh, brought up the O’Brien double in the fillies maiden over a mile.
This 82-rated daughter of Churchill was having just her third start of the season and took full advantage of her easiest assignment to date in a race where she faced just five rivals.
She got to the front quite comfortably inside the final quarter of a mile and had something to spare in reaching the line a length and a quarter ahead of Lizzy’s Filly.
“Declan said she travelled sweetly. He said once he kicked, she was never going to stop. If you go back to her first run (second to History at Gowran) it was a great run. Hopefully, she might go and follow up,” remarked the trainer’s representative Brendan Powell.
Tom Mullins has had to be patient with Dazzling Spirit (8/1) but that filly has come good for him this autumn and made it two wins from her last three outings in the second division of the 47-65 rated mile handicap.
Jamie Powell was once again on board the Mullins-owned four-year-old who swept to the front on the outer with over a furlong to run and got home by three-parts of a length from Newgirlintown.
FRESH from notching up the first pattern race success of his career at the Curragh on Saturday, Mikey Sheehy added to his haul for the season aboard the 40/1 chance Your Honor in the second division of the three-year-old 47-65 rated 11-furlong handicap.
The Albert Conneally-owned and bred son of Lawman produced a really game effort from the front as he was being pressed for the lead by Chatterbox from fully three furlongs out.
To his credit, the James Nash inmate was unwavering and after losing the lead late on he rallied splendidly to get back up and score by a neck.
“He wants soft ground and he stays. He’ll be a beautiful jumps horse. He might have another run on the flat but I’m looking forward to him going hurdling,” reported Nash.
Off the mark
The first division of that three-year-old handicap went to the Andy Slattery-trained Apologise who was getting off the mark at the fourth attempt and on his handicap debut. The son of Fascinating Rock was returned the 4/1 joint favourite as he stepped beyond 10 furlongs for the first time and he produced a nice effort.
He stuck close to the pace for Andy Slattery junior and got on top early in the straight before reaching the line a length and a quarter ahead of Bayou Belle. This was the first time that Slattery junior has sported the colours of his mother, Mary, to victory.
“We are hoping he will make a nice hurdle horse as he goes on soft. We haven’t schooled him as we were hoping to get that win out of the way,” declared the trainer whose 22 winner haul for the season is a career best.
After struggling in a handicap at Dundalk on Friday evening, Skontonovski (8/1) bounced back to form at the other end of the country in the first division of the 47-65 rated mile handicap.
The Adrian McGuinness-trained and Mark Devlin-owned gelding pounced for Ronan Whelan inside the final furlong to record the sixth win of his career.
Donohoe makes it Official as Star shines
THE year at Killarney drew to a close with a winner for Dick Donohoe and Seamie Heffernan as Star Official (5/1) opened his account on the track in the 47-65 rated 11-furlong handicap.
Formerly a barrier trial winner who began his career with a third in a Curragh maiden won by Santa Barbara, Star Official showed signs that he could be on the cusp of a first win when he was placed at Bellewstown lately and he recorded a convincing success here.
He was travelling easily on the heels of the leaders entering the last couple of furlongs and quickened up readily to defeat Sil Ver Klass by two and a quarter lengths.
The winner is owned by Donohoe and Donal Doyle and was picked up for €7,000 from a Gowran claimer in May.
The first division of that handicap went to John McConnell and Donagh O’Connor as Noble Crusade built on an encouraging third at Navan last week.
The 4/1 chance was always nicely placed through the race and didn’t have to work too hard to take over in front inside the last quarter of a mile before eventually reaching the line two lengths ahead of Mr Mills.
The No More After Hours Syndicate-owned winner will now go hurdling after adding this race to the two victories he recorded in Britain last season.