DAVID Christie and Noel Kelly both saddled winners last Saturday at Punchestown, the former striking first in the extended three-mile Ladbrokes Handicap Chase, where the always-prominent, Alex Harvey-ridden Marronstown scored by eight lengths.

The seven-year-old Frozen Fire gelding, who was winning for the first time on the track on his 13th start, is owned by the Castlehume Syndicate, in whose colours he landed a winners’ of two at Castle Irvine, Necarne, in November 2022.

The bay had run once between the flags before then, winning a five-year-old geldings’ maiden at Farmacaffley in February 2022 under Ben Crawford, whose brother Stuart then trained Marronstown for Jonjo Bright.

Flashy winner

Gavin Brouder came in for the winning ride in division two of the near two-and- a-half-mile Ladbrokes Play ‘1-2-Free’ Handicap Hurdle on the Kelly-trained 7/1 shot, Flashthelights. Owned by Red Ned’s Racing Club, the eight-year-old Leading Light gelding was winning for the second time, having landed a two-mile handicap hurdle at Naas in March 2022 for the McConville family.

Fatal Flaw, who won the concluding bumper on his second start for Co Cork-based trainer Jonathan Sweeney, began his career with Mark O’Hare, for whom the 2018 Pour Moi gelding ran once, finishing 10th of 13 in a Downpatrick bumper in May.

Ex-racehorse finds his feet on showing

THE 14-year-old Kadeed gelding Pots Of Luck, who finished fourth at Balmoral, won the Dublin Horse Show racehorse to riding horse qualifier at the Armagh County Agricultural Show in Gosford Forest Park last Saturday.

Ridden by Leaving Certificate student Roisin Conway, for her mother Nicole, the bay had a busy weekend, as he was turned out on Sunday at Ballivor Show, where he again topped the judges’ final line-up. Pots Of Luck failed to finish in the first three in seven starts in point-to-points.

Perhaps Conway will head back up north from Co Offaly next weekend, as the revived Killyleagh Horse and Pony Show is staging four racehorse to riding horse classes at its new venue on the Ringdufferin Road, Toye, including an in-hand class for thoroughbreds raced or unraced.

Summer Festival is on the way

FOLLOWING last weekend’s two-day meeting at Downpatrick, racing fans will just about have time to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and be ready to start all over again at Down Royal’s Summer Festival next Friday and Saturday.

Returning on Ladies’ Day (Saturday), as sponsor of the ‘Best Dressed Lady Competition’, is skincare clinic Younique Aesthetics, which is offering a prize of a £3,000 voucher which can be spent on treatments and/or products at the company’s branches in either Belfast or Newry.

Judges for the popular competition include Cool FM presenter and fashion enthusiast Rebecca McKinney, alongside Miss Northern Ireland winner, Hannah Johns.

Retaining sponsorship

Commenting on the sponsorship, Aine Larkin Msc PgDip Pgcert ALNP, clinical director at Younique Aesthetics, said: “Following the success at last year’s best dressed lady competition, we are delighted to be returning as sponsor of this vibrant and stylish event. Ladies’ Day is a celebration of fashion, style and elegance among women. It’s a day where female racegoers can don their finest frocks, extravagant headpieces and chic accessories, and we encourage all ladies to join us on Saturday and help us celebrate the glitz and glamour of the occasion.”

Kathryn Holland, commercial manager at Down Royal, added: “Younique Aesthetics is synonymous with beauty and elegance, making them the perfect partner for our best dressed lady competition. We’re delighted that they are once again joining us to celebrate the very best of both style and horse racing. The Ladies’ Day competition is always a highlight of what is an already prestigious sporting event, and we’re encouraging all ladies to enter and be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize.”

UK and Ireland winners were locally-bred for success

THERE were a few locally-bred winners since last Wednesday week, starting over jumps the following day at Uttoxeter, where Faithfulflyer landed the two and a half mile bet365 Summer Cup Handicap Hurdle by seven lengths.

The seven-year-old Sageburg gelding, who has three other wins over timber to his credit, was bred in Co Tyrone by Patrick McGillion, out of the Beneficial mare Dakota Fire, a half-sister to the Grade 1-winning hurdler Farmer Brown (by Bob Back) and dam of one other winner in Serenity Grove (by Ocovango).

Southwell success

Also over jumps, there was a win at Punchestown last Sunday for the Marshall Watson-bred 10-year-year-old gelding Sargent Lightfoot (Jeremy – Lady Rockabilly, by Old Vic) and at Southwell on Tuesday for the Patrick McAvoy-bred seven-year-old gelding Ballyvaughan Bay (Fame And Glory – Roughan Daisy, by Kalanisi). On the level, at Navan last Saturday, the Jessica Harrington-trained Mo Ghille Mar just about justified 9/4 favouritism on her ninth start when landing the 10-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Fillies Maiden by a head under Shane Foley.

The three-year-old Zoffany bay was bred at his Drumroy Farm by Andrew McNally, out of the unraced Galileo mare First Love.

On Tuesday, at Wetherby, the Ruth Carr-trained Daytona Lady recorded her first success on turf, and her fifth in total, when winning the fillies’ handicap over an extended five furlongs.

The four-year-old Bungle Inthejungle bay was bred by McCracken Farms out of the winning Cityscape mare Roseau City, whose foal of 2023, a filly by Bluepoint, was knocked down to Good Will Bloodstock for 165,000gnsat Tattersalls Newmarket last December.

Mixed luck for Crawford at Perth

STUART Crawford had mixed luck on Sunday at Perth, where he saddled five runners in three races, a trio of them starting in the opening two-mile, four-furlong bet365 Novices’ Hurdle.

Trish Hassett’s Kimjoy unseated Brian Hughes four out where Pat Sloan’s Bleu Lagune began to tail off under Sean Bowen. However, Simon Munir and Isaac Souede’s Mongibello was racing with the pace in the hands of J.J. Slevin and the six-year-old Authorized mare ran out a short-head winner over the Gordon Elliott-trained, Sam Ewing-ridden favourite, Clodders Dream.

The Larne yard recorded a double when the Slevin-partnered Kinbara Firstdraft, a five-year-old gelding by Koropick, landed the two-mile bet365 Handicap Hurdle by two and a quarter lengths. Unfortunately, the day ended with a heavy fall at the final flight in the concluding three-mile handicap hurdle for Slevin and Sandra Cumiskey’s home-bred Paddy Elvis, who was leading at the time. Thankfully, both J.J. and the five-year-old Elzaam gelding were fine after the fall.

Boyd and Armstrong winner

Elsewhere on the owners’ front, there was a win in the two mile, one furlong Ladbrokes ‘2Up&Win’ maiden hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday for the Willie Mullins-trained Gaucher, a five-year-old Frankel gelding who was scoring for the first time on his third start in Ireland, and in the ownership of Rose Boyd and Marie Armstrong.

Oisin Orr was once again the jockey most in form in the period under review, as he landed a treble at Wetherby on Tuesday and followed that up with one win on Wednesday at Hamilton, bringing his seasonal tally to 31.

There were single wins for Darragh Keenan at Goodwood on Sunday and for Patsy Cosgrave at Yarmouth on Wednesday.

Over jumps, Brian Hughes partnered the ex-Caroline McCaldin-trained Ballygeary to win for the Donald McCain yard at Market Rasen on Friday last and, the following afternoon, he joined up with McCain to record his 11th success of the season at Bangor.

Danny McMenamin was on the mark at Perth on Sunday, while Liam McKenna made all the running to win the opening rated novice hurdle at Roscommon on Monday on the Noel Meade-trained Golden Temple.