CALEDON’s Andy Oliver, who sent out his and Team Valor International’s Orchidaceae to win the opening Irish EBF Auction Series Race for two-year-olds at Leopardstown on Thursday evening, was the only local trainer to have a winner at last year’s Summer Festival of Racing at Down Royal.

12 months ago, the Oliver-trained, J.P. Ledwidge-owned Picture Of A City initiated a double for Dylan Browne McMonagle when winning the extended 10-furlong Polypipe Handicap as the 5/2 favourite. Oliver is due to have three runners at today’s second session of the meeting, Natalia Lupini five, Harry Smyth two while Noel Hynds and Paul Traynor have entered one apiece.


The Derby Bar Syndicate’s bid to own a flat race winner failed narrowly at Chester last Saturday when Grey Fable had his first start in their colours and his first for north Co Dublin trainer Karl Thornton.

Ridden by Ray Dawson and sent off as a 13/2 shot in division one of the extended mile and a half handicap, the four-year-old Starspangledbanner gelding was never far off the pace. The grey lost his pitch briefly three furlongs out before staying on again late and going down by a length to the 5/2 favourite, Dreams Adozen.

Scraped by

Earlier, the Thornton-trained Rich Belief justified 7/2 favouritism by a neck under Robbie Colgan in the two-mile handicap. This was a seventh career success for the seven-year-old Make Believe gelding and his sixth in the colours of Ivon Keeling, the champion point-to-point rider in the Northern Region back in 1983.

Lennon represents the locals

IT was disappointing that an otherwise brilliant two days’ racing at Downpatrick could only produce one locally-trained winner so all hail Liam Lennon who saddled the 16/1 shot Kalsman to land division two of the near two-mile, six-furlong amateur handicap hurdle.

On Saturday, the Josh Williamson-partnered six-year-old Kalanisi gelding, who was recording his first success on his 21st start, won by six and a half lengths from the Noel Kelly-trained, Mark McCrory-ridden Ghumama (80/1). Kalsman is owned by Scarva’s William Anderson, a longtime supporter of the Lennon yard.

That race, and division one, ran under the banner of Randox, just one of the many loyal supporters of racing at Downpatrick.

Last Saturday, these included the Northern Ireland On Course Bookmakers Association who sponsored the opportunity handicap hurdle.

Big break

This two-mile, two-furlong race was won by the eight-year-old Valirann gelding Petrol Head who was having his first start, following a 708-day break, for Co Kildare trainer Katy Brown and his first in the mainly blue colours with orange epaulettes of the Orchard Garden Syndicate.

On his previous start, the bay was owned and trained by Armagh’s Ronan McNally.

Paddy Turley, who trains in the centre of the track, was denied a very local win when his 11/4 favourite Stockdale, an eight-year-old Court Cave mare owned and bred by Brian Hamilton senior, finished second in the near three-mile Remembering Caughoo Opportunity Beginners Chase.

The five-length winner, under Paddy Hanlon, was the Ray Cody-trained Tullyveery Lad.

This eight-year-old Famous Name gelding began his career in Co Down when trained by Colin McBratney for Rose Boyd.

The bay gelding is out of the Presenting mare Toye Native who McBratney had sent out to win three hurdle races, and also to be Grade 2-placed over fences, in the colours of Tullyveery Lad’s breeder, Ian Lindsay.

The next meeting at Downpatrick is the track’s popular Family Day fixture on Monday, July 15th.

Cosgrave on a roll across the water

UP until the close of play on Wednesday, it had already been a good week for Patsy Cosgrave who recorded a four-timer at Bath on Saturday, rode a winner at Windsor on Monday and also one at Nottingham on Wednesday.

Three of Cosgrave’s Bath winners, who each justified favouritism in their respective races, were trained by George Boughey while the fourth, the 33/1 shot Accrual, is in the care of Daniel and Claire Kubler. The Banbridge native had no other rides at the meeting.

Two for Orr

Also across the water, Oisin Orr rode two winners at Carlisle on Monday (the first being the Anthony McCann-trained Whimsy) and one at Hamilton on Wednesday while Darragh Keenan was on the mark at Brighton on Tuesday. Joining Patsy Cosgrave on the list of winning jockeys at Nottingham on Wednesday was Paddy Mathers who partnered the first 10-furlong handicap winner, Sisterandbrother.

At home, Downpatrick’s Deckie Lavery joined forces with Co Meath trainer Gavin Cromwell to win the bumper at Kilbeggan on Monday with the twice previously-raced four-year-old Berkshire gelding Tonaghneave Well.

Earlier on the card, the two and a half-mile opportunity beginners’ chase was won by the Fiona McStay-bred nine-year-old gelding Ashdale Bob (by Shantou – Ceol Rua, by Bob Back). At the recent Goffs’ Arkle Sale, Ceol Rua’s three-year-old by Harzand was knocked down for €55,000 to British trainer Anthony Honeyball.

That bay gelding was consigned by The Glebe Farm whose four-horse draft at next week’s Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sales includes Jill Crawford’s three-year-old Telescope gelding out of Amaretto Rose (Lot 60). Hillcrest Stables’ trio of three-year-old geldings includes Gareth Metcalfe’s bay son of Wings Of Eagles out of Reynard’s Glen (Lot 360).