JACK Kennedy registered a double at Limerick’s all-chase card on Friday where the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey partnered winners for his employer Gordon Elliott and trainer Noel Meade.
Kennedy began by winning the Irish Stallion Farms EBF (Mares) Chase on Elliott’s Robcour-owned Say Goodbye (5/2), which got the better of the same owner’s 8/13 favourite Gin On Lime.
Gin On Lime made the running under Rachael Blackmore but was challenged by Say Goodbye entering the home straight. Both bumped when jumping the final two fences but Say Goodbye battled on best for a half-length win.
Afterwards Kennedy said: “She has done it very well again today and did it easily in the end. When you get to the front she can be lairy but once we landed at the back of the last I was confident.
“We were going quicker today, she made an early mistake and was lucky to stand up but it didn’t give her a fright at all and went down and took on the next.
“Rachael’s horse was going left the whole way so jumping the last two fences it was a case of me jumping right and her going left.”
An hour and a half later Kennedy completed his double when steering Siberian Prince (7/4f) to win the Patrickswell Beginners Chase, notching a second success for trainer Noel Meade.
The son of Shirocco, who runs in the colours of owner/breeder Des Donegan, jumped well in scoring by four and a half lengths from True Faith.
“He missed the ditch the first time but jumped great and never put a foot wrong before or after that,” Kennedy said. “I wasn’t sure which side to go of the loose horse but to be fair to the loose one he kept straight and didn’t cause many problems.
“He was entitled to win this after his Tipperary run, where he made a mistake at the second-last, and he did it well. It was a bit too soft for him at Tipperary but he loves that ground.”
The other non-handicap race was the McMahons Builders Providers Beginners Chase which was won by the Cormac Farrell trained, Mary Griffin owned and bred Il Courra, under Irish Grand National-winning jockey Paddy O’Hanlon.
The son of Shantou put in a bold leap at the last which made the difference, as Il Courra (9/2) was all out for a head win over faster-finishing Fakiera.
“It is a perfect update to his pedigree as his half-brother by Mastercraftsman is going to the Derby Sale in a few weeks,” Farrell said.
“He is a lovely honest devil, has won three races now and is on the upgrade. He needed the big jump at the last and gives everything.
“We are going to tip away with him for the summer and later on in October there is a Grade 3 novice chase at Roscommon which we might target to hopefully get blacktype for the family.”
“I was away for the last few days, so thanks to the team at home who do a great job.”
NEPTUNUS Equester was a big-priced winner of the Jim Ryan Racecourse Services Handicap Chase, scoring at 20/1 under bottom weight for trainer Philip Rothwell, jockey Ricky Doyle and owner/breeder Mr Finn.
The son of Doyen was unplaced in two point-to-points and six previous racecourse outings but improved on a recent 44-length defeat at Tramore when scoring by a length and a half from Meehall.
Doyle said: “It was my first time riding him and on form I couldn’t find a reason to say he’d win!
“I rode him to try and be placed but he jumped absolutely super and he is a massive horse. He is probably too big for the likes of Tramore, where he ran the last day, and would prefer a big galloping track and loads of jumping.
“It’s always nice to ride a winner for Philip.”
Racing began with the Broadford Handicap Chase, which was won by 16/1 chance Brog Ahaon, for trainer Moses McCabe, owner/breeder Michael Hanrahan and jockey Simon Torrens.
McCabe reported: “He wants good ground and that is the key to him and Limerick has been lucky for me.
“Jordan Gainford was unfortunate to have missed the ride as he was injured yesterday and Simon Torrens was a good deputy.”
THE Adare Handicap Chase saw a well-supported winner as Mica Malpic scored at 100/30 favourite (from 9/2), for trainer Enda Bolger, jockey Luke Dempsey and owner J.P. McManus.
The French-bred scored readily by three lengths from Bitview Colin and afterwards Bolger said: “He is only five and is learning his trade the whole time. He loves that nice ground and Luke said he locked-on to the bridle after the third last and I was happy where he was coming down the hill.
“We were rated 95 and he’ll go up for winning but today was the plan and he hopefully he will be able to run in a 0-102 the next day.”
Racing concluded with another 20/1 winning outsider as Twilight Girl narrowly landed the Limerick Handicap Chase for jockey Sean Flanagan and trainer Peter Fahey.
“She always wants nice ground and will tip away in those summer chases and could also go back over hurdles as well,” Fahey said.
“She won in Tramore last year, she really stays at it and jumps well. We tried her during the winter but she isn’t big enough for winter fences. Hopefully she will win again during the summer. I’m delighted for her owner Michael Moore.”