MIKE O’Connor lost his claim at Clonmel on Friday as the 22-year-old jockey completed a double for his employer Henry de Bromhead on a pair of chasing debutants Garde La Peche and Tag Man.

Point-to-Point winner Garde La Peche readily landed the Bulmers Summer BBQ Race Evening Beginners Chase, having raced with the pace before beating Inforapenny by two and a quarter lengths.

Afterwards de Bromhead said: “She had been disappointing over hurdles but that was really good. She loved fences and Mikey gave her a super ride. Chasing is her gig and we’ll kick on from here. I think she’ll keep going for the summer as she seems to like that ground. I’m delighted to get a winner with the Achesons being here.”

Quick-fire double

Half an hour later O’Connor steered de Brohead’s Roger Brookhouse-owned Tag Man (11/10 joint-favourite along with Moonovercloon) to win the three-runner Bulmers Original Novice Chase.

Tag Man made all to hold his market-rival, Moonovercloon, by three-quarters of a length win, with outsider Donacheady Gale finishing a long last.

The successful jockey is an older namesake of predominantly point-to-point-based jockey Mikey O’Connor and following his 60th success, de Bromhead stated: “I’m delighted for Mikey who is a great rider and he is doing really well. He is a massive part of the yard, is a big team player and it is brilliant to see him ride out his claim. He is a really good rider and will get more opportunities.”

Regarding Tag Man, he added: “He was really good, it was a nice way to start over fences and I thought he jumped really well. He was racing against more experienced horses but he has a bit of class. We’ll look for something similar now and he loves that ground.”

Flynn aids Fitzgerald’s double

JOCKEY Shane Fitzgerald completed a double, and having started by riding a winner for trainer Pat Flynn, doubled up for trainer John Ryan, who himself completed a personal double.

Fitzgerald and Flynn combined to land the opening Powerstown Park Beginners Chase with Walnut Beach (7/2), which capitalised on a final fence blunder from Faux Fur to score by three lengths.

Fynn said: “He always runs a nice race but is a devil on the flat as you can’t get him going early in his races. He was left 15 lengths one day at Galway and was only beaten a neck but he throws away races early on. Shane said he wasn’t doing a stroke in front today but that is great and the conditions of the race suited him.”

Queen’s victory

Prior to Fitzgerald completing a double, his ally trainer John Ryan got on the scoresheet and was a relieved man following Barbaha Queen’s (9/2) success in the Bulmers Zero Handicap Chase, which was his first success since January.

Ryan reported: “I’ve had 45 seconds and 14 winners in the last 12 months so it’s been ridiculous! I’ve finished second in good races with nice horses and I had a right bet on a good filly I ran at Kilbeggan but a horse still came and did her.

“Anyway, it is nice get this winner and this is a nice mare. She was entitled to her win after her Limerick run and David Doyle gave her a peach of a ride. Hopefully she can win a few now. David rides work for me on the odd day and lives only four miles from me - that’s his first winner for me.”


Both Ryan and jockey Fitzgerald completed their doubles in the concluding Clonmel Show July 7th Handicap Chase as Kilashee (11/1) led home veteran stablemate Father Jed, to give the returning-to-form Templemore trainer a 1-2.

The winning nine-year-old mare made all, holding patiently-ridden Father Jed by one and a quarter lengths, with Ryan reporting: “It was about time we got going!

“Kilashee always runs well here and both those two horses finished well ahead of the third. Father Jed might have been unlucky not to have won. The two horses live together out in a field. Shane is a good lad, is with me a few days a week and rode his first seven or eight winners as a conditional jockey for me.”

13 is the lucky number for Farrell’s veteran

LIGHTLY-raced 11-year-old Druim Samhraidh (7/1) gained a belated first win in the Botanica International Opportunity Handicap Chase for his latest trainer Cormac Farrell.

Initially first-past-the-post in a Ballinrobe bumper in August 2019 before being disqualified as a banned substance was detected, Druim Samhraidh was having just his 13th lifetime start today and his third start for Farrell who is his seventh registered trainer.

Ridden by Richie Condon, the veteran battled well and eventually held Lake Chad by a half-length. Condon reported: “He hasn’t been straightforward and has been around the block for a number of years, although it is only his second run over fences.

“Cormac told me to ride him with plenty of confidence and that he would stay the 2m 3f distance. We were on the right place along the rail and he had said to kick on coming down the hill and that’s what he did. He got in tight to the last but he got there. Cormac and the lads work hard. He is owned by a good bunch of owners as well, with Nathan Matthews and the lads. They’ll get a good kick out of this.”

Flat to fences

Jockey Jake Coen partnered his second winner over fences in the Bulmers Light Beginners Chase as he steered the Gordon Elliott-trained, Around The Fire Syndicate-owned Sea Aster (7/2) to score by eight lengths from Clifftop.

Coen later commented: “She had two good runs over fences this year and the race in Killarney the last day was a lot hotter than today’s race. I was very happy with her, she jumped well and put the race to bed coming down the hill. She loves good ground and that’s my second winner over fences.”