TRAINER Andrew Slattery and his son Andrew Jnr registered a double at Limerick on Wednesday evening. Cloud Seeker formed the opening leg when making most to win the freetrial handicap. Carrying the familiar colours of owner Pat Garvey, the 3/1 chance stayed on strongly to win by half-a-length.

The winning trainer said: “I was disappointed with him the last day at Leopardstown when I think they went slow and I think he is still green. He was working very well and there is more to come from him. We’ll see where he ends up, he’ll go for a better handicap now and he is still a big raw horse who jumps very well. He will be out in the first three-year-old hurdle of the year and goes on soft ground.”

Closing in

Killeemore Lad brought up the Slattery brace when winning the concluding Big Boss Events Handicap. Sent off 9/4 favourite, the Lumper Lane Syndicate-owned gelding led over a furlong out before staying on to win by a length. Trainer Andrew Slattery said: “It is great for the lads who are mainly based in Cork and Urlingford in Kilkenny. They bought this lad during the year and he won at Hexham and Kilbeggan last year.

“I think he is improving and I ran him today with 10st 1lb as I want to go for the amateur handicap at Galway with him, if he can get in off bottom weight. Andrew thinks he is improving all the time. He was unlucky at Listowel the last day when he was drawn first, but missed the break, so it was game over although he stayed on at the finish. He needs to have good ground, he could go chasing and hopefully they’ll continue to have great fun with him.”  

Bouncing back

The Gavin Cromwell-trained Snellen won for the first time since Royal Ascot last year when leading a furlong out under Gary Carroll to land the Jim Ryan Memorial Handicap. Owned by Lindsay Laroche, the 11/4 chance returned to form at the track where she won her maiden last summer.

The winning jockey later said: “The ground was the key to her, as the slow ground at Naas didn’t suit and it was also still on the slow side at the Curragh the last day. She really enjoyed that quick ground, but I still don’t think she has got back to her Ascot level of form, although it was a step in the right direction and I think she’ll improve from it. Usually she can travel and quicken well, but she ground it today.

“She had been slow to come to hand this year, but fillies are like that. She is getting the sun on her back now and I don’t think we have seen the best of her yet this year. There is a good fillies’ handicap at the Curragh on Derby weekend, which could suit her. We know now that she is very ground-dependent and when she gets her conditions, can still show what she has.”

September Leaves overcomes trouble in running to win

SEPTEMBER Leaves had to overcome trouble in running before getting up close home under Shane Foley to win the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Having been supported into 11/8 favourite, the Jessica Harrington-trained filly carried the Moyglare Stud Farm colours to a half-length success.

Foley later commented: “We liked her as a two-year-old and she disappointed really, but the visor has really switched her on and put her into gear. She was unlucky at the Curragh the last day. I think she’ll improve with racing, too, and she did that quite snugly. The horses are healthy and well, and she was entitled to do that. Things are really flying and long may that continue.”

Overcoming odds

Siobhan Rutledge was seen at her best when getting the John McConnell-trained Hasten Slowly up late to win the opening Party Time Claiming Race. Despite being sent off 28/1, the 119 Partnership-owned filly belied those odds to win by a neck from French Company.

John McConnell said: “She is what she is, she isn’t over-big but has a good, big heart and isn’t far off that mark (67). She got hampered in her last run, so I told her owner to put a line through it and she deserved it today. I’m delighted she has won and if we keep her then great, and we’ll keep going. You could get a lot worse than her.”

All roads lead to Roman success

DECLAN McDonogh made virtually all on the Luke Comer-owned and trained Roman Palace to win the Anglo Printers Providing Sustainable Printed Products Handicap. The 5/1 chance found plenty for pressure inside the final furlong to beat Brewel Hill half-a-length.

Assistant Trainer Jim Gorman reported: “She is very genuine and she got her ground, which was very important. She needs to get good to firm ground – we haven’t had it this year yet and we’ll probably lose it over the weekend. Ground is the key and she ran well at Leopardstown the last day. She had a good draw and had a lot going for her today.”

The assistant trainer had just concluded a phone call with Comer and added: “Luke sees everything and is a huge, huge part in the whole operation. He is on all day, looks at every video and whenever he is home from Monaco, he spends all his time doing the horses. He also bred this mare and he loves it.”


Neve Bennett won for the third time on Sondheim when producing the Craig O’Neill-trained gelding with a well-timed run to win the Conference & Banqueting Facilities At Limerick Racecourse Handicap. Also owned by the winning trainer, the 22/1 chance led inside the final furlong to win by one and a quarter lengths.

O’Neill said: “He isn’t the easiest horse to ride and Neve does all the work with him at home and gets on very well with him. It is brilliant to get the win, as her father has travelled over and it is his first time to see her ride. He likes that top of the ground, had previously won at Dundalk and that is now twice that he has come back from a long layoff to win. He likes to run fresh.”