TRAINER Jessica Harrington and stable jockey Shane Foley’s hot streak continued at Limerick on Thursday as the pair completed a double with two useful maiden winners.

Both had combined for a treble at Cork on Friday, followed by another four winners together since, and they continued here by winning the Ryans Cleaning (Fillies) Maiden with the Kirsten Rausing-owned and bred Fleur De Chin (5/4 favourite).

The Study Of Man filly raced prominently, led under two furlongs out and finished well to easily beat Kailasa by three and a quarter lengths.

Afterwards Harrington’s daughter Kate reported: “She was very good. We were a little disappointed after her run in the Curragh but she got a bump a furlong down which knocked her off her stride. She struck into herself and pulled up a bit sore that day.

“Overall we couldn’t be happier with her and we’ll now see what mark she gets and hopefully she might pick up some blacktype before the end of the year. Last year’s form was rock solid and she should keep on improving.”

Three races later Cruden (85/40) completed the double, when scoring readily in the Aos Security Median Auction Maiden.

He passed the Test

The Time Test colt had finished third on Navan debut last month and today proved one and a quarter lengths too strong for runner-up Soul Of Spain.

Kate Harrington said: “We had a lovely bunch of two-year-olds last year but we said they were big, backward three-year-olds (of the future) and he is a big, big horse who is only starting to fill his frame. He is learning on the job.

“We’ll build on this, get him home and see how he comes out of this, but stepping up to 1m 6f will be no problem as he is a gorgeous big stayer in the making.

“I was a bit worried about the ground and talked to Mum on the way down but Shane said ‘oh, he’ll be fine’ although I think he’ll definitely improve for better ground. It is great for Alpha Racing (owners).”

At the beginning of his training career is rookie Joe Conlon, who sent out his second winner as Pinar Del Rio followed up a recent Curragh breakthrough win in the Ryans Cleaning Handicap.

Ridden by Ronan Whelan and carrying the colours of the winning jockey’s mother Kathleen Whelan, the five-year-old broke well, made all and won comfortably from Shawamekh.

Afterwards Conlon commented: “He wasn’t 100% last year but we got a couple of things done to him over the winter and have got him right and he is paying us back this year. It took him a while to get his confidence back but we have ironed them out now.

First of many

“He ran well in the Scurry last year when 7lb out of the handicap and can mix it with some of those good handicappers. We’ll look at doing something like that again at some stage.”

He added: “I’ve nine or 10 horses in training and am based on the Curragh.”

Jockey Whelan later completed a personal double, when steering Lord Church to justify strong market support (morning 5/2, returned 4/5 favourite) to win the Ryans Cleaning Handicap, for joint-trainers Michael Halford and Tracey Collins.

Afterwards Halford stated: “You don’t often get races of that calibre breaking up into numerically as much as (six-runner) today’s but he is a smashing big individual who is a work in progress.

“He is a big horse and thankfully Brian Galvin his owner has been very patient with him. His half-sister won in Roscommon on Monday.

“He has taken time and hopefully will keep progressing. He has a nice bit of pace and I think a mile might be good for him.”

Back with a bang

There was an inspired gamble landed in the concluding Aos Security Handicap as Forlio defied a 19-months layoff to win on his first run for trainer Paul Flynn, having been backed from 16/1 to 7s.

Ridden by Colin Keane, the Mayson gelding arrived from mid-field and eventually won by a neck from Nusra.

Trainer Flynn said: “It’s a shame none of the owners (Bhoys On Tour Syndicate) could make it today and they have been very patient with him. Aubrey McMahon bought him for very small money (2,500gns) but he hurt his back last year and we couldn’t get him back in time to run on turf.

“I didn’t think he was a Dundalk horse and the time off has obviously done him good and he has strengthened up. He had some nice runs in the UK and there were some decent horses came out of a Beverley maiden he ran in so I thought he was well handicapped if we could get him back.

“He has done some amount of work but I did think he would need the run. It is great for the lads who were patient and they backed him, by the looks of things.”

Alabama Calling (7/1) improved on a recent Dundalk runner-up effort to win the Ryans Cleaning Maiden for jockey Luke McAteer, trainer David Marnane and his MRC International syndicate.

The Soldier’s Call filly circled the field when challenging rounding the final bend and while strongly pressed by Victoria Kesia inside the final furlong, held on well for a half-length win.

Steady progression

Marnane reported: “She had a few runs in handicaps and is getting progressively better.

“She is still quite raw and I don’t know whether she liked that ground (soft to heavy) or not, but I doubt it. She should progress away as the summer goes along.

“When the race came up, it looked tailor made for her and her mares’ allowance brought her up to 71.

“She is very genuine, will be better on better ground and I wouldn’t be stepping her up too much in distance.”

He added: “My whole yard is pretty much all MRC International (owners) now and they are all running really well. I have had a good few nice two-year-olds this year and some of last year’s three-year-olds are nice as well.”

Racing began with the Ryans Cleaning Maiden, which was confined to horses which had run at least once and had a rating of 70 or less, and was won very easily by the Moyglare Stud-owned and bred blue-blooded Sara Valentina (5/2 favourite).

Up to the mark

Out of a Group 3 winner and by leading sire No Nay Never, Sara Valentina disappointed on her only previous run last October but today, under Chris Hayes, stepped up markedly to beat runner-up Emerald Harmony by four lengths.

Winning trainer Dermot Weld was represented by his son Kris, who said: “She won nicely, is a beautifully bred filly and is from a family we know extremely well. She had a reasonable run in Leopardstown and put that experience to good use today. She was well beaten - finishing ninth, on her debut so was entitled to get into this race but equally this is a family which improves with age.

“We’ll look for a conditions race for her somewhere in a few weeks’ time.

“I think she’d like better ground. Stiffer tests will await.”