IT would take a lot to lure Dromore veterinary surgeon Callie Berry away from home and her practice during the breeding season but daughter Susie’s debut in the Defender Kentucky three-day event in Lexington is one occasion Callie could not miss.

England-based Susie is riding the 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Clever Trick in whom she shares ownership with Anne Marling and Sue Wilkinson and with whom she was on the fourth-placed Irish team in last August’s European eventing championships in France.

She rode her dressage test on Thursday and is due to leave the cross-country start box at 1.42pm local time today.

Clever Trick is by the Ballinglen Stud-based Financial Reward, the winner of a flat race, two hurdle races and two chases (including one at Grade 2 level) when in the care of Willie Mullins.

The bay son of Fruits Of Love is largely ignored by thoroughbred breeders but his second runner, Cloonainra, proved to be his second winner when landing a five and six-year-old mares’ maiden recently at Ballycrystal.

Among the many Irish-bred horses competing in the five-star event this weekend is the Oliver Townend-ridden Cooley Rosalent, the 10-year-old ISH mare by Valent who was bred by Woods Rosbotham out of his seven-time track winner Bellaney Jewel (by Rosalier).

Susie was credited with breeding a track winner at Kempton on Monday when the six-year-old gelding Bhaloo (Sageburg – Feldaline, by Presenting) landed the opening two-mile, five-furlong novices’ hurdle for the Nicky Henderson yard.

Harley on target again

DONEGAL-born Martin Harley went a long time between wins in Australia before last Saturday and then he hit the scoreboard again on Thursday.

The first success came in the Listed AUS$160,000 Ascot Handicap over 1,000 metres at Eagle Farm where he partnered the Robert Heathcote-trained The Big Goodbye to victory, while his Thursday win came in the 1,400m three-year-old handicap at The Sunshine Coast on the Bevan Laming-trained Grey Ice.

Other Donegal natives who returned to the No 1 spot in the past eight days or so were Oisin Orr who, last Thursday week, rode a winner for Dominic Ffrench Davis at Ripon and one for Lucinda Russell at Wolverhampton on Tuesday, and Dylan Browne McMonagle who landed a quickfire double for his boss Joseph O’Brien at the Curragh on Sunday and moved on to the 18-win mark when scoring at Gowran on Tuesday.

In the same time period, wins on the flat were also recorded by Patsy Cosgrave and Paddy Mathers at Brighton and Nottingham respectively on Saturday.

Over jumps

Over jumps in Britain, Derek Fox won on Friday at Ayr where Danny McMenamin gave the Ann Hamilton-trained Tommy’s Oscar a brilliant ride to land the opening extended two-mile premier handicap chase the following afternoon when Brian Hughes partnered a winner at Bangor.

McMenamin was on the mark again at Hexham on Monday, while on Wednesday there were wins for Hughes and Fox at Perth and one for Caoilin Quinn at Taunton.

At home, Simon Torrens recorded a double on Friday last at Ballinrobe where the second of these was the J.J. Leckey-owned Fame And Glory gelding Game And Glory; the Omagh jockey notched up his 23rd win of the season on Sunday at Tramore where Leckey’s colours were again carried to victory but, on this occasion, by a different jockey. Sam Ewing partnered his 16th winner of the campaign when Pinkerton, who is owned by Philip Polly, justified favouritism in the extended two-mile beginners’ chase at Tipperary on Tuesday.

At the same meeting the concluding bumper was won by the Willie Mullins-trained newcomer Not Negotiable.

The 2/7 favourite is owned by Randox’s Peter FitzGerald who bred the five-year-old Kapgarde mare out of the unraced Cool La Mag (by Silver Frost) who is dam of a previous winner in Imperial Mag (also by Kapgarde).


On Monday, Mullins sent out his first winner at Ffos Las where the two and a half mile novices’ handicap hurdle was won by the Danny Doran-bred six-year-old gelding Valens Bruyee (Sageburg – The Right Thing, by Generous) who was recording his second success. The Rebecca Curtis-trained bay, who is the second foal, and first runner, out of his unraced dam, spent some time in the care of Warren Ewing.

On the flat, the seven-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton on Tuesday was won by the Brian Kennedy-bred three-year-old gelding Interestnpenalties (Kodiac – Guajira, by Mtoto). The Tony Carroll-trained bay is the ninth of 10 recorded foals, and the fourth winner, out of his dam, the best to date being the multiple winning blacktype performer Gabrial (by Dark Angel).

Track winner for Team Torrens

THERE were some very close finishes at the Curragh on Sunday, the first coming in the six-furlong maiden where the Ross O’Sullivan-trained Follow Me, a 22/1 shot who was making his Irish debut, saw off the 7/4 favourite Eclipse Emerald and Kortez Bay (6/1) by half a length.

The three-year-old Shalaa colt now carries the colours of Donegal native Amanda Torrens whose equestrian interests range from racing to show ponies.

She is currently chair of the North Western Area of the Irish Pony Society but chances are she won’t be at the Cavan Equestrian Centre this weekend for the Northern Ireland Festival, where Team Torrens have a lot of ponies entered, but will be going racing instead. (See also the Owner column page 6).

There were small margins between the first three home in the concluding six-furlong handicap as honours went to Redshore City, getting off the mark on his third run for Natalia Lupini who had given him two outings at Dundalk last month. The four-year-old Gutaifan gelding is owned by Mark Devlin.

The Stuart Crawford yard was rewarded for yet another raid on Scottish tracks when Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s Lily Du Berlais landed the two-mile mares’ maiden hurdle at Ayr last Friday.

The winner of bumpers at Perth and Leopardstown in July 2021 and February 2022, the lightly-raced eight-year-old Shirocco bay had some excellent placed form over hurdles going into Friday’s race where she was sent off as a 5/2 chance to score under J.J. Slevin.

Imperial Saint, a graduate of the Crawford yard, won at Ffos Las on Monday while other horses who were formerly in the care of northern trainers and have scored on the track recently were Bleu De Vassy (ex-Patrick Turley) at Clonmel last Thursday week, Favori De Champdou (ex-Warren Ewing) at Limerick on Friday, Jazz De Cotte (ex-Gerald Quinn) at Ayr on Saturday, Jerrysback (ex-Colin McKeever) at Hexham on Monday and Taxus Baccata (ex-Brian Hamilton) at Uttoxeter on Wednesday.

Rock justifies favouritism

THE Conduit gelding Eagles Rock recorded his second point-to-point success in succession last Saturday at Corbridge where he landed the Level 3 conditions’ race as the 4/6 favourite in the hands of John Dawson.

The Michael Cregan-trained six-year-old was bred by Hugh Suffern out of the Winged Love mare Insanity Of Love, an unraced own-sister to the nine-time winner Perfect Candidate, the six-time winner Lovey Dovey and the dual winner Hidden Horizons.

It was good to see northern handlers winning four of the six races at Loughanmore on Saturday and three of the six at Tattersalls on Sunday. While the younger horses will probably be heading to some of the upcoming sales, the 10-year-old Winged Love gelding Winged Leader, who is trained by David Christie for John Hegarty and Jenny O’Kane, will be bidding to add to his sequence of six wins.

The bay’s nine and a half length success over the Warren Ewing-trained Jay Bee Why in the open at Tattersalls brought up his 19th win between the flags while he also has four hunters’ chase wins to his credit.