Baily Green from the Mouse Morris yard recorded is fourth victory in succession when he captured the Grade C 108-134 Handicap Hurdle over two mile and a furlong at Killarney on Saturday after a tremendous scrap with Domination.
After completing a hat-trick over fences the King’ Theatre gelding was reverting to the minor obstacles in many months and he fully exploited his favourable handicap mark. Never too far off the leaders under David Casey Baily Green hit the front after jumping the second last flight but was soon challenged by the favourite Domination and the pair had a rare old set-to from there to the line where the former prevailed by a nose with the Willie Mullins runner Rattan a length and a half further in areers in third place.
Winning rider David Casey revealed post race that the drying ground was a big help to Baily Green and Morris now a pleasant dilemma on his hands as to which codes to concentrate on in the weeks ahead. The runner-up lost nothing in defeat, he is owned by Paddy Wilmott who is never afraid tom have a tilt at the ring and has horses in training with several trainers.
The big news late last week was the parting of the ways of rider Johnnie Murtagh and one of the worlds biggest owners the Aga Khan, several reasons were put forward in media circles for the split but the most common one was that of a conflict of interests by Murtagh.
The highly rated jockey owns the yard at Pollardstown on the Curragh from where former jockey Tommy Carmody has re launched his training career and Murtagh has been giving him plenty of assistance. The latter was doing the saddling honours the previous week at the Curragh when Ursa Major defeated the Aga Khan owned Hartani in the St Leger Trial as Carmody was at York and seemed most unlucky not to have landed the valuable Ebor handicap with Royal Diamond. In normal circumstances Murtagh would have been aboard Hartani however, he is currently recovering from a facial injury but is due to make a return this weekend. It was at Murtagh’s suggestion that leading owner Andrew Tinkler installed Carmody to train his ever expanding string in this country and the combination have enjoyed plenty of success.
Seventh Sign was another to do the business when he ran out a facile winner of the mile and six handicap for 66-84 rated horses. Easy enough to back at around5/1 the Pivotal gelding got very warm in the preliminaries but this made little difference as he always close to the leaders before taking a definite advantage three furlongs out and drawing steadily clear to win with plenty in hand by five lengths from the Pat Flynn representative Bahrain Storm The well backed Charles O’Brien trained favourite Apache Drums was a shade disappointing, he was one of the first to come off the bridle and finally had to be content with fourth place.
Aidan O’Brien who is leading the field a merry dance at the head of the trainers list was on the mark again courtesy of Count Of Limonade which just shaded then verdict over the Jim Bolger runner Teoirim in the extended mile nursery.
A warm order in the betting market the son of Duke Of Marmalade was smartly out of stalls and made virtually all the running but he had to well stoked up by the trainers son Joseph before been declared the winner by a head from Teoirim. In his post race remarks O’Brien revealed that his charge is improving all the time and will now be aimed at the valuable nursery during the Listowel festival meeting. Although Group1 victories are few and far between for the Dermot Weld stable this term his bred and butter horses are giving him plenty to shout about and a double in the first two races kept up his impressive strike rate.
His Galway winner Tandem justified cramp odds to land the opening mile and half a furlong conditions race in the hands of stable jockey Pat Smullen.
After stalking the leading Circle early on he took over with a little over a furlong to race and pulled out plenty when it mattered to land the spoils by a comfortable enough three lengths from the Tommy Stack runner Coin Of Courage.
The trainer and rider were back in the winners enclosure just half an hour later when Stuccodor battled well to shade the verdict by a head from the David Wachman trained Hot Bed in the 70-86 handicap for 3.y.o’s.
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