A RETURN to hunters’ chase company is likely now in the offing for the Donnchadh Doyle-handled Er Dancer (3/1 - 4/1) following his likeable triumph in the featured novice riders’ open lightweight at last Sunday’s East Galway Foxhounds’ meeting held at a sunny Stowlin.

Benefitting from a well-judged Alan Harney ride, the now 10-year-old Dragon Dancer gelding took closer order when moving into third early in the home straight as Millie B and Ask D’Man vied for the lead.

With the penultimate obstacle claiming the Adam Feeney-ridden Millie B, Harney’s mount tackled the leading Ask D’Man at the final fence and cleared away in fine style on the level to oblige by four lengths.

“That was a nice run. Alan was excellent on him, he knows him inside out and timed his challenge really well. The horse stepped forward nicely from his last run and we’ll head on for a hunter chase with him now,” reflected Eamonn Doyle of the Monbeg Syndicate-owned bay who was recording the eighth success of his career.

Donnchadh Doyle had earlier to settle for the runner-up berth in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden as the Tom Keating-owned and trained High Dancer (5/1 - 6/1) confirmed the promise of two fine efforts in defeat.

Never far from the lead under Dara McGill, the son of Norse Dancer was engaged in a good duel with Doyle’s newcomer American Jukebox from the second last and sealed the nine-runner contest with a flying leap at the last to carry the day by two lengths.


“This is a horse with plenty of ability that I’ve always liked. He was probably unlucky on his last run when he met interference in the home straight. Hopefully he’ll be sold now,” said Keating of High Dancer who had finished a close fifth behind Life Goes On in Dromahane three weeks previously.

The opening four-year-old mares’ maiden went the way of the O’Connell and Morgan Partnership-owned Bambino Flyer (5/2 - 3/1) who initiated an across-the-card double on the day for her handler Nicky Stokes.

Continuing the excellent run of her sire Jukebox Jury, the Finny Maguire-ridden debutante appeared to capitalise on the fall two out of the leading Red Acres Georgie and ultimately coasted home 40 lengths clear of the only other finisher and favourite Chiroquí Princess.

“This is an extremely green filly, who was just ready to start off today and she’ll improve plenty from that.

We’ll keep her now and race her under rules,” stated Stokes who was later on the mark in Ballindenisk with Beaufort Breeze.

Gauzy battles on well for Pierce

CO Wexford-handler Paul Pierce is in red-hot form at present and he edged closer to doubling his best-ever seasonal tally when sending out first-timer Sir Gauzy (2/1 co-favourite) to record a battling success in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The always prominent Sir Gauzy, a towering son of My Dream Boat, jumped the penultimate obstacle in unison with Brown Boots only for Maike Magnussen’s charge to pitch badly on landing and eventually unship Dara McGill.

Thereafter, the €24,000 purchase from the 2022 edition of the Goffs Arkle Sale, bravely held-on up the short run-in to repel the fast-finishing Tech That by a diminishing neck.

It’s now probable that the Blackhall Stables Partnership-owned winner, the first-produce of Paul and Claire Rooney’s five-time winner My Little Cracker, will be offered up at an upcoming sale.

Tech That’s rider Derek O’Connor didn’t leave the Co Galway venue empty-handed for he had claimed the preceding five-year-old and upwards mares’ maiden aboard John Staunton’s Hill Of Scarriff (6/4 - 5/2 co-favourite).

Making her debut, the daughter of Schiaparelli came widest up the home straight and having gained the upper hand over the Alan Donoghue-handled High As Hope shortly before the final fence, only needed to be kept up to her work on the flat to register a two-and-a-half-length triumph.

“That was a lovely performance first time out. She’s a brilliant jumper with a lovely blend of speed and stamina.

“It was lovely to see her finish her race so well,” enthused the winning rider.

Lake gets Lucky to a first win

CLOUGHJORDAN, Co Tipperary-rider Paul Lake enjoyed an afternoon to savour when partnering the initial winner of his career on the Eamonn O’Donovan-trained, former track performer He Might Be Lucky (6/1 - 8/1) in the closing six-year-old and upwards maiden.

Sent to the head of affairs after just the fourth fence by Lake, the Mamool-sired seven-year-old saw off the persistent effort of favourite Mister Romantic after the penultimate obstacle and was always in control from that juncture to score by two and a half lengths.

“We’ve always had faith in this horse and have been expecting him to do something like that. Thankfully he put it all together today and Paul gave him a lovely ride. We’ll probably go back to the track with him now,” remarked Eamonn O’Donovan of He Might Be Lucky who sports the silks of his father, William.

Horse to Follow

American Jukebox (D. Doyle): Flashy son of Jukebox Jury, half-brother to Grade 2-winner American Mike, gave an excellent account when only beaten two lengths in the maiden. Should develop into a nice track performer.