CORK’S eight-race card on Tuesday saw eight different sets of winners with half of those being big-priced horses, the longest of which was 33/1 shot Gerritt’s Gem in the Sign Up To Our Newsletter Maiden.

The Belardo gelding had hung on his seasonal reappearance at the Curragh last month, but today, under Scott McCullagh, broke well and made all to eventually beat Dalva’s Boys by three-quarters of a length.

The Gerrit O’Reilly-owned chesnut is trained by Kieran Cotter, who explained: “He is buzzy, is a work in progress and it took a while to get his head right. We always thought he was a decent horse, he is a half-brother to Power Under Me (Group 3 winner) but he boiled over the last day at the Curragh.”

He added: “The plan today was to get a lead but he broke quickly and settled away in front.

“The blinkers, believe it or not, were applied so he wouldn’t see too much and to relax him! It is total opposites as, with him, the less he sees the better. He is very genuine though and is almost too genuine.”

Another long-shot

There were two 28/1 winners, beginning with Scorchio’s success in the Follow Us On Social Media Handicap, for trainer Jack Davison, jockey James Ryan and owners the Final Reminder Syndicate.

Previously a dual all-weather winner, the Kuroshio filly today scored by a length from Kendall Roy, with delighted Davison reporting: “The whole family perform well on turf and she had been working well on turf so I couldn’t see how she was so big in the market, but I was her friend anyway!

“The family are better on turf and Thunderbear (Group 3-winning half-brother) doesn’t go on the all-weather but Scorchio does. Being her first run of the year, she is entitled to sharpen up.”

Another upset

Distillate caused her own 28/1 upset in the Buy Tickets Online Handicap, as she held on by a nose from 100/1 outsider Lohengrin, to win under Adam Caffrey.

Afterwards winning trainer Ado McGuinness reported: “She had slipped down the handicap which is a huge help to horses like these, as they always go to a level and then they struggle.

“We stepped her up (in distance) and he gave her a good ride as he had to kick when she did as she travelled very easily.

“The boys (owners Devlin, O’Hare and Smith) are from the north of Ireland and love running horses up at Down Royal. Actually I had Distillate in at Down Royal last weekend but I forgot to declare her, I told them we were running in Cork instead so it was all for the good!”

Fast as a Ferrari

Signor Ferrari was a 16/1 winner of the Blackwater Apprentice Handicap as the Johnny Feane-owned-and-trained gelding got off the mark on his 12th career attempt, for jockey Hugh Horgan.

Horgan produced the winner to lead under a furlong out, beating The Bear Trap by one and a quarter lengths.

Afterwards Horgan said: “I felt he ran well the last time and was unlucky in-running and didn’t have a hard race. A strongly run seven (furlongs) is ideal but he will stay a mile.”

Across the card four

Trainer Gavin Cromwell had earlier completed a treble at the day’s other fixture, Punchestown and, at Cork, notched a four-timer as Sixandahalf (4/1) followed her own recent Punchestown Festival success to smartly win the Mallow Fillies Maiden (see below).

Four-time bumper winner Familiar Dreams was the beaten 6/5 favourite in the race, with Sixandahalf showing plenty acceleration to score by one and three-quarter lengths, under Gary Carroll.

Carroll later commented: “She didn’t ride like a bumper horse and while she relaxed lovely and went to sleep, she came alive very quickly up the straight and I had to ‘whoa’ her. She isn’t slow but does stay two miles on heavy ground, which could land her into a good (flat) handicap.

“I’m going to try and pick races for her, so Gavin doesn’t find jump races!”

Powerful winner is Ascot bound

RACING began with the Irish EBF Median Sires Series Maiden and while just three heads separated the first four finishers, Powerful Nation (5/2 favourite) notably scored under top weight for trainer Andy Slattery, his son Andrew and owner/breeder Kevin Walsh.

Slattery senior subsequently stated: “I think he is a very good horse and he idled in front. I’ll get him another run before going for the Windsor Castle (Royal Ascot), as he was doing nothing only looked around.

“I was hearing so many things coming down here, I thought I was actually running in the Windsor Castle!

“I think today’s race was a proper one and I don’t think ground is an issue for him.

“Kevin Walsh bred him, owns him with his sons and is from over the road in Dualla. Kevin has had horses with me for 10 years and while this is his best horse, he is lucky.”

Robyn Donaghue-Leahy followed up Friday’s breakthrough first success with a second consecutive winning steer in the concluding Racing Again June 14th Handicap (Division 2), scoring on Not Just Any Eagle (5/2), for her employer trainer Pat Flynn.

This lucky

Afterwards the jockey reported: “I hoped this lad would be my first winner but after riding a winner on Friday, I thought I’d never be this lucky to ride another. My family weren’t in Leopardstown but there was great excitement at home and they’re here today.

“He (trainer) said to jump forward and if someone wants to come around us, let them work to do it.

“I didn’t want to ask him too soon as he can roll around when he hits the front and he did it well.

“I’ve ridden him five times, had finished second on him three times and now this win so I can’t complain and being a (Flynn family) homebred makes it more special.”

Showpiece ride from Lee

The earlier division of the mile and two furlong race was won by the Conor O’Dwyer-trained Barretstown (9/2), which gained a first win on turf, under a nicely-judged front-running ride from Billy Lee.

O’Dwyer said: “He was bought as a little fun horse and won first time for Hugo and Anne (Kane) at Dundalk but had never won on the grass, so tonight was a breakthrough. Billy (Lee) was superb and I said to him he’ll ride for a long time before he gives one a better ride.

“He won’t jump a hurdle but will go on for the summer and Hugo and Anne are unbelievable owners to have and they get a good kick out of it.”