MAIKE MAGNUSSEN clearly has her string in top form at present as she enjoyed her first four-year-old maiden victory at Tattersalls on a card that was hit by delays which resulted in the fixture finishing a full 35 minutes later than scheduled.

Saladins Son (4/1 - 5/1), her representative in the four-year-old geldings’ maiden, was a rare runner of late in the pointing sphere by the former Anngrove Stud resident stallion Tobougg, and turning into straight Thomas Westropp-Bennett’s homebred still had two rivals to overhaul.

However, he belied his inexperience by gamely hitting top gear on the approach to the last and pulling clear of Parade Away on the run-in to inflict a rare defeat of late in this division on a Donnchadh Doyle-trained runner.

“I am getting the hang of it,” quipped Magnussen after the two-and-a-half-length victory supplied her with her third victory of the autumn from just four runners.

“I am very happy with that performance, he won well there and will be sold now. Thomas is a very good owner of mine and I am delighted for him.”

Fittingly her latest victory was recorded on the same afternoon that the Listed Bill Harney Memorial Novice Hurdle ran at Thurles in honour of the former Tipperary trainer, with Mangussen now operating out of his Templemore yard.


Former champion under-21 rider Ben Harvey was in action on that Thurles card on what was his first day within the professional ranks, which meant he missed out on the impressive all-the-way victory of his father Willie’s Insurrection (5/1) in the five-year-old geldings’ maiden.

The Getaway gelding had been Harvey’s final mount in the pointing sphere when getting no further than the second at Borris House a week earlier, but the horse that he had purchased for €8,500 in the sales complex adjoining the track, wasted no time in providing his connections with swift compensation.

Making all under Harry Swan, he had victory sewn-up early in the home straight to cross the line 20 lengths clear of Johnny Dogs.

“Unfortunately he didn’t look at what he was doing in Borris last week and galloped straight through the fence,” the winning owner and handler reporter. “We do think he is a very nice horse, and he had done some lovely bits of work during the week. I will have to speak to Ben and we will make a decision on what we do next.”


Dara McGill currently leads the way in the under-21 standings as he bids to emulate Harvey’s 2020 title victory, and he moved onto the seven-winner mark for the season with the victory of Northern Reel (3/1 - 5/1) in the four-year-old mares’ maiden.

The daughter of Jet Away had come a cropper in each of her opening efforts, but she made amends when coming out the better of a tight tussle to the last with Desperado Genie.

Warren Ewing’s white-faced bay ultimately came home four lengths clear, surviving a stewards’ enquiry in the process, and she will now be sold.

Stafford gets off to a flying start

SEAN Stafford could scarcely have enjoyed a better start to his career in the saddle, as the victory of Rose Of Kalanisi (6/1 - 6/4 favourite) in the five-year-old mares’ maiden was not only his first winner, but it was also his first competitive ride.

A nephew of Oldtown trainer Paul Stafford, the 17-year-old was sporting the colours of his grandfather Thomas aboard the Kalanisi mare.

She had offered promise on her return to the sphere when fourth at Lingstown in November, and having travelled strongly for much of the journey she gallantly outbattled Gordon Elliott’s Visible Attraction by a neck.

“It is great how that has turned out, you couldn’t have planned that, it is fantastic,” the winning handler said.

“We thought that she had to have a great chance after her run the last day. She will go back to the track, I was running her here for Sean as he helps me out and has just got his licence. He is a great kid.”


It also proved to be a day to remember for Ivan Ryan as he enjoyed a breakthrough first success of his own aboard the Robert Keane-owned Lilly’s Girl (6/1 - 8/1) in the older maiden for novice riders.

The six-year-old had got no further than the first on her debut at Tyrella in March, and she returned to the pointing fields following five unsuccessful outings on the track.

That experience did stand to her as she powered seven lengths clear of Clashabreeda to credit Ryan with his initial winner.

The 18-year-old is from a family steeped in equestrian pursuits with his parents Kieran and Máiréad having competed internationally in eventing, while his twin brother James is an apprentice jockey.

“Robbie is a great owner to have in the yard, he has been with Dermot a good while,” Colm Hand, representing absent winning handler Dermot McLaughlin said, before adding that the six-year-old would likely return to the track in the future.

Gruber grabs first success

HANS Gruber (5/1 - 2/1) looks to be a good addition to Ian Donoghue’s Tankardstown stable after the six-year-old, who had chased home the subsequent Grade 1 winner Three Stripe Life in a maiden hurdle on his penultimate start, opened his account in the winners of one.

Making his debut for Donoghue having been bought for £8,000 in September, the Kayf Tara gelding justified market support under Declan Lavery to defeat a back-to-form Aghmorough Bridge by six lengths.

“Puppy [Robert Power] had said to us that he had plenty of ability,” Donoghue said of the Matthew Roggers-owned bay.

“He can be hard on himself so we have just been tipping away and we were using this to get him ready to go back to the track. For a small horse, he is savage to jump a fence.

“Joey Dunne would have ridden the horse but he had to leave to ride in the bumper at Thurles.

“I am disappointed for him as he is a big help to us in the yard and it would have been great to give him a winner.”

Horse to Follow


Genie (C.M. Collins): This daughter of Conduit lost her chance when hampered approaching the final fence and should swiftly make amends.